In February, the top leaders of ten historic Holiness denominations released a theological manifesto to rearticulate their key doctrines for today. The document is the product of the Wesleyan Holiness Study Project, which has been meeting for the past three years. For more on the project and the manifesto, see David Neff's interview with the project chairman, Kevin Mannoia.
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Wesleyan Holiness Study Project, Azusa, California, February 2006.
The Crisis We Face
There has never been a time in greater need of a compelling articulation of the message of holiness. Pastors and church leaders at every level of the church have come to a dead end in seeking ways to revitalize their congregations and denominations. What we are doing is not working. Membership in churches of all traditions has flat-lined. In many cases, churches are declining. We are not even keeping pace with the biological growth rate in North America. The power and zeal of churches has been drained by the incessant search for a better method, a more effective fad, a newer and bigger program to yield growth. In the process of trying to find the magic method for growing healthy vibrant churches, our people have become largely ineffective and fallen prey to a generic Christianity that results in congregations that are indistinguishable from the culture around them. Churches need a clear, compelling message that will replace the 'holy grail' of methods as the focus of our mission. Our message is our mission!
Further, we are awash with leaders of churches who have become hostages to the success mentality of numeric and programmatic influence. They have become so concerned about 'how' they do church that they have neglected the weightier ...1