Innovation requires courage

Innovation requires courage
Mathena Vaythamanickam, youth leader at Seletar Tamil Methodist Church

I have been a Methodist for as long as I can remember. Despite growing up in a Methodist church, I had little comprehension of Methodism and hence, Methodism as a denomination had little significance to me aside from the fact that I viewed it as a “traditional” (read: boring) denomination. However, a few months ago, I attended the Young Methodist Leaders’ Conference 2022, where these notions were challenged.

The conference walked its attendees through the life of John Wesley as he established the Methodist movement. From conducting open-air preaching during a time in which preaching outside the pulpit was frowned upon, to lifting the status of women by including them in class leadership, social work and more, Wesley was determined not to be stuck in traditionalism and was highly innovative for his time. Hence today, I now see that at the heart of Methodism, is innovation. One should not be resistant to change, but courageously seek improvement and always be in tune with wherever the Holy Spirit leads.

Last September, my youth committee was faced with the decision of planning for a simple camp, or a complex, logistics-intensive mystery-based camp, with just two months to prepare. We chose the crazy route—setting forth to design the latter, and it eventually stood out as one of our most unique and memorable camps. The new is not always the easiest path. It requires courage, but can be incredibly rewarding.

Mathena Vaythamanickam is a youth leader in Seletar Tamil Methodist Church. / Photo courtesy of Mathena Vaythamanickam