In 2004, I got to attend my first National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. I loved it so much, I’ve been to 3 more since, and hope to go to more.
Anyway, I attended a workshop by Doug Fields.
And during the workshop, he asked that we get out our bibles, then added, “If you’re a United Methodist, look on to your neighbor’s bible.”
Everyone laughed. I didn’t get the joke. The funny thing was, I didn’t have my Bible with me at the time.
After the session, I asked all my Korean UMC friends, what that meant joke meant.
Well, 5 years later, I finally get the joke.
Turns out, we Methodist don’t know that much about the Bible, or the average Methodist don’t, simply because we don’t read it enough.
I remember a Methodist parishioner who had to look at the table of contents to find the book of Matthew. And I think that’s a reflection on us as pastors.
I, now more than ever, believe that I really just have to go back to the basics. Why many UMs don’t spend time in with the Bible is beyond me, but I think that’s a discipline we can’t lack.
I wish I was still pondering the meaning of that joke.
Now that I know what Doug Fields meant, I’m a bit sad.
But as small of a voice I may be, I can do my part to change the culture of the people I have privilege to serve.