Regional Gathering Intro & Session One
Fall Feast was an amazing and uplifting time to gather with other Disciples from our region. It was held in Salt Lake City over Labor Day weekend, and we focused on the theme of “God’s New Thing” guided by Isaiah 43:19. There was fun, like a Luau, but there was also a lot of learning and listening.
Rev. Terrell L. McTyler led a session that was absolutely inspiring. This is our challenge as Disciples of Christ for the next decade.
Go and make disciples of ALL. “The Great Commission is a mandate, not a suggestion.” God will provide the vision.
Don’t worry, Rev. Terrell helped with some answers and a process with all this evangelism talk. As we know, us as the church need to be externally focused and welcome in new believers and non-believers. We talk a lot about membership, but in 2021, this leads to understandings of exclusion to others who are non-members. If we become participants, then we are inclusive and welcoming to those who do not yet belong.
Secondly, Rev. Terrell talked about de-centralizing the pastor. Essentially, the pastor cannot and should not do everything in the church. We need to shift the author and leading and evangelizing to everyone. Anyone can lead, any time and anywhere. The pastor’s role is to equip and empower us to truly live into our calling of the priesthood of all believers. Showing up at church is a privilege and being a disciple does not end there. Everyone in our communities can be participants, they can be encouraged and empowered to live into their calling, their purpose, their passion.
Thirdly, we need to prioritize a missional culture. We have to become externally focused. It’s not about just adding to our numbers. It’s about multiplying them. We need to find function and exercise outside of the church. As we go about our days, we need to make relationships that lead to conversations that then lead to Christ.
There are two different kinds of ministry: comfort ministry and challenge ministry. Comfort ministry is giving bread. It’s helping a hand. It’s what we do for COMEA and Family Promise and Needs. But what do we do about their problems? That is challenge ministry. What is our challenge?
The following guidance was given in steps for us to instigate and integrate. We need to tell the realness about our church. We need to be honest, even if it hurts, and we need to integrate our identity with what we are doing.
Finances – where is our money going? 90% to mission would be fantastic, 10% to facility and staff.
Facility – use our building for missional purposes
Holistic Health of leaders
We need to make a movement to God, making disciples in a meaningful way will multiply disciples. Next month there will be another article about more of what Rev. Terrell shared with us. Stay tuned!