Can the UMC learn a lesson from a Women’s Basketball program?

Days after registering her mind-boggling 900th win as a college coach, Pat Summitt faced not just defeat, but a crushing defeat. The #1 ranked Lady Vols fell to the #2 Duke Blue Devils 75-53. To hear Summitt talk, it wasn’t that close.

But I think the United Methodist Church could stand to learn something from this woman and the program she has built. Reacting to the loss, Summitt said, “Losing’s one thing, losing the way we lost is something quite different. It’s unacceptable in this program. So we will learn from it.”

The Conference of which I am a clergy member, the Central Texas Conference, boasts some thirty-plus years of consecutive numerical membership growth. However, we have, for at least that long, been decreasing as a percentage of the population within our bounds.

Put the latter way, we should find this unacceptable and learn from it. Generally, however, we have patted ourselves on the back that we “aren’t like all those Conferences that have been losing membership.” (notice the siimlarity to that story in Luke where someone thanks God that he isn’t like someone else?)

Or is numerical gain and societal loss acceptable.

Pat Summitt for Bishop in the SouthCentral Jurisdiction in ’08!

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2 Responses to Can the UMC learn a lesson from a Women’s Basketball program?

  1. Richard H says:

    Two comments:
    1. As coach at the other UT Pat Summitt is in the SE Jurisdiction. While it is possible to elect bishops across jurisdictional lines, it is very rare.
    2. WOuld I be right to guess that the reason CTC membership gains aren’t keeping up with the population is that they’ve raised the bar on membership? Thus while worship attendance is WAY up in the CTC, that increase is almost entirely acounted for by a huge surge in seekers come to see the mighty works of God.

    Or have I missed something?

  2. John B says:

    As a member of a Conference that has more in common with the Prairre View Panthers than with the UT Volunteers. Prairre View holds the college football record for the most consecutive loses, 80. In the 20 years I have served in the IA Conference, we’ve never had a winning season. We’ve become so accustomed to losing, that it really doesn’t bother us too much. At least, not enough that we’re willing to make any significant changes.

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