Going into this project, we believed that a set of concerns framed the issue of congregational thriving. We believed that the “economics of ministry” needed either reformation or explanation, because the perception of financial acumen and true practice seem confused in many congregational settings. We believed that our main duty would be to orchestrate a process of institutional realignment. Current circumstances demand our re-imagination, especially for our collaborative focus on African Methodism, African Methodist Zionism, and Christian Methodism. Prior to the pandemic, most congregations would have appreciated technical assistance, meaningful networking opportunities, and resources to explore further innovation. The urgency is more existential now: core traditions of congregational life have been disrupted. Mission may remain constant, but circumstances have challenged its practical relevance. What we believed before is no longer central to the patchwork of our congregational habits. The experiences of crucifixion and resurrection frame our theological conversations. Payne’s mission resonates with working with congregations to breathe life into their circumstances so that they may carry out their local ministries to the glory of the Kingdom and its beloved community.
Mapping the Future of Black Methodism
Rev. Leonard Curry