Transform Your Community – SCD Day 2

Powerful worship with two singers, a guitar, & music on an iPad stand

Observations

  • I think the fake, inauthentic conference atmosphere could be helped if we met in a vital UM church
  • Hotels & conference centers are just too sterile in an era when people need & want to have real, human connections with one another
  • I’ve never experienced better music at a national UM gathering than this one

Transform Your Community – Telley Gladson, St. Mark UMC, Sumter, SC

  • If you want to transform your community, ask God to transform you
  • You don’t have to have a big budget to do ministry in an excellent way
  • Giving to God is a spiritual discipline, not a fundraiser
  • If we are fundraising to pay our light bill, we are a social club, not a church!
  • If your imagination was not inhibited and if resources were not limited, what are the 3 possibilities to transform your community?
  • Hungry people don’t care what committee you serve on

Starting Small Groups – Brad Kalajainen, Cornerstone UMC, Caledonia, MI

  • Whatever happens in the first few weeks of a new group will form opinions forever
  • We do our best to change without injury, working to build a culture of change in the church
  • Every little bit of care counts; there is a pain in every pew
  • How can I reach my community? That is the primary job of a pastor
  • People are ready for groups at different times in their lives
  • Small groups are the frontline of care in our church

Starting a New Campus – Paul Nixon, Trey Hall, Christian Coon

  • Great ministry often happens in networks
  • Methodists are no stranger to multi-site ministries (see original circuit riders)
  • Ministry is a contact sport
  • People will get on the discipleship path wherever they want
  • Multiplying churches are simply organizations
  • DNA of a multiplying church: spiritual intensity, missional alignment, dynamic relationships, cultural openness

Reflections

I found myself reflecting on the discipleship process at Fusion, the way we move people from an unbeliever to a deeply committed follower of Jesus. Since our ultimate goal is to get people into small groups for care, for further spiritual growth and for mission and service in the world, I think we are going to borrow a set of 3 courses many churches use that bridge some fears from unchurched folks in going to a small group. The courses will introduce folks to the Fusion Vision, basic Christian practices, what is a United Methodist, and exploring gifts & graces. And all will have food.

We’ll give it a shot and see what sticks; I do love being a part of something brand new!

I didn’t skimp or trim in any way. Every truth and encouragement that could have made a difference to you, you got. I taught you out in public and I taught you in your homes, urging Jews and Greeks alike to a radical life-change before God and an equally radical trust in our Master Jesus. (Acts 20:20-21)

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