Glimmers of hope for the church’s future

Posted: January 9, 2014 by efenster in Ideas, Information
Tags: , , , , , ,

CCI LogoAfter at least a decade of signs that the institutional church is on the decline, there is some hopeful news…

According to Warren Bird and Ed Stetzer in their book, Viral Churches (Leadership Network), for the first time in years American churches are planting more churches than they’re closing.   Additionally, in 2012 The United Methodist Church (in the U.S.) had its first increase in Professions of Faith after eleven straight years of decline.  And, there is a sense among leaders in the Indiana Conference that its churches are become more outwardly focused thanks, at least in large part, to its Fruitful Congregation Journey effort.

Although the number of church planting projects in 2012 didn’t exceed the number of Indiana Conference churches that closed, there are a growing number of church planting efforts going on, including the following:

Jeffersonville Riverside UMC.  Leader:  Daniel Payton.  South District.

Plainfield The Branches UMC.  Leader:  Alex Hershey.  Central District.

Indianapolis Casa de Dios (second campus of Fort Wayne Getsemani UMC).  Leader:  Marisa Calleja.  Central District.

Hammond Torre Fuerta (Strong Tower) Hispanic UMC relocating to East Chicago.  It also has a second congregation called Rio de Gracias that meets at Hobart Trinity UMC.  Leaders:  Esequiel and Suri Becerra.  North District.

South Bend Monson Community UMC‘s storefront United Methodist Church for All People, South Bend.  Leader:  Tim Aydelotte.  North District.

Fort Wayne Kristo’s Hands and Feet, a missional plant by St. Joseph UMC.  Leader:  Steve Mekaru.  Northeast District.

Add Bishop Mike Coyner’s vision of starting a hundred new worshiping opportunities in Indiana, and one can easily sense that the future of The United Methodist Church, at least in Indiana, is encouraging and hopeful.  Praise God!

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

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