Health care experts talk about prevention of disease and injuries as the most cost-effective way to deal with health problems. This is also true in the church. I believe much United Methodist church conflict is a result of pastors NOT teaching their churches about our UM connection and polity. Bishop Judy Craig of West Ohio once told her clergy, "You are not telling your people what you know."
Last Sunday at St. John UMC we experienced a multimedia presentation of what happened at General Conference. It wasn't all good but people came away feeling inspired about being a part of our UM connection. With so many new members coming from other religious traditions it is imperative that we constantly share our UM history and how we do church together. I am amazed when lay people are surprised and angry when a bishop moves their pastor to a new church. Why aren't they told that pastors are ordained to an itinerant ministry and that bishops are the ones authorized to do this?
It seems to me that if we are living according to certain rules as a denomination then we all need to be reminding each other how they work. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.