My friend, who had been serving as a volunteer, was finally forced to realize that the church was not really interested in this service even though it was being strongly attended! Stories like that are probably easy for any of us to see as pretty ridiculous.
But it is startling to realize that the people in that church did not see that they were doing anything wrong. The final thought I had from this chapter was a sort of canary in the coal mine. I think this is very difficult to measure as the pastor, at least on a week by week basis. But, I think far too many people come to worship today out of habit or out of a sense of obligation. I would be blessed if you would share experiences or ways in which you have seen congregations move towards passionate worship.
And of course, please share any other thoughts you have. I thought I would try to blog my way through the book the day after our discussion. The first thing I learned from this chapter is that radical hospitality is about loving people as Christ loves them, not about perfecting a technique for making people want to come to your church. What really hit me as I read this chapter is the difference between reaching out because we need new people to come to our church, or reaching out because we really believe that we have something to offer that will bless others.
Because this is a clergy group, I guess I found myself thinking about hospitality as it relates to the way clergy act around each other and the way that clergy treat new comers.
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I had a few general thoughts in this area:. This may sound shrill or too harsh. That is not my intent. I just think we can do better. My point is, if pastors are to play a leading role in helping their congregations practice radical hospitality, we may need to work on fostering a culture of radical hospitality at the conference level. We may need to learn how to really love and care for one another first. We say Yes to God and open ourselves to the spiritual life.
Is there a consistent plan for welcoming visitors who attend any church ministry? Talk about what you see, what you smell, what you hear, what you notice that is welcoming and inviting and helpful, and what you find confusing or uninviting or forbidding. Imagine moving through the building from the point of view of a child, a teenager, a mother with a baby, and a person with a disability. Love that Faileth Not. Love never Fails 1 Corinthians Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding.
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Discovering the Heart of God Part 27 Love - 3. Introduction One of our greatest needs as human beings is to be loved. We all need love. We need to know. A Gospel Dilemma: If the Gospel changes us internally so that we begin to desire what is right; why are there so many behavioral commands in The Bible,. My soul longs, faints for the courts of the Lord. James Teaches Faith and Works James James What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden… 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see.
The following link takes you to Mission Insite for more information. Path One is the general church initiative for new church starts, coordinated through the General Board of Discipleship.
Path One offers a variety of resources for conferences related to church planting. Here is the link:. The following links are to several new church starts in Missouri. As you review the websites, think about how different the approach and mission field are for new churches as compared to existing congregations. New churches focus more on the unchurched, on younger generations, and on segments of the population that established churches have difficulty reaching.
The congregation has now begun to start new congregations at the rate of about one every two or three years. Here is the good-humored send-off video they prepared as their associate pastor, Jimmy Cooper, prepared to launch the newest church.
The group near the end of the video is the launch team from Morningstar. This is a sample session from the Facilitator Guide. Here is an overview of the Small Church Initiative. The report names areas of strength and concerns, and then presents five specific prescriptions. The congregation has a few weeks to discuss and consider the prescriptions, and then they are asked to vote up or down on the entire list at a called session of the church conference.
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If they accept the prescriptions, the congregation receives a coach and the pastor enters a peer mentoring group as support in following the prescriptions. Below are Consultation Reports from two congregations. Like mystery shoppers in the world of retail, the mystery visitors are multiple trained people who engage the congregation numerous times over a series of weeks as visitors, callers, etc, at worship, in small groups, and other ministries. No one at the church knows who or when visitors may appear, and the final report is presented at the consultation weekend.
It lists the preparation a congregation must undergo to accept an consultation. People are reminded of their tasks, and information is given about the process, and basic information about church systems and processes are introduced. Attached is an outline and purpose statement for the event. A outside consultant, preacher, or teacher leads the Day of Prayer for the congregation. Attached is an overview of the purpose and content of the Day of Prayer and Repentance.
Overview of Clergy Systems- Video Introducing Clergy Systems This brief video includes Robert Schnase describing the fourth lever, a strategy for reforming clergy systems. Overview of Clergy Systems- PowerPoint This brief series of powerpoint slides can be used for those who want to introduce the various components of the clergy systems as they begin discussion of this lever. Overview of Clergy Systems- Clergy Deployment Study Clergy Deployment Study—in May, , the Missouri Conference contracted with the Lewis Center for Church Leadership to provide an analysis and recommendations related to the patterns of clergy deployment for the future, entitled Changes in Congregations, Clergy, and Deployment , and the attached charts.
All conferences in the South Central Jurisdiction had such a completed, and the results help in evaluating and planning for how to reform clergy systems. Overview of Clergy Systems- Ecosystem as a New Paradigm of Clergy Systems Bishop Janice Huie, in this essay entitled "A New Paradigm for Clergy Leadership: Cultivating an Ecosystem of Excellence," invites us to think in fundamentally different ways about how we cultivate clergy, leaving behind the old "clergy pipeline" metaphor for a fresh understanding of ecosystems.
Recruitment- The Hannah Project The Hannah Project invites congregations to participate in identifying gifted people for ministry and to stimulate consideration of a call to Christian service. This brochure serves to introduce the program to congregations in the Missouri Conference. Recruitment- Conference Website on The Call to Ministry The Missouri Conference designed this website for those in the early stages of discerning a call to ministry who are looking for resources or ideas.
We've used video of clergy to help people explore their call.
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We also launched our own conference-wide Exploration events for people of all ages contemplating the call to ministry. Attached is a brochure and outline of the event, which is held in years when a national event is not offered. The Candidacy Process- The Candidacy Summit Because the responsibility for candidacy rests with District Committees, we have struggled to bring consistency to the process across twelve districts. We now offer a Candidacy Summit that brings all candidates together in one place to receive common information and complete required forms and psychological profiles in one retreat, supported by clergy and with excellent music and worship.
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations: Radical Hospitality July 23,
The Candidacy Process- Path for Candidacy Here's our checklist, similar to that of many other conferences, which we provide to help candidates understand and navigate the complexities of the ordination processes. While I disagree about a few of Dr. Schmidt's recommendations, I find his description of the challenges compelling and helpful. Seminary Education- Dr. Daniel Aleshire Article This document provides one of the keenest and most concise statements of the challenge and future of seminary education.
Education and Preparation- Seminary Internships In cooperation with the Missouri United Methodist Foundation, the conference sponsors seminary internships during the summer to give students greater field experience. Residents in Ministry We've adjusted our Residents in Ministry program to focus more on developing the practical leadership skills that may not have been addressed in seminary or previous experience.
We now configure our sessions to align with our Pastoral Leadership Development groups. Order of Elders, Deacons, Local Pastors- Converge We have done away with an older style Ministers School and replaced it with high quality events that bring together clergy of all statuses for worship, music, learning, and fun. Converge has been well attended and deeply appreciated. Here are a couple brochures from recent events. The Appointment System- Appointment Guidelines and Criteria These pages are reviewed and revised each year as the cabinet begins the appointment process. These values and expectations drive the process.
We refine the language a little each year, and we review these processes and criteria at the end of the appointment season to evaluate how faithful we've been to these guidelines. The Appointment System- The Selection of District Superintendents The bishop consults with the cabinet on the appointment of District Superintendents and invites nominations in writing.