(Rev. Neil McDavid) - Ten “new places for new people” and three new ministries were highlighted at our recent Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference. New church starts, new second campuses, off-site services, new services, new ministry models and a church re-start are among the ways new people are being reached in small, mid-size, and large churches across the conference.
Over the next several weeks, these “new places for new people” will be highlighted in our NewsCONNECTION as a hopeful encouragement to all churches to consider new ways and means to reach out to new people. To discern the way forward for your church in this regard, you are encouraged to join the Alabama-West Florida Conference Prayer Initiative (to see full plan click here). Essentially, every church is being asked to form a prayer team to pray through what it means to “make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” in their particular context. The prayer team would consist of three to five people, including the pastor, who would meet weekly for 90 days beginning September 1, 2012 and pray through four questions (click here and scroll down). Out of this time of prayer and discernment, the church is asked to respond in one of three ways: (1) step up and sharpen the existing focus on making disciples through worship, Sunday school, small groups, men’s/women’s ministries, youth, children and present ministry; (2) step out in making disciples by starting a new community of faith, a new service, establishing a new mission outreach; (3) express a renewed readiness to follow God’s leading for the vision God is placing before your church. The challenge for the church today is to essentially reclaim our missional DNA and recommit to be missionaries in our own communities.
As you join the Alabama-West Florida Conference Prayer Initiative consider the seven R’s of revitalization and renewal.
• Remember your purpose
• Reconnect with your community
• Renew your commitment to your mission
• Revision the future
• Rediscover your missionary spirit
• Reflect, adjust, do
• Resource for ministry www.awfumc.org