Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.38.10 PMThe Indiana Conference’s Church Development team is tracking 25 new-faith communities that have been launched the past few years.  Together  they average 2,500 people in weekly worship attendance.  Praise God!

Each person reached has the potential of a changed life–like Amber Bean who a year ago wasn’t a Christian.  But now, thanks to Kristo’s Hands & Feet and the work of the Holy Spirit, Amber is passionate about her relationship with Christ and serving Him.  You can view her amazing testimony by clicking this link.

There are many, many others like Amber in your neighborhood.  So who is God counting on you and your church to bring the hope and joy of new life in Jesus Christ this Lenten Season?

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

Do we believe in miracles?

Posted: July 20, 2015 by efenster in Ideas
Tags: , , ,

IMAG0471Do you believe in miracles?  I’m reading a book, entitled Reclaiming the Great Commission, by Bishop Claude Payne and Hamilton Beazley, about an Episcopalian judicatory in Texas that revitalized.  One of its foundational values is a belief in miracles, that God is still in the miracle business.

The past two weeks, Time to Revive has been conducting a city-wide evangelization effort in Fort Wayne, with lively celebration and worship each evening.  This interfaith movement has as one of its foundational values a belief in miracles.  The worship service I attended included testimonies from that day’s evangelistic efforts.  These testimonies included a youth who healed a man’s knee pain, and a man who was in a dumpster when a Revive team found him.  Both witnessed to miraculous transformation as a result of Jesus Christ.

The miraculous even touched a family in the church I attend in Fort Wayne.  One of our members had been praying for 40 years that his brother and sister-in-law would accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, and–as a result of a Revive team–they did this past Saturday.  Praise God!

So why don’t we experience miracles as often as we might?  For me, I think it’s because I’m not really expecting them, expecting them as much as the Texas judicatory and Time to Revive folk do.  What about you?

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director for Church Development

Jirehs_Picture_035Kevin had anger issues, the pastor said.  Kevin is part of a group of disabled adults that come together the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6pm to worship together at New Hope United Methodist Church in Elkhart, IN.  The service, called Jireh (Hebrew for “God provides”), attracts anywhere from 30 to 50 people each month, most disabled.  Rev. Andy Martin, the church’s pastor, says the service is a powerful, lively experience, that engages every person.  It includes dancing, singing, prayer, and a message.  And it transforms lives, lives like Kevin’s.  He’s now known as the “gentle giant.”  His group home has been so amazed at his transformation that it is now trying to get all its residents to attend!

Our mission, as United Methodist churches, is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and that’s just what is happening each month through the Jireh worship service, as well as many other ministries, at New Hope UMC in Elkhart.  How’s it happening at your church?

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

 

“I believe we can change the world in ten years.”  This statement was made byhs_bias_timothy_04-533x800 Tim Bias, the new General Secretary (chief executive) of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, at his installation service held in Herndon, Virginia, last week.  I was sitting in the congregation, and when he said those words, I sat up.  He had me on the edge of my seat.  You see I long to change the world too.  I’m guessing that you do as well.  In the Gospel Jesus paints a picture of a changed world and invites us to be world changers.  Could it be that God could change the world through us–in ten years?

Bias says that “we’re the instruments that God uses to redeem the world.”   Even though he acknowledges that he’s now a “church bureaucrat,” he says, “I don’t care about saving the church, but saving the world.”  Once again, I’m nodding my head vigorously.  How about you?  “If we just pray, we can change the world.”  Do you believe that?  Do you believe we can change the world in ten years?

I invite you to pray about this.  Pray for Tim Bias, our General Board of Discipleship, and the whole church.  Every second Monday of each month there are leaders throughout the Midwest who are fasting and praying for our church.  Please consider joining us.  God has been changing the world and will continue to change the world.  Let’s not miss out and be left on the sidelines…

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development