Perhaps you read about Rev. Kerry’s training and coaching opportunity, Worship for the Whole Community (and if you haven’t yet, please check it out!), and you thought, “Well, it sounds great, but this is a difficult time to take on something new. Too much pressure, too much going on with Advent and Christmas (on a Sunday this year!) and charge conference and end-of-year reports… Maybe I’ll catch the next one.”
Admittedly, November and December are a busy and challenging time for church leaders. Yet the work of learning about our communities so that we can bless and include more people in the ministries of our churches is also timely, and even urgent.
In a period when the divisions among different groups of people in our society have become all too apparent – and painful – in our communities, it is more important than ever that we get to know people in lifestyle segments different from our own.
Both pastors and parishioners want to be part of churches that are vital and growing, not only in numbers but in depth of relationships and quality of engagement with God and with the world. We know that spiritually maturing worshipers 1) attend more often, 2) engage in more mission impact, and 3) become more generous. While Worship for the Whole Community cannot guarantee dramatic increases in attendance or miraculous revivals for congregations that are struggling to survive, we can offer the strong likelihood that getting a team together to pray and learn about engaging the community will bring a new level of energy and commitment to those who are already part of your church, as well as a realistic hope of connecting with new people in meaningful ways.
If you are a pastor, you may be wondering what kind of benefits this program offers to offset the time, energy, and cost (actually pretty minimal thanks to a grant!) involved. Here are a few ways Worship for the Whole Community (WWC) can help you in your ministry of pastoral leadership.
- Bewildered by the multitude of perspectives you’re supposed to take into consideration as you help your church adapt for a new era?
- You can achieve clear direction for missional living in this brave new world.
- Tired of ministry experiments that feel like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks?
- WWC offers focused, data-driven and field-tested planning that meets the real needs and longings of your mission field.
- Discouraged about how we measure success?
- Each lifestyle group and worship way marks success differently. You can be successful when you know what to measure.
- Worried about the time commitment?
- WWC actually helps streamline your time commitments because your ministry becomes more mission-focused and integrated.
- Discouraged because you’ve tried new things that didn’t work out in the past?
- WWC helps you manage the stress of change.
- Not quite sold on a team approach to planning?
- Involving others helps you develop lay leadership that is supportive of the vision. You’re no longer out there alone.
Whether your church is healthy and ready to take on a new challenge, or struggling and looking for the resources to start down a path of renewal, you can help your congregation grow in vitality, energy, and experience of meaningful encounters with the living Christ.
Worship for the Whole Community offers:
- an initial 10-hour training for your team (or at least the pastor and one lay person, if you need more time to invite other participants), co-led by Rev. Lucinda Holmes and Rev. Kerry Greenhill, scheduled for January 13-14, 2017 at Arvada UMC;
- resources in the form of Worship Ways for the People Within Your Reach, and access to the Mission Insite demographic database and mapping software;
- one-on-one coaching over the course of the year;
- monthly peer group check-ins via video conference to discuss and problem-solve challenges encountered, and to share successes along the way;
- ongoing online discussion of needs and resources through a private Facebook group.
You get all of this – hope, focus, coaching, resources, and support as you learn about your community, then develop and implement plans to adapt or experiment with a new worship experience – for just $350, thanks to a generous grant from the Rocky Mountain Conference UMC Legacy Fund Committee. This represents a 70% subsidy of actual costs!
But time is running out. Please contact Rev. Kerry (Kerry@SacredStonesMinistries.org) as soon as possible to indicate your interest.
Update as of Dec. 19: We still have room to include more individuals and church teams in our January 13-14 training event at Arvada UMC in northwest metro Denver. For a limited time, you can sign up to attend the training for a cost of just $100 per church, without committing to the year-long process! This is a great chance to “try before you buy” this data-driven, mission-minded framework for ministry. Email Rev. Kerry before Jan. 4, 2017, to sign up!