What does it mean to be a United Brethren today?
In rereading Christian Newcomer’s journal, it seemed clear: we were passionate about reaching lost people. They took seriously the Great Commission. Being a United Brethren wasn’t simply a matter of taking a membership class in a local church.
In many of our churches:
- The Great Commission is merely a slogan we hang on the wall or print in a worship folder.
- The Great Commission is not an eternal truth that compels us to become strategic in reaching people for Christ.
- There is little passion or conviction to reach lost people with the Gospel.
- There is little talk, if any, about the passion that drove Christian Newcomer and others of our early history.
If we are to have a lasting future, we must take seriously the Great Commission.
No denomination has an inherent right to exist. Any church or denomination that loses its passion to make disciples for Jesus stands in risk of having its candlestick removed from the candelabra.
For our early church fathers, being United Brethren required a conviction that people apart from God’s saving grace are lost in their sins. They leaders would do anything, go anywhere at any cost, at any time, in order to:
- See people come to Christ.
- See them gain an assurance of salvation.
- See that faith begin to grow in their lives.