A Review of Dr. Bouknight’s Message

by Bill Clark

The FLUME breakfast was a highlight of Annual Conference . . .
Rev. Bouknight’s comments were uplifting – and challenging! “Our
beloved denomination has been changing for the better since about
the year 2000. The General Conference of 2012 continued to move
the church in a biblical, evangelical direction,” Dr. Bouknight

Dr. Bouknight, from the Confessing Movement within the UMC,
acknowledged the growth in Methodism in Africa against the
declining of Methodism in America and attributed the difference
being the Africans proclaiming the “main thing” is Jesus. With little
or no money, with little or no institutions or seminaries, with vast
distances between churches, “They simply tell people that if they will
repent for their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he
will forgive their sins, save their souls, and transform their lives.”
In America, “…. the real problem is ELITISM. There is an
unspoken assumption that most denominational wisdom resides in the
U.S. After all, our universities and seminaries are thought to be
superior. The church in the U.S. is 200 years older than African
Methodism. Indeed, there is a bit of condescension among some of
our leaders toward the Africans. Following General Conference,
one of our U.S. bishops said that she wished the African Methodists
would ‘grow up.’”

Dr. Bouknight quoted Archbishop William Temple saying, ‘It is
immoral to preach the gospel and not give an invitation [to Christian
commitment], and it is immoral to give an invitation without first
preaching the gospel.’”

Dr. Bouknight then extended three challenges to our local churches
and its individual members:
1. Extend invitations in worship services;
2. Extend invitations all week long, wherever we are; and,
3. Grow this FLUME organization so that we have sub-district
groups all over the conference.

Dr. Bouknight concluded his remarks by stating, “Be bold and be
confident, my brothers and sisters. I believe that during the first half
of the 21st century we are going to see a new United Methodist
Church emerge. No longer will it be just an institution; it’s going to
be a mighty movement of God, fueled by the Holy Spirit, and to God
be the glory.”

For a copy of Dr. Bouknight’s entire speech, go to

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