I have been using Lift as a tool to help restart this blog and I thought I would share with you some of that process. One of the steps is identifying an ideal target person – someone for whom this blog is written. So, here goes:
The ideal target person for this blog is Methodist clergy, church staff or committed layperson.
Q: What are they passionate about?
They are passionate about spiritual renewal in the people and congregations of the United Methodist Church.
They care deeply about introducing people to Jesus and helping others grow in their faith.
Q: What are their goals?
They want to be effective in their ministry in the local church.
They want to have a fulfilling personal and professional life
Q: What are their fears?
They are afraid that they have to be on the extreme right or left to find theological companions on their journey.
They are afraid they do not have the resources they need to be effective.
They are afraid that the United Methodist church is doomed.
They are afraid that they are the only ones that don’t have it all figured out
Q: Why should they care about your blog?
They should care about my blog because they will find:
resources which they may need for effectiveness
encouragement and guidance to be fruitful in ministry,
examples from someone who has gone before them in ministry
new ideas for day to day life
So, dear reader, does this describe you? What is on target? What is missing?
Perhaps, most importantly, what are your answers to some of these questions?
Last week, someone shared with me an insight that they had gained serving as a volunteer at Resurrection.
You can’t lead beyond the leader.
If you are not ultimately responsible for a ministry area, worship service, congregation, or nearly any other grouping of people there is always some limit on what you can implement. The leader has to make space for engagement, different perspectives and empower those that are being lead.
As a leader, equipping others is one of the most important things that I do.
As a follower, patience, encouragement and service are valuable in making progress.
It is important for organizations to have mission and vision statements to guide the future of the organization. I currently am serving as part of an organization that has three different mission statements.
What is the best way to navigate these differences? What takes precedence in ministry? Who best decides how differing mission statements are integrated, adjusted or ignored? Why do these statements need to be different (or the same)?
Like a local church, an annual conference and denomination with a mission (Why do we exist?) and a vision (Where are we going?) are more likely to contain vital congregations. The clarity of purpose and direction helps shape the life of the community in both subtle and significant ways.
The United Methodist Church has a mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World. The annual conferences where I am currently connected have a mission or vision statement:
Kansas East – The Kansas East Conference’s mission is to connect and empower people and churches in living out the Gospel‘s call to invite, nurture, equip and send forth disciples of Jesus Christ.
Kansas West – “As we make disciples of Jesus Christ, the Kansas West Conference calls God’s people to invite through radical hospitality, excite for intentional faith-sharing and unite in risk-taking mission for the transformation of the world.” – Kansas West Conference vision adopted May 2008
A local church with a mission (Why do we exist?) and a vision (Where are we going?) is more likely to be a vital congregation. The clarity of purpose and direction helps shape the life of the congregation in both subtle and significant ways. With the lack of a clear statement that people can remember and understand the leadership may go from one “next best thing” to another in ministry and never realize their full potential as a congregation.
I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.
I am unable to deny that there are some positive outcomes to Institute. I was still left with the question, What’s the point? It could have been:
Provide a safe place for students
Offer freely given love as part of a Christian community
Create a place where people are always accepted
Meet new people
Move forward on the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.
Have fun and play games
Create a culture of hearing God’s call to ministry
After a week, I am not sure what is the driving purpose of Institute. Those who come to camp become part of the leadership team that plans the next year. Students come year after year. Adults come to serve because they came when they were young. It has been going for 99 years…
I gained some additional insight from Notes on Camp and commend it to you as a great listen and insight into summer camp of all sorts.
The annual conference season has begun in The United Methodist Church. This week I will be attending the Kansas West Annual Conference in Salina, Kansas. I hope to post each day this week about annual conference.
According the the 2008 Book of Discipline ¶601, “The purpose of the annual conference is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church; all to the glory of God.”
I hope and pray that this gathering of the annual conference will be a means to accomplishing this purpose. Do you believe that your annual conference, Kansas West or elsewhere, fulfills this purpose?
PS – #kswumc is a Twitter hashtag for the annual conference. You can follow live updates from the conference by searching for that text at twitter.com.