By Rev. J. Anthony Boger, Associate Director of New Ministries of the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church
I have been feeling, lately, a great stirring in my heart because of our transformative Conference vision to establish several new worshipping communities (Church plants, satellites, pop-up worship, fresh expressions, Messy Churches, House Churches, Coffee Houses, etc…) in each District over the next few years. This vision is one that is inclusive, seeking a diverse array of ministry forms, shapes, and sizes, and also specific, empowering pastors, churches, and communities for kingdom building, according to the needs of each particular context of ministry.
What We Know: The work of the church is challenging. There are no “one size fits all” ministries and our resources seem limited. But, we know that, in God’s abundance, we have all that we need to move out in faith to start new ministries, believing that “God’s Word will not return unto Him void.” We know that “money follows ministry” and our future investments will be poured out where there is a spiritual ROI (return on investment).
What We Wish: As Rev. John Farley, South District Superintendent, recently preached from Isaiah 43:18-19, we wish to remind people that God’s “new thing” is able to surpass the blessings of any past that we might remember with nostalgia. We wish to look forward to even greater excitement and joy in ministry. We wish to bridge the divide between the traditional church with the contemporary church by creating worship opportunities that promote healing for the purpose of moving forward. We wish to focus on the task at hand without getting caught up with the issues that threaten to divide us.
What We Need: Jesus once said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…” What we need are committed, holy spirit driven planters and partners who believe that the church’s future is that of thriving. We need people who are courageous and fearless when it comes to sharing their faith, without being dogmatic or judgmental. We need loving people who are not afraid to fail and who are also not afraid to succeed. We need financial investors who are willing to invest financially in the kingdom building process in new and innovative ways. If any of this describes you or someone you know, we need to hear from you.
The time is now to step into God’s current of Transforming Vital Congregations and Starting New Faith Communities.