The One Matters Award from Discipleship Ministries recognizes churches in each annual conference who have in recent years moved from zero baptisms and zero professions of faith, into positive numbers as they redirected their focus on intentional discipleship. This year’s North Carolina Conference recipient is Davis Street UMC in Burlington, pastored by Rev. Edgar De Jesus.
More than 70 percent of UMC congregations in the United States did not baptize anyone age 13 or older in 2013, and 55 percent did not baptize anyone age 12 and under, according to the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA). In addition, 50 percent of local churches did not have any professions of faith that year.
“With the One Matters Discipleship Award, we want to lift up the importance of discipleship and help interpret across the connection what zeros in professions of faith and baptisms mean and what moving away from the zeros means,” said Jeff Campbell of Discipleship Ministries. “Each ‘1’ in those categories represents a transformed life – a life that matters to God, and a life that should matter to us.”
“Making disciples is much more than statistics; it is about lives changed by God’s grace,” Campbell said. “We have an opportunity to help celebrate the fact that one life matters … and continue to help congregations identify ways to invite people into a relationship with Jesus through The United Methodist Church.”