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Bringing change to the small membership church

Micki McCorkle

6/30/2014

A clergy perspective In some ways, change is change, and change can be difficult no matter what size of congregation we are in. Church growth people tell us all the time that we need to do things like the following to bring creative change: Prayer for all and at all times – before, during and after Know your context – who is really in the community and what are their needs? Don’t do stuff for yourselves, do things for the community – outreach Have a vision/mission and stick with it.  Focus and ...


Celebrate recovery program shows promise in Five Rivers District

6/30/2014

What is the outcome or result of one changed life? I think that is what “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the well known, 1946 Christmas classic, was based upon. One life, and all the people one life touches. Sometimes we focus on the numbers, while many of the most dramatic changes we cannot see immediately. They begin one, often painful, and time intensive change, in one person at a time. The changes continue producing fruit for generations and touching unlimited numbers of people. How do you measure ...


After the moving truck leaves

6/27/2014

After the moving truck leaves, the real work of building relationships between a new pastor and the congregation begins. The first three months of a new appointment are crucial to the future of the ministry of the congregation. Church consultant, Alice Mann, has said that the most important work of a new pastor is to “excavate the culture of the congregation.” What does that look like? Both the pastor and the congregation have a role to play. Traditions First, the pastor needs to learn about ...


The global village at our doorstep

Kalaba Chali

6/27/2014

Exploring other cultures no longer means foreign mission work A few decades ago, being interested in other cultures than our own meant one is called to foreign missions. That has changed in the United States. First, demographic change and cultural diversity became more visible in urban areas. Recently, even in more rural communities we hear more languages being spoken. In many of our communities it is like we are experiencing Pentecost every day! A couple of months ago, when I visited some of ...


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...


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 ...


"Going Jesus" on your community

Nathan D. Stanton

2/28/2014

After this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate in the north city wall is a pool with the Aramaic name Bethsaida. It had five covered porches, and a crowd of people who were sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed sat there.  A certain man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, knowing that he had already been there a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”7 The sick man answered him, “...


High school lunch goes ecumenical

2/28/2014

Cimarron, Kan., UMC joins with the community to reach out to high school youth Wednesday lunch for high school students in Cimarron, Kan., has a special flavor, thanks to a community ministry begun in the 1990s. Through a cooperative arrangement with the school district, students may walk the five blocks to Cimarron United Methodist Church, where a group of women has prepared a home-cooked meal for as many as 120 students. The meal is served family-style by the pastors in the community, ...


Want to read more on connecting with your community?

2/28/2014

If you or a group in your church would like to read more about connecting with your community, here’s a bibliography of books our staff has found helpful. Perhaps one would be a good study for your church council or mission team. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, John C. Maxwell, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2010.  This is a book for those wishing to improve their ability to connect with others in many different context. It’s described as a practical, step by step guide for relating better. The...


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