What is a dying denomination of Christian believers to do?
Well, since no one asked, let me make some suggestions.
- Differentiate between the death of the denomination and the life of its churches. The world will little note nor long remember the passing of some elaborate, once necessary, now passe denominational apparatus. The world, taken a bite at a time, will indeed mourn the loss of the next steeple to fall.
- Decide now on steps (and implement those needed acts) that will enable ministries and institutions formerly dependent on the denomination to thrive after the denomination perishes in form, as well as substance. Not all the helps these works need will be financial. You have influence to use, yet. Don't squander it on your personal survival.
- Derive movement from influence rather than depend on (lapsed) power. You are not the bully now, any more than the staid old First Church Downtown steers the convention ship. You might influence for good if you learn how to define what is good. Apparently, you have some problems knowing good, not just doing good. Remember, this: You only do much good when you do good much.
- Devise ways to bring necessary people into your organization for whatever years is has left. Who would be necessary for stable government and prosperous ministry? Who has not soiled his coat with the stain of avarice? Who has experience you could use and is not begrimed with the incompetence, nay, criminal activity of the past few years? Consult not our personal preferences but the powerful spiritual forces at work. These spiritual forces may manifest themselves as political realities. No matter. Do you have the right people in place? Do you think have time to waste?
- Determine who, how and why someone(s) might impose corporate economic discipline on your good offices.