Archive for April, 2012

Not only is the United Methodist Church busy planting churches outside the U.S., its conferences are actively planting new churches within the United States.  Path 1, the denomination’s church-planting arm, has recently reported that the U.S. conferences are planting over 11 new congregations each month.  Over the past four years over 600 new congregations have been launched.

The Indiana Conference is a part of this effort.  The conference has chartered Fort Wayne Eglesia Getsemani UMC and Indianapolis Movie Theater UMC (MTC)  in 2008, New Albany Faithpoint UMC in 2009, Valparaiso New Song Fellowship UMC in 2010, and started a new church called The Grove UMC on the south side of Indianapolis (Johnson County) in 2011.

In addition to these efforts, the conference has had several churches launch off-site congregations, including Fort Wayne Sonrise UMC’s two additional campuses, Selma UMC’s Muncie campus called The Compass Church, and Indianapolis Barnes UMC’s two African-American campuses.  The conference even had a web-based congregation established called Bluevine, started as an internet community of St. Lukes UMC in Indianapolis.

In addition, in 2012 new congregations have been launched in Gary (African-American) and in Hammond (Hispanic).  Additional congregations are presently being developed in Marion and Indianapolis (both Hispanic), Fort Wayne (multi-ethnic), as well as projects just emerging in Lafayette and Lake Station (both Hispanic).

Could the Indiana Conference, as well as the United Methodist Church, be on the verge of a church-planting movement?  May we pray it is! 

— Ed Fenstermacher, Assoc. Director of Church Development for the Indiana Conference UMC

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United Methodist Church growing outside U.S.

Posted: April 23, 2012 by efenster in Information

United Methodist are gathering from around the world for the denomination’s General Conference being held in Tampa, Florida, April 24-May 4th.   Over 40% of the delegates attending are from outside the United States.  This number continues to rise as the church outside the U.S. continues to dramatically grow.  As a result of non-U.S. growth, the United Methodist Church has enjoyed eight consecutive years of membership growth!   Much of this growth can be attributed to church planting.

According to the General Board of Global Ministries’ report to the General Conference, the past four year 400 new United Methodist churches have been planted outside the U.S.  Here are some of what’s happening in some parts of the world…

Cambodia— 150 new UMC’s since 1989.  Vietnam — 200 new UMC’s since 2000.  Malawi — 150 new UMC’s since 1987.  Cameroon — 30 UM faith communities.  Honduras — 12 UMC’s since 1994.  Latvia — 13 new UMC’s.  Russia, Ukraines, Moldova, and Belarus — 125 UMC’s.  And the church continues to grow in places like Congo and the Philippians by leaps and bounds.  

Praise God for these signs of growth and renewal.  May it spread to the U.S. and to the Indiana Conference.   

Please pray for our church, its continue outreach and growth, and for those of us who are serving as delegates to the General Conference.  May God continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world through our efforts! 

— Ed Fenstermacher, Indiana Conference delegate and Associate Director of Church Development