· Ministry to Men, Leadership Development, Global Health

The fellowship of believers in a VUCA world

By Bishop James Swanson Sr.

Episcopal Bishop C. Andrew Doyle of Houston says we live in a VUCA world: Volatile; Uncertain; Complex; and Ambiguous.
It is in this world that you and I are called to be faithful and fruitful followers of Jesus Christ. The song "For What It's Worth" was written by Stephen Stills. It was performed by Buffalo Springfield, recorded on December 5, 1966 and released as a single in January 1967. Read these lyrics and you get a sense of the upheaval of those days:


"There's something happening here

What it is ain't exactly clear

There's man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound

Everybody look what's going down

There's battle lines being drawn

Nobody's right if everybody's wrong

Young people speaking their minds

Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound

Everybody look what's going down


I hear a similar conversation and see a similar atmosphere within The United Methodist Church today. Stills verses were great in drawing a word picture of that day and time but I'm drawn more to the chorus "It's time we stop, what's that sound. Everybody look what's going down."
Stephen Stills tries to help his generation to STOP and REFLECT. He asks that we look not at whether we are right or winning but look at WHAT'S GOING DOWN.
It is difficult to do that when we are more committed to winning than we are to loving each other.
It is difficult to do that when we feel our known world spinning out of control and another world coming into being that is so unknown to us and where there is more unpredictability than stability.
I believe this is tremendously difficult for men. But maybe, just maybe, God is teaching us that this is God's world and not ours.

Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., president

The General Commission on UM Men



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