Turning Worlds Upside-Down 2

Keynote on Congregational Development

New places for new people and renewal of existing congregtions

In the early days of the UMC, we started one new church per day.
Hearing stories of new church plants here (what is a successful plant? why is it so often buying a building in the suburbs and moving out of the city mission field?)

Church planting in the Phillipines
Sin of omission, sin of commission, and sin of no mission
every church has to plant a new church
no candidate for ordination is approved without demonstrating they can plant a new church
people without vision will perish. so too people without mission will perish.

Renewal of an existing congregation

financial foundation (grants, capital campaign, creative use of existing space)
nurture a vision
have the people to do it
Do you want to live or die? If you want to live, are you ready to change? Drastically?
Need the best volunteers and the best friends
neighborhood outreach
connect with other churches
connect with God and God’s vision
connect with the local community

Workshop: Reaching the Disillusioned

Acts 1
Jesus is very political; moves focus from the kingdom of Israel to the outside world (Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth)
We need to recover our identity as United Methodist Christians.
Between the lines, under the smiles, the systems of exclusivity are at work (join us on our terms)
What if serving on the PTA or another community action type group was one of the ways a person could choose to be in leadership in the church? seen as part of the church’s outreach?
Greeting new people – invite visitors to stay seated during passing of the peace; a member will approach you, get to know you a bit, and then they introduce you to the congregation.
Mosaics and Busters (generations):
– see ambiguity
– don’t trust things that appear too perfect (like authenticity)
– are ‘morally relative’ (I disagree; I think we see truth as relative)
– are loyal to our ‘tribe’

The church’s mission cycle:
imagine dots floating in space, pulled into orbit around a common center (Christ)
we are called out (ecclesia) –> we are nurtured and equipped and filled up in the worship service/common life of the church –> we are sent forth in service –> we live a life of faith out in the world/mission, service, and witness –> this in turn calls us (and others) to deeper relationship.
my thought: I have a lot of folks who got engaged in the mission/witness stage, and might even be ‘called out’, putting spiritual language to the work that they do, but don’t engage in worship or the common life of the church. When are they filled and equipped and nourished? How does the cycle continue or is it hitting a roadblock there? If so, why?

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