Adam Hamilton is scheduled to speak at Mount Vernon Place UMC on next Thursday evening, September 25. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome Adam to our church as part of an evening sponsored by MVPUMC, Wesley Theological Seminary and Asbury United Methodist Church.
I first met Adam when I was a student at Duke Divinity School. I do not remember why, but I was given the opportunity to host him while he was speaking at Duke. We went out for true North Carolina Barbecue at Bullock's, one of Durham's finest. While chowing away on hush puppies and pulled park, Adam inspired me, empowering me throughout the conversation on how to be the most faithful pastor possible. His encouragement and inspiration remain with me to this day, and I have since seen him lecture many times while also sitting in a class with him at the Church of the Resurrection.
Adam is the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. He started the church in a funeral home chapel in 1990 (thus the need for the church to be named "resurrection"). The congregation quickly grew, and there are now over 12,000 people who make COR their home church. Adam has a remarkable ability to make the message relevant. He is a visionary who has intentionally built a church with the aim of reaching non-religious and nominally religious people. He is a gifted preacher, writer and speaker. But, one of the things I love most about Adam is his passion for building not just COR but for building every single Body of Christ. He has a passion for revitalizing the mainline church, and his knowledge is making a difference.
Wherever Adam goes, he tells others the secrets of COR's success. He tells others how to make an impact for Christ. He tells others how to build a church. He wants desperately for the church to grow - every church - not just his church.
His ways are so different. I am surrounded by churches - there is another United Methodist Church less than two blocks away and dozens of churches within walking distance- but we do not do much together. We have not had regular conversations about how to bring together our best in order to see what might happen in downtown Washington. There are pastors all around me, but we do not get together often for mutual support and accountability. Too often we are silos, trying to build our own churches, trying to be our best, instead of thinking about how we all might have something to offer another. Adam could hoard his success. He could keep what works well at COR. But, Adam is intentional about sharing it. And, I love how Adam is constantly trying to build every church. His witness is a powerful one.
Adam will be at MVPUMC for a 7:00 p.m. lecture on his new book, "Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality and Politics." You're welcome to come early and see our new, old building that has just been completely restored. Our open house will begin at 6:00 p.m. We'd love to see you, and I hope you will make plans to be with us next Thursday night.