A Moment for Mission
"Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God's grace that was given me by the working of his power." —Ephesians 3:7, NRSV
What would happen if we stopped fixing our churches and started seeing all the people that God has called us to reach? Our anxious response to decades of decline in mainline denominations is to try to fix what is broken. We have turned inward, believing that if we just implement the right program, get the right leadership structure, build a new playground for children or get the right worship praise band, perhaps, people will come.
The problem with that thinking is captured perfectly by Mike Breen who wrote, "If you try to build the church, you will rarely get disciples. But if you make disciples, you will always get the church."
We must have a relentless focus on making, growing and maturing disciples. This starts by creating an intentional discipleship system or pathway that will help disciples move through stages of growth on a lifelong journey of faith. Whether you know it or not, you already have a discipleship system in place in your church. Your current system produces exactly what it is designed to produce.
Discipleship Ministries' "See All the People" (seeallthepeople.org) wants to help churches be more intentional about what kind of disciples we are making and how they are formed.
Through your church's support of the World Service Fund, you help United Methodism's Discipleship Ministries make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Loving God, teach us how to be your servants—to reach people with your amazing love and to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Epiphany Sunday – God of the Ages, your angels announced the birth of your son to lowly shepherds, and those shepherds worship the Holy Child, kneeling beside kings in a stable. You gave us the gift of a Savior, sent for the rich and the poor alike. Every gift given from the heart is blessed by you, and every act that proclaims your love brings joy to you. May the gifts that we offer and the love we proclaim to others in our words and actions satisfy your heart – this day and all through the coming years. We pray this in Christ's holy name. Amen. (Isaiah 60:1-6) (Matthew 2:1-12)
If your youth don't already have "Youth 2019—Love Well" on their calendars, now is the time to do it!
Youth 2019 (https://bit.ly/2RL3aY6) is the quadrennial event for sixth through 12th graders and their leaders. It is four days of discipleship, worship, Bible study, service opportunities and life-changing fun. All four days are filled with inspiration, support and challenges to grow authentically as a world-changing disciple of Jesus Christ.
Thanks to your congregation's support of the World Service Fund, Discipleship Ministries nurtures disciples, young and old. Through Youth 2019 and a diverse range of other programs, Discipleship Ministries provides youth and their leaders with chances to connect with each other, denominational leaders and connectional agencies and discover the wide variety of ministries of The United Methodist Church.
Mark your calendars for Youth 2019—July 10–14—at the Kansas City (Missouri) Convention Center and Municipal Auditorium. Hope to see you there!