Posts Tagged ‘United Methodist Church’
Tags: General Conference, human sexuality, United Methodist Church
Tags: church planting, General Conference, membership growth, United Methodist Church
There’s a lot of media coverage regarding the debate going on at General Conference over a number of issues, including human sexuality, but you likely haven’t heard the exciting news of our denomination’s church-planting efforts, not only in the U.S. but also overseas.
Our General Conference delegates learned (through our Advanced Daily Christian Advocate materials) that in the prior three years at least 2,300 leaders have been trained and equipped in the U.S. for church plant efforts, and that at least 325 churches have been established.
Furthermore, we have launched 574 new churches outside the U.S. from 2009-2012, exceeding our goal by nearly 200 churches! Churches are being planted in continents all over the world, but here is a snapshot of our growing presence in Southeast Asia… Though not an officially registered denomination in Laos or Vietnam, we now have 48 churches and 24 faith communities in Laos and 322 churches in Vietnam. We have 154 churches in Cambodia and nine churches in Mongolia, as well as two faith communities. Praise God!
The United Methodist Church is growing significantly worldwide. Membership has increased dramatically in Africa and the Philippines. May such growth begin to be experienced here in the United States as well. Consider how your church is making disciples and multiplying the Kingdom. Don’t get caught sitting on the sidelines, join the action of what God is doing all over the world!
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development and Indiana Conference delegate to the General Conference
Tags: Bishop Coyner, election of bishops, episcopacy, Indiana Area, Indiana Conference, North Central Jurisdiction, United Methodist Church
Mike Coyner, bishop of the Indiana Area (Conference), recently shared in the Hoosier United Methodist Together newspaper (Jan./Feb. 2015) that his tenure will be ending as of the end of August 2016. In The United Methodist Church, bishops have four-year assignments and Bishop Coyner’s will be ending at that time. He will be retiring, so a different bishop will be assigned to lead the Indiana Conference beginning September 2016.
Please keep him in your prayers as he completes his ministry leading the Indiana United Methodist churches. He certainly doesn’t plan to coast to retirement but has specific goals he’s focused on reaching. (See the article.) Also keep the Indiana Area Committee on Episcopacy, and a new transition team that’s been formed, in your prayers as they begin preparing for this transition in leadership.
Because at least three of the nine active bishops serving in the Midwest (North Central Jurisdiction) will be retiring and because of the common practice of having bishops serve two consecutive 4-year terms in the same Area, it is very possible Indiana will be receiving a newly-elected bishop, something that hasn’t happened before. So please keep those “running” for bishop and those electing the new bishops in your prayers. Those electing will be the delegates to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference, held in Peoria, IL, July 13-16. This delegation will include 16 laity and 16 clergy from Indiana who will be chosen at this May’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis.
Finally, pray for the NCJ Committee on Episcopacy, which is the group that will recommend to the Jurisdictional delegates as to which Area each of the nine bishops will serve, including who will lead the Indiana Area (Conference). Each Annual Conference has one clergy and one lay person serving on this committee. For Indiana its Rev. Frank Beard and myself, Ed Fenstermacher. Know that we covet your prayers.
We have been blessed these past 12 years with Bishop Coyner’s leadership. May we be equally blessed by the leadership of our next episcopal leader.
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director for Church Development
Tags: church development, church growth, Church Renewal, church revitalization, United Methodist Church
I’ve been attending a conference with United Methodist leaders from across the U.S. to discuss church revitalization and what strategies, resources, and insights can be most helpful to us conference leaders who are responsible for church redevelopment. This gathering, called Route 122, named for the paragraph in The Book of Disciple that speaks about church vitality, has had some amazing speakers sharing some key insights. We’ve talked about the eight keys that need to be a part of a conference strategy, trends and their implications, the U Theory, the Healthy Church Initiative (that we in Indiana call the Fruitful Congregation Journey). All very helpful.
Each morning my personal devotional readings have been from the Book of Acts. I’ve been reading about the early church and how it grew and spread. I’ve been thinking about the United Methodist Church and how it is growing by leaps and bounds in Africa, the Philippines, and Asia. And I’ve been wondering how the early church and the growing edges of the UMC happened without a Route 122 conference? How did they do it, and how are they doing it, without knowing the eight strategic keys, the U Theory, money, staff (like me), and resources? What do they have that the UMC in the U.S. seems to lack?
This summer I was fascinated with a proposal by economist and UM leader, Don House, who has concluded–through statistical analysis of lots of UM data–that if the UMC would enlist 1,000 of its churches averaging over 125 in weekly worship and raise $120 million annually, we could turn our denomination around.
All this has gotten me to wondering…is the answer, more education and strategies, more leaders working on revitalization (like me), more money in the hands of our larger churches? What is it that we also need to consider that is revealed through the early church and the UM churches in the developing parts of the world. My fear is that is we miss what they can teach us, all our efforts will still not get the job done.
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director for Church Development
Tags: Church Renewal, religion, United Methodist Church
“The history of Methodism, therefore, is a cycle of successful mission movements followed by institutionalization, followed by rebellions against institutionalization in the name of renewing the mission.” (Oxford Handbook Chapter 25 by Dana L. Robert and Douglas D. Tzan pg. 436)
Then she asked me if I thought we are currently in the “renewing the mission” phase of the cycle?
How would you answer her?