As United Methodists prepare for their General Conference and seek to address rapid decline and low vitality, Dr. George Hunter offers his response and hope as he responds to the problem and specifically the denomination's Call to Action proposals.
Often we find ourselves so busy that we don't make time to read fiction. Any reading we do is for work, not pleasure. But have you considered that reading fiction can be more than just entertaining? Read this article to find out how reading fiction is beneficial to your ministry.
Read about how a new church planter found hope and promise in God's present and active involvement in prevenient grace at The Community in Northern Kentucky.
From discipling in the ways of gang life to discipling in the Church, Jamey Lee, Founder of Jacob's Well in Memphis, TN shares an incredible story of life-change in his Church. Every Sunday, Seedbed will feature stories of how God is working through the people that make up the Church. We want to hear how God is working in your church. If you think your church should be featured in Seedbed's Sunday series then email us at email@example.com.
Do it Alone. Tommy Gray shared in an interview last year that 70 percent of historic church plants in the United Methodist tradition in his region have either failed or never reached membership of over 125 people. They were not accomplishing what they set out to do. As they reflected on what wasn't working Gray shared those things that have made them more successful recently. Among those characteristics I found one unifying theme that seemed to spell doom to new plants; that was the attempt by the planter and expectation of others that he or she could do it alone. There is little that correlates with failure more than isolation of the planter. Note these ways it is possible to try to plant without healthy connection: Without God: Jim Griffith shares that this is most often seen in pastors neglecting the Great Commandment in pursuit of the Great Commission. Without a Confirmed Calling or Gifting: […]
It's vital that the worship in church services fits into the overall theological and practical goals of individual churches. Worship Pastor Drew Causey offers 4 steps that pastors can take to initiate better communication with worship leaders and to encourage a healthy worship program.
Some people would look at the frail older woman’s life and say that she has much to grumble about and little to look forward to. But Inez sees it differently. In fact, she would agree with a spunky 86 year-old woman who once told me that she was frustrated with longtime friends who spent their days sitting around their apartments in their robes watching soap operas. The 86 year-old reprimanded her friends, saying, “You’re dead. You’re just not buried.”
Bishop William Willimon shares that a church without younger people need not lose hope; instead it is best that they get busy building the kingdom with whatever resource they have.
Covenant Church stands out by equipping and sending laity to connect people with Christ in their own passions and communities. “(Evangelism) happens by intentionally creating relationships with people who share a common interest,” said Pastor of Congregational Ministries Jay Buckingham. “Our groups ministry allows leaders to build these relationships, and in the process, help group members move one step closer to Christ.” We encourage our members to lead semester-long groups centered on their passions. We believe those passions are given to them by the Lord and that He can take a person’s passion (motorcycle riding, sewing, baking, etc.) and use it to connect people to Himself and to the body of Christ. Most small groups systems are content driven from the top down. This system is relationship driven from the bottom up. One of my favorite stories about group discipleship begins with a husband and wife. The wife has been a committed […]
It seems like there’s always another local church in the news for pulling some outlandish stunt or another. And sometimes its hard to tell what their intention was, and other times its pretty clear that they were looking to get in the news. One way we can begin interpreting these surprising actions by a local church is to examine their beliefs and determine whether they would be considered “orthodox”. Orthodoxy can be defined as the “right belief” about God and is typically characterized by the ancient creeds of the church. To compliment their orthodox belief, we can then consider the “orthopraxis”, or the “right practice”, of the church. Typically the orthopraxis of the local church is expressed in much broader terms than orthodoxy, and of the two is what flexes as local churches contextualize their practices to reach new members. We have found 7 examples of surprising things that churches have done to attract […]