In the UMC, we have Path One to develop new congregations. What about Path Two to strengthen existing churches? As a Congregational Developer who focuses primarily on supporting vitality of already existing congregations, I believe that this proposal from Rev. Dr. Phil Schroeder, Director of Congregational Development of the North Georgia Conference, is well worth considering. My experience says that existing congregations receive a new hope for the future when the Annual Conference partners to help. Here is the substitute motion:
As I have visited with churches across our annual conference, I have heard a theme arise from our leaders that they would like more training. With a new year beginning, many of our church members will be stepping into leadership roles that are new to them. These faithful members are answering a call to serve God, and vital congregations will ensure that they have the support and leadership training they need to fulfill their responsibilities. Thankfully, there are several great leadership training resources available to help new leaders become acquainted with their new roles:
The Alabama – West Florida Conference has a contract with Mission Insite, a demographic company, to help us understand our ministry area, and one of the reports lists reasons people do not go to church. Here are the top three with some reflections on each.
#3. Don’t trust religious leaders.
In Matthew 6:21, we learn “21 …where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There are many ways to reflect on this verse, but after seeing a credit card commercial asking, “What’s in Your Wallet?” I have realized that our wallets are like modern-day treasure chests and point to where our hearts are. Let’s open up our wallets and prayerfully reflect on the things we find inside. I will use my wallet as an example.
In my wallet, I have some cash (and a debit card that links to stored cash). Money represents the fruit of our labors. Give thanks for our abundance, and ask for help in our financial needs. Let us lift up our work, and our investments to God.
I love my Android smart phone and tablet, but in order to get them to really help my productivity, I had to find the right apps. There are a handful of apps for pastors that have completely changed the way I operate on a daily basis, and I thought I would share them you: