A Season of Transition

It is a season of transition. I have had the opportunity to serve as the preacher at Berryton United Methodist Church since July 1, 2018. On Sunday, I announced during worship that I have received a new appointment from Bishop Ruben Saenz to serve as the pastor at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Topeka beginning July 1, 2019. I will miss the good people of Berryton and am grateful for the care our family has received from both the church and community. I look forward to meeting the people of Susanna Wesley, learning more about the ministries, traditions, hopes, and dreams of the congregation, and continuing to reach the mission field with the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ. I am also looking forward to learning from Rev. Maria Campbell who has served Susanna Wesley faithfully these past seven years!

The Staff Parish team at Berryton UMC has been in conversation with our District Superintendent, Rev. Kay Scarbrough, about who will be appointed to serve as the next pastor. We will share that news when it is available. Will you take a moment to pray for our community, congregations, Bishop, District Superintendents and our family?

If you would like to get or stay connected with me, here are a few ways:

I am committed to making this transition in the best possible way, including saying goodbye, grieving, finding away in the “in-between” space, saying hello, and engaging new beginnings.

Transition Time

So, once again it is time for me to start up my blog. It has, for the most part, languished for several years. The impetus to begin again is that it is transition time. I have been appointed to serve as the preacher at Berryton United Methodist Church beginning July 1. I will officially depart my role as preacher at First UMC El Dorado the day before, though we will have moved to Topeka several weeks before that. It has been a long road to this point and there is a long road ahead. All is well, though. God walks with our family and with the people Butler and Shawnee counties each day and will continue in the days ahead. If you would like to get or stay connected with me, there are a number of ways that I will suggest for you:

Website

You can find my personal website and blog at www.AndrewConard.com. I have written on a wide variety of topics over the years and am going to work to get back in the habit.

Verse Images

This is a side project that I started at the beginning of 2018. It exists to share Bible verse images and videos that are encouraging, inspiring, and challenging. You can connect there in a variety of ways:

Preacher Stories

I have had intentions for some years to start a podcast. The latest iteration is Preacher Stories, which you can find here.

Social Media

Of course, you can connect with me in a variety of ways on social media as well:

  • Facebook Page – Professional stuff, bible verses, articles, and more.
  • Twitter – Professional stuff, bible verses, articles, and more.
  • Instagram – Photos, verse images, and more.

Monetary Incentive for Spiritual Growth?

Image representing stickK as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I invite you to take a look at http://www.stickk.com. Here is their mission:

stickK empowers you to better your lifestyle. We offer you the opportunity, through ‘Commitment Contracts’, to show to yourself and others the value you put on achieving your goals.

Basically you put money down on reaching goals and if you don’t make them you have to start paying your friends or others with whom you have made a commitment contract. This financially incentivizes all kinds of things.

Would this work for spiritual growth? Say for example, a congregant put out a contract that she or he would be in church every weekend unless sick or out of town. Maybe it is reading the Bible or being present in a small group.

I do not believe that this makes sense in the long term. However, for someone that is starting a habit it may actually be helpful.

What are your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this?

Resurrection Online’s Five Year Plan

Stained glass (detail) in the Chappel of Eyneb...
Image via Wikipedia

I was inspired by Craig Groeschel‘s post, The Death of the Five-Year Plan.

“Instead of planning for specific buildings, campuses, staff roles, and outreach, I’m planning to be prepared for opportunities that I can’t name today. We are creating margin and planning to respond quickly to ideas that we don’t yet have.

Speed, agility, flexibility, and financial margin are far better than a detailed road map.”

This is a great articulation of what I believe will be most helpful both at Resurrection Online and at any of the churches that I will serve in the future. It is not helpful to become captive to a vision of the future that includes tangible specifics more than five away. So are you ready for it?

Here is Resurrection’s Online five year plan:

The Church Should Be More Like @Gowalla

One of the latest waves in social media is location based services like Gowalla and Foursquare. The concept is to use your mobile device to “Check In” to locations that you visit and use it as a tool to connect with people and places. Gowalla recently released an application programming interface (API) to allow other applications to be developed that link to data from Gowalla. The guidelines for using the API, from the website, are:

  • Check in where the user actually is
  • Don’t encourage checking in where the user isn’t
  • Never check in without permission from the user
  • Encourage social behavior, discourage bot-like behavior
  • Rapid, repeated checkins are not tolerated
  • Use the API responsibly

These were first brought to my attention from  this article on TechCrunch, which summarizes the API Guidelines in this way, “Or to put it more succinctly: authenticity.” You have to actually be at a location to check in. I can’t check in to a location in St. Louis if I am in Kansas City.

Authenticity.

This is why the church should be more like Gowalla – connect real people in real places with a real God.

Resurrection Online at Leadership Institute 2010 #li2010

I am excited about the Leadership Institute 2010, October 7 and 8 in Leawood, KS. I am going to be presenting a workshop on social media strategy and partnering with Clif Guy, Director of IT to lead a pre-institute about online ministry. Here are the descriptions of the workshops that I will be leading. Will you join me in these sessions? More online at http://www.cor.org/li2010.

Workshop, Session 2 – Social Media Strategy 101

Should the pastor of a church have a blog? Why would my church want to use Twitter or Facebook? In this session, we will consider the purpose of social media and how it might be leveraged to build community and make ministry happen in your local church.

Pre-Institute, Afternoon Session – From the Church Website to Online Ministry

The Internet now enables more ways of reaching, engaging, and connecting people than ever before.  Led by the pastor of Resurrection Online and Resurrection’s IT Director, this pre-Institute workshop will cover the basics of church websites; then it will move on to strategies for using streaming video and social media to advance all aspects of your church’s ministry.

An Open Invitation to Connection

I am glad that you read my blog and I would enjoy being more connected with you. I invite you to connect with me in the following ways:

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