Blog Posts


Resources for shaping discipleship

5/29/2014

Recent works suitable for small group study Turning attenders into disciples is a process, which most often involves conversation in a small group setting. If you’re looking for resources to facilitate those conversations, here are a couple of recent releases by Great Plains authors that are worth checking out. The Wesleyan Way First, is “The Wesleyan Way,” a small group study authored by Bishop Scott Jones and released last October. This eight-session study uses Scripture, a study book authored...


Spiritual formation in small congregations

5/29/2014

Spiritual formation/prayer practices Spiritual formation can be understood simply as cultivating or deepening a personal relationship with God. In the Old Testament, God spoke to Elijah (I Kings 19:17), not in wind, fire or earthquake, but (my favorite translation) in “the sound of sheer silence” (NRSV) or perhaps more familiarly, “a still small voice.” (KJV) The Psalmist, speaking for God says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Jesus modeled prayer for his disciples, ancient and...


Beaver Crossing recovery -- despair and relief

5/16/2014

Roads to to Beaver Crossing are beginning to look somewhat normal, but access to the town is still being closely monitored by the National Guard as the 8 p.m. curfew is still in effect. Streets are lined with debris. Just behind the United Methodist parsonage there is an ever-growing pile that is now taller than a two-story house. Fatigue is evident on the faces of everyone after a long week of shock, sorting, grieving what was lost -- loss of privacy and comfort, and the sheer effort of digging...


Always prepared ...

4/29/2014

Mindy Corporon gives faith statement “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect … . ”   I Peter 3:15 (NIV) In the midst of unimaginable shock and grief, Mindy Corporon of Overland Park, Kan., recently became the embodiment of this scripture when she stepped forward to share her faith after her son and father were killed in a hate crime at the ...


Desmond Tutu's calling

Kalaba Chali

4/29/2014

  Faith sharing and missions   Today Christians are more fervent than ever about engaging in short and long-term missions. Some are motivated to share God’s faith with others. Others are attracted to mission because of their passion to change the world. Mission becomes faith sharing when we see it as a journey of spiritual awakening where the missioner and the local community experience transformation through their encounter. As people in mission, we often overlook the power of sharing...


In the midst of ruins

4/29/2014

Faith sharing with words and deeds So let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise through him, which is the fruit from our lips that confess his name.  Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices. Hebrews 13:15-16 I’m challenged by what it means to do good and share with others what we have. This passage seems to suggest that words praising God and the kindness we share with others are not separate from each other, but are ...


Kansas author offers faith-sharing poetry

Nathan D. Stanton

4/29/2014

Poems by Millie Horlacher (PDF) specific to faith sharing ministry. About the author Millie Horlacher, a certified lay speaker, conducts spiritual growth studies and retreats. She has served as a spiritual growth coordinator for United Methodist Women on local, district, and conference levels. Horlacher's meditations and poetry have appeared in Capper's Weekly, Alive Now, and other church publications. She and her husband, Wayne, live in Colby, Kansas. They have three children and five ...


Pre-Christian faith sharing

4/29/2014

Faith-sharing in a “pre-Christian” context There has been much talk over the past 5-10 years, from church-growth experts and church futurists, lamenting the reality that we now live at a time in which the church has lost relevance, credibility and position in both culture and society. These experts tell us that we now live in, among other things, what could only be identified as a “post-Christian” era. Likewise, word has it, that in this “post-Christian” era, the church is in the process of “...


An authentic walk in the Word

Nathan D. Stanton

3/31/2014

A story of Mike Cather's spiritual leadership journey (photo left). Standing six foot five inches, Mike Cather is easily located in a crowd. The former college basketball player is a full-time farmer, father, husband and long-time lay leader at Anthony United Methodist Church, in Harper County, Kansas.  Mike has been involved with United Methodist ministry his whole life growing up United Methodist as a child and a youth. He accepted Christ at the age of fifteen while surrounded by his ...


Building leaders and a church one group at a time

Nathan D. Stanton

3/31/2014

(How small groups helped the new church start called Water's Edge UMC, in Omaha, build a congregation.) The early Methodist movement was a movement of small groups. John Wesley would not spend time on people if they would not meet in the class meeting: May 26, 1759...”I found the little society which I had joined here two years since had soon split in pieces. In the afternoon I met several of the members of the praying societies: and showed them what Christian fellowship was, and what need they ...


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