Pickens’ Hardware is a hardware store in Mason, WV. They have a ‘board meeting’ nearly every morning and they never have trouble coming up with a quorum. They do a lot of talking and offer up problems and solutions and then they adjourn and people go back to their lives often telling their friends that they were at their morning meeting at Pickens’. The same type of meetings go on daily at Auto Options and Tudors. These meetings are informational, but not transformational.
I spent a week with Mike Slaughter from Ginghamsburg Church a few years ago. I was part of a class offered through United Seminary. It was full of information. Yet for me, it not only informational, but was transformational. I’m guessing it was merely informational for many, if not most, in the class. The Holy Spirit worked through Slaughter to transform me a little more that week.
I’m guessing that the UMC spent a lot of money this week in Nashville and people will leave no different than how they came. I think about how much cheaper it would have been to send them to Pickens’ Hardware in Mason. I worry that people come to the Mason UMC on Sundays or go to their normal church and it’s no different than going to Pickens’ Hardware. The responsibility does not rely solely on the conference here or the church on Sunday morning. Why was my ministry transformed at Ginghamsburg? I play a part in that by my willingness to be transformed and the Holy Spirit definitely plays a big part.
Will God’s Holy Spirit find a ‘willing spirit’ in you and me? Without a willing spirit on our part, a conference, a church, a class, or the Holy Spirit doesn’t have a chance.