For the past several weeks, interested persons from the Farrar and Mingo UMCs have been meeting to re-ignite talk about “Doing Something” to help us to live out our mission as defined by Jesus and to grow the kingdom of God and grow as disciples. Now were are meeting individually back in our own churches to focus in on our church and our future.
As a part of this effort, I have been preaching all about “What Would Jesus Say to Us?” But this sermon series has been different. It is re-igniting and reminding ourselves of the true mission and purpose that God and Jesus gave to the church…our church…and our people who are called to make “thy Kingdom come on earth as it isin heaven.”
So often we end up just “doing something” and hope that it yields someone becoming part of our church. We try something in the hope that it will somehow connect with people – non- or nominally religious people and get them to come join us in “Go Be the Church.”
This year, we have closed more United Methodist churches than in the past. That has made lots of people nervous as they face the prospect of where we are going, where are we going to get new people to join us, and how can we keep from becoming a “nice” but slowly shrinking church. Someone shared “it is not that we are losing members to other churches,” they said, “we are losing them to the cemetery…we are dying off!” I was saddened this year to see churches that were once so alive…now finding it necessary to close. No one wants their church to close…we want to live or at least be resurrected in a more relevant and growing way.
Our church has as strong, proud, and long history. The people that “are our church” are great faithful and committed people. But together we are facing a new age, a new world, and people who think differently. But together, they are facing the same identified needs of busy lives, jumbled priorities, raising kids successfully, all kinds of commitments and events that take time from family life. They are looking for meaning, purpose and help in finding and keeping God and loving one another as a part of their life. They want to “BE the difference” and “MAKE a difference” in this world, our community and in relationships to one another, especially to those in need.
Rather than just guessing on what we think those needs are, we are making an effort to ASK NEW PERSONS and FAMILIES about what they know are needs for them, how they see our church and what we need to do to help them connect and GO BE THE CHURCH with us! My thanks to person in our church who have
committed themselves to talking about this. One such group is the “Do Something Group” at Mingo meeting on Wednesday nights to re-ignite (following the pandemic) our church efforts on connecting with people, learning from them and then prayerfully matching their needs with new and continued programs and events at our church, especially as we head into the fall.
We are open for others joining us. We are open to anyone being a part of the discussion and of the effort to relate and listen to new persons in our church and even in the growing of new events and opportunities to meet and grow… doing life and faith together!
How can you do that?
- Join us each Sunday – in-person or online to catch the vision of what God and Jesus have for us and our church.
- Pray for our church and those who are actively involved and new persons – non- and nominal Christians with whom Jesus spent all of His time and ministry on earth.
- Be open to change and learning new ways from others, but especially from God!
- Be a part of the discussion through various groups and outreach efforts coming up.
- Volunteer! We have lots of ways for anyone, any age, anywhere to be a part of the solution!
We need you. God and Jesus needs you!
- Get to know and connect with people – build real relationships with them like Jesus did with non-and nominally believing people, especially friends or people that we live by or meet here in Mingo, but who need the very invitation to connect with us and our work together.
I invite you to connect or share your interest, comments, or questions with Bill Berriman and/or Rodney Altes or Pastor Phil – they are helping to spear-head our effort together in August and
this coming fall to GO BE THE CHURCH!