Earlier this week, I met with the Resurrection West Missions team. This is a fantastic group of people in the congregation who are committed to transforming communities. This team is responsible for one of the strategic objectives that we have as a congregation at West for this year. Here it is:
“In order to be more visible and active in our community through service, we will increase mission participation so that 75% of the worship attendance serves outside the walls of the church by 12/31/2011. As we open our doors to the new facility, we not only want to invite our neighbors in but also to send our congregation out.”
I am excited by this objective and achieving it will make a positive impact on our congregation as well as the surrounding community.
A local church with a mission (Why do we exist?) and a vision (Where are we going?) is more likely to be a vital congregation. The clarity of purpose and direction helps shape the life of the congregation in both subtle and significant ways. With the lack of a clear statement that people can remember and understand the leadership may go from one “next best thing” to another in ministry and never realize their full potential as a congregation.
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection where I am currently serving has as a mission (or purpose) statement: Building a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.
This week, I put together some roles for serving with Resurrection Online. I am excited about the potential here. Find out more at Resurrection Online Mission + Service. Here is the text from the site:
Resurrection Online is looking for people to be part of building a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. Here are some ways that you can get involved…
If you are in the Kansas City area, you can connect with missions opportunities at www.cor.org/missions. If you are outside the Kansas City area or unable to participate in those opportunities, will you please consider one of the following opportunities to serve?
- Facebook Moderator: As a Facebook Moderator, you will read and respond, in a loving way to Facebook messages and ensure all comments are responded to quickly.
- Facebook Prayer Partner: As a Prayer Partner you will pray for services while they are live and send daily prayer messages to those connected with the Resurrection Online Facebook page.
- Social Media Editor: As a Social Media Editor you will modify eNote and notes from worship to compose social media posts. You will design social media posts to be conversational and include links in posts that allow further exploration on posted content.
- Tech Admin: As a Tech Admin, you will upload posts from the Social Media Editors into HootSuite and schedule them for publication.
Sign up for these opportunities at http://goo.gl/MpR0g.
If you are in the Kansas City area, you can get connected with opportunities to serve by visiting www.cor.org/missions. If you are living outside the Kansas City area, you may consider serving in person in one of the following ways:
- Baking cookies for your neighbors
- Donating canned goods to a local food bank
- Helping an elderly person with work around their yard or home.
Will you consider ways to bless your neighbors or serve others in your local community? If you are serving God in your community through Resurrection Online will you please mail Pastor Andrew Conard to share your story?
There are clear indicators of effective clergy that would ensure that she or he would receive an appointment regardless of whether her or his appointment is guaranteed in the United Methodist Church. There are also churches that are more and less healthy. In April, the Connectional Table of the United Methodist Church suggested that there are five areas to be measured in a church:
- worship attendance
- disciples engaged in mission
- professions of faith
- mission giving
- spiritual / discipleship formation groups.
Unhealthy churches are those that are not breaking even or growing in these areas. Other, less official indicators include:
- Requesting that 3 of the last 5 appointed pastors move in less than two years.
- No clear mission or vision.
- Unwelcoming to first time guests.
What would you add to this list?
I had a great time with some amazing youth last week. 48 students and 12 adults traveled from Resurrection to Lake Charles, Louisiana on Wednesday, July 8 and arrived back in town on Tuesday, July 14. I had the privilege of building relationships with both students and adult leaders. Out of the many things that I experienced, here are a couple great things:
- People that care have an amazing ability to self organize and get things done. I witnessed this at both the work site where I served and among the entire group. These students care about serving God and being in relationship with others.
- There is a nearly unlimited potential for each of these students. As life goes on, each of us has the chance to say yes to some things which means saying no to other things. For each of these students the future is wide open. There are very few things which might not be possible for any of them. There are students with whom I had the privilege to be on the trip who have clear gifts for ministry. I am excited about the future for them.
I was anxious before the trip as it was the first mission trip on which I had served as a leader. It was also the most significant leadership that I have had with students at Resurrection. The trip was amazing for me and a highlight of the year. Thanks to each of you – students and adults – who contributed to the experience. It is an honor to serve Christ with you.
Tomorrow morning I am headed out with a team of students from Resurrection on a mission trip to the Gulf Coast. We will be back next week.
It is my first mission trip since being appointed to Resurrection.
I am excited and anticipating God’s work within and without.
I invite your prayers for the team as we travel and serve.
I am going to take a blogging break while away and will provide an update when I get back.
I am headed to the Gulf Coast on a Mission Trip with RezLife (student ministries at Resurrection) July 8 to 14. Here is some information from the website:
Over the last several years the Gulf Coast has been hit with many strong hurricanes. Many communities were and still are devastated. These communities are cleaning up and people are rebuilding their lives after these hurricanes. Church of the Resurrection continues to send volunteer teams to the gulf region. This summer rezlife will again join in this effort by sending a team to Lake Charles, LA.
During our mission we will take on whatever assignments are available at the time of their trip, but hope to focus our efforts on helping homeowners with rebuilding.
I am headed to an informational meeting tonight at the church. I am excited to be a part of this experience.
And I’ll admit, I am looking forward to some in person Wisdom for the People.