Category Archives: Missions & Evangelism

Trends and Churches. My recent article.

I have been writing for the UM GBOD Young Adult Network for a few weeks now.  Each week I’ve sent a question, based out of the article, to the discussion board.  We’ve had some wonderful discussions!  I’ve also “met” some great folks.  One of which is a young student pastor in seminary, Mellisa.  Check out her blog.

The response to this particular article has been quite varied.  I expected that it may have been a bit edgy, possibly not well communicated; however, I think it’s alright.  It has gotten people talking on many levels and opinions.

Here is the link to my article.  Please check out the discussion, too.

This is what Rev. Logue had to say regarding the article.

Advertisements

The Evangelism Team

As part of my program ministry responsibilities, I am to oversee the Evangelism Committee (team). This is one of the most exciting responsibilities that I have. Our committee has had some trouble this year and we wanted to breathe some new life into it and get it moving.

Now this is nothing new, but we laid some exciting ground work for the team.

We identified our responsibilities:

To lead the church in the following areas–welcoming, incorporating regular attendees and new members into the church, equipping the church membership for evangelism, sending the church out into the community. (please note the active verbs)

We needed to develop an action plan. We will do it in these steps:

  1. Build a team
  2. Assess the current reality
  3. Develop a shared vision
  4. Establish a plan
  5. Set the plan into motion
  6. Maintain and evaluate the plan

(again, note the active verbs)

I know this isn’t new at all, but evangelism can be kind of amorphous. It was nice for us to place a little structure on it. I guess I am pretty Methodist…

Churches, listen to the marketing buzz…

      “What has been will be again,
       what has been done will be done again;
       there is nothing new under the sun. ” –Ecclesiastes

In marketing, the loudest voices point out the mundane and obvious that gets overlooked.  Seth Godin suggests that sometimes things get “broken” because they were fixed at one time but later the culture changes and it breaks again.  He is focusing mainly on marketing.

I have seen alot of parallels between what is going on in marketing blogs to the struggles we are having in church blogs.  Shall we study each other and take each other’s advice?  I suggest you spend some time at Seth’s blog, and some others including Creating Passionate Users and Gaping Void.  Watch out for some language.  If you can handle it the ideas are great.

South Georgia Bloggers?

Do you know of any other South Georgia Conference UM bloggers?  Right now, Jay is the only pastor I know that blogs.  I know of a few staff members.  Let me know.

Institutionalized

I have great dreams, wonderful visions and great hope. I get scared now because sometimes I see them fade slightly behind the institution of “church.” Pray that I can hear the pure voice of God and not the call of the institution…

Update: I’ve been posting different questions about people’s opinions on church, worship, etc. The responses that I have gotten, as well as some of the posts that I have seen across the blogsphere have been really interesting. Young adult issues and music/worship style issues are very common in local churches. Aren’t they often divisive issues? I know I get caught up in them. I know that I forget the simplistic faith that I had when I first saw God. When I’ve focused on these issues, I’ve fostered division among the people of God. Do we need to change our style of worship or do we need to capture a spirit of worship? Do we need a young adult group or do we need to recapture a spirit of honest fellowship and evangelism?

The simplest truths are the easiest to forget. I heard these truths from my blog friends this week:

“I asked God, “What do you want me to do…I heard love me. Spend time with me. Spend time getting to know me. Everything else will follow.” –Elizabeth Ruff. She blogs Reflections in Walking With God

“Worship means to “give worth” to something or to “express worth.” So to worship God means that we express how much He is worth to us. Music is a great way to do that, but certainly not the only way. I myself feel most worshipful in sharing Christ with someone else (or a whole group of people), whether it be by music or some other means” –Dave Herndon. He is the worship leader at The Chapel (you’ve seen him at the GP). He blogs at daveherndon.wordpress.com

“As a worship leader (as my profession) I view my role not to simply lead people in songs, but to direct people to God’s greatness, make them aware of their ability to personally encounter Him, and then create an environment for them to have a personal encounter with Him. This happens through prayer, through solitude and silence, through studying His word, and, yes, through song. As Christians, our whole life is worship (Romans 12).”–Dave Herndon again, daveherndon.wordpress.com&

“I think the UMC needs to hear the heart beat of worship…We too often confine “worship” to mean a Sunday service and we have wars over what style it should be. But the style of worship is not traditional or contemporary it is life. Worship is a lifestyle. Too much of what we do in the name of worship is fake and comes across simply as a production or show. What the world needs is real. People being loved like they are by people who are being who they truly are. That is what changes lives.”–Jay Hanson. He is the pastor at The Chapel. He blogs at A Spiritual Cup of Coffee

Please, before you start thinking of ways to change the church or “fix” it, spend some time studying your Bible, praying, meditating on God in solitude, and just simply loving people. Be a child of God, not a child of an institution.

Oh, the End of the World…

N. Korea Warns of Nuclear War if Attacked.

It’s headlines like these that remind me of the joy I have in Jesus. Without the assurance of salvation and holiness, the fears that are everywhere in the media could easily take over my soul.

	"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine...
	Perfect submission, all is at rest;
	I in my Savior am happy and blest,
	watching and waiting, looking above,
	filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
	(Refrain)"   --Blessed Assurance Fanny J. Crosby

How many people do we pass by day-to-day that are sick to death with worry and anxiety about how much time is left in the world for them and whether or not ther is any value in their life? How much time do we have left? Is it not worth loving the unloveable and reaching outside of our comfort so that they can know salvation?

Study Shows Lonliness on the Rise

An article from the Washington Post claims that "social isolation is growing." A study conducted by leading university sociologists says that American's are getting lonlier.

"Americans go on 60 percent fewer picnics today and families eat dinner together 40 percent less often compared with 1965, he said. They are less likely to meet at clubs or go bowling in groups. Putnam has estimated that every 10-minute increase in commutes makes it 10 percent less likely that people will establish and maintain close social ties"

I wonder how many of these isolated and lonely people exist around me. I wonder, on any given Sunday, how many of these people are sittiing in the pews of my church and other United Methodist Churches around the United States. I remember Jenny Jackson-Adam's sermon from this year at the SGA Annual Conference. She was preaching on Luke 19:1-10, the story of Zacchaeus in the tree. Zacchaeus was lonely and in pain–in order to see Jesus, he climbed up in a tree. No one saw him but Jesus. Rev. Jackson-Adams called us to look around us and see how many people around us were hiding in trees and call them out of there. How many lonely, isolated people are "hiding in trees" around you?

Isolation and the Internet:

"But University of Toronto sociologist Barry Wellman questioned whether the study's focus on intimate ties means that social ties in general are fraying. He said people's overall ties are actually growing, compared with previous decades, thanks in part to the Internet. Wellman has calculated that the average person today has about 250 ties with friends and relatives."

The internet is an amazing tool for connectivity. How can we use it? How can we also keep it from being substitute to real human connection?