I have continued to pitch micro churches as a way of finding renewal within The United Methodist Church and building Christian communities where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. I am currently working on training leaders to launch these faith communities. I hope that by the end of August there will be three micro churches worshiping regularly. I want to share with you the documents and presentation that I am using as a guide to train these leaders.
These continue to be works in progress. I am working on a document now to address sacraments and will post in a later post when it is prepared. Will you please take a look at these documents and offer your response, ideas or opinions?
I am excited for the potential that exists for micro churches to create new places for new people to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
This is a very rough draft of a document which may guide the life of Resurrection micro church leaders. Will you please share with me your thoughts, feelings and opinions in the comments?
To be considered as a potential micro church leader, a person will:
- affirm the essentials of the Christian faith, enunciated in the historic creeds believed by nearly all Christians, such as the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed
- affirm all 15 core traits of a deeply committed Christian and be willing to grow in all areas.
- regularly practice prayer and Bible study.
- be able to share her or his faith story.
- understand the importance of hospitality and showing concern for others.
- demonstrate willingness to become a spiritual guide and care provider.
- be passionate about discipleship and community.
- be aware of spiritual gifts and open to exploration of them.
- focus on what is helpful and builds up the Body of Christ, and avoid judgmental statements, name-calling, harsh labeling, and efforts to describe anyone holding a different view as “un- Christian”
- embrace the Resurrection membership expectations.
- agree to be held accountable to the Volunteer Leader Covenant of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.
- have previous experience leading adults (i.e. projects, teams or groups – managing, delegation, logistics, details, etc.).
- embrace the importance of establishing a group covenant, celebrate differences in group member’s personalities, appreciate differences in spiritual background and knowledge and be open to helping group members do the same.
- have volunteered for ministry inside and outside a church.
- have previous experience participating in a small group for Bible study and spiritual growth.
- have previous experience leading group prayer.
- have previous experience leading a Bible study.
- have completed Disciple 1 or equivalent.
Expectations – A micro church leader will:
- collaborate with and receive care and guidance from the Pastor for Resurrection Online.
- collaborate and be in community with other micro church leaders.
- facilitate the micro church worship experience.
- communicate with each person in her or his micro church, at least once a week, to:
- inquire how their souls prosper;
- advise, caution, comfort or encourage as necessary.
- commit to developing opportunities for each micro church participant to worship, grow, give and serve.
- communicate with Resurrection at least once a week to share:
- who are active in the life of the micro church,
- any who are in need of additional care or guidance (i.e. illness, spiritual concern, etc.),
- stories of life change, and
- any technical problems or concerns.
- look for a person who could be key in influencing a new circle of people to start the next micro church.
This is a guest blog from Eric Seiberling, who is a change management consultant with the Abreon Group and has a blog, www.itlunatics.com, that deals with creating change in large organizations. Eric was a delegate at the North Central Jurisdiction from the West Ohio Conference and experienced the Episcopal elections first hand. This will be a series of posts about the election process and some thoughts on how to improve it.
Over this summer, I had my first opportunity to experience an Episcopal election first hand. I had the opportunity to experience this process both as a voter and as someone helping run a candidacy. I discovered that there is a fine line that candidates try to walk between making yourself “available” for election and “running” for the office. The process is inherently “political” but also a matter of spiritual “discernment.”
All 11 candidates were exceptional people. They had a breadth of experience and a deep spirituality. It was not so much a matter of “do they have the initial qualifications” but how do I discern differences between the different candidates?
Prior to the Jurisdictional Conference in Grand Rapids, I received a number of mailings, postcards, personal letters, and websites to seek information. Most of them were the equivalent of “plain yogurt.” Everyone used many of the same terms like “bridge builder, visionary, leader, spiritual.” I spent a lot of time trying to read between the lines to figure out the encoded message about what they really believed.
The sessions during Jurisdictional Conference itself provided some additional ways to gain insights, but were limited as well. Most candidates said the same things …”I will gather a team together, listen to the chorus of voices, lead by consensus, etc.” I spent a lot of effort trying to discern the differences between candidates while they were trying to articulate their position in a way that had the broadest appeal. The simple question is, “Is this process the best way to elect a bishop?” So, over the next few weeks, we’ll open a few questions up for discussion …
- What are the qualifications for a bishop?
- Should we judge a candidate on performance? If so, what are the measures?
- What is the right way for the electorate to get to know the candidates?
Do you have any experience at Jurisdictional Conference? Is this common across Jurisdictions? Feel free to post your experiences.