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Discipleship Ministries Releases Second Guidebook for #SeeAllThePeople
Congregations and annual conferences across the United Methodist connection, spurred by the #SeeAllThePeople movement, are engaging people in their communities to form new relationships that can lead to discipleship.
New resources from Discipleship Ministries, including a second book and study guide and a third short film, are available to help lay leaders, clergy and conference leaders reach out to new people with intentional discipleship.
“The #SeeAllThePeople movement has captured the spirit of what we are trying to accomplish here in the Tennessee and Memphis conferences,” said Bishop William (Bill) McAlilly of the Nashville Episcopal Area, which includes both annual conferences. “This year we are joining the movement and using #SeeAllThePeople because it lifts the values we hold dear, to intentionally make disciples of Jesus Christ.”
The latest guidebook supporting #SeeAllThePeople, authored by the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries, is Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People. The accompanying film and study guide will help leaders facilitate discussions about the book.
The new resources, along with an earlier companion book, Developing an Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations, and short films, will be available at annual conference gatherings and downloadable free online at www.SeeAllThePeople.org. Hard copies of the new book can be purchased at https://store.umcdiscipleship.org
“Making disciples for Jesus Christ begins with having a heart for all God’s people – even people not personally known to us, people who reject God or reject us, and even our enemies,” Dotson said.
The crucial first step in developing an intentional discipleship pathway is to seek out and engage people outside the church walls, he said.
“Every intentional discipleship system or pathway should include a long and prayerful discussion about those in our community who are not yet here,” Dotson said. “Every church should endeavor to create intentional spaces where the nonreligious and nominally religious, or even those who have rejected the church, might find room to search and explore spirituality and Christianity.”
Building relationships by getting out and engaging the community is key to successful intentional discipleship, Dotson said.
“To varying degrees, churches have moved away from this paradigm and, in a noble attempt to save the church as an institution, have lost sight of the very people we are called to reach,” he said. “One unintended consequence of the church growth movement of the past 25 years is that people simply became numbers on a report. In too many cases, strategic plans focused on filling the sanctuary with the goal of becoming the next nationally known megachurch.”
For too long, The United Methodist Church has looked for a quick fix to help guide discipleship efforts, and it is not working, Dotson said.
“I believe a renewed focus on making disciples will be a better investment of our time, money and resources. Our focus must move away from ‘fixing’ churches, toward making and growing disciples,” Dotson said.
Examples of intentional discipleship that is underway in the connection worldwide are available in both books and online at www.SeeAllThePeople.org.
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org
Meeting emergency and recovery needs are essential now as parts of Maryland and West Virginia deal with immense flooding due to heavier than expected rainfall over the past several weeks. A state of emergency was declared for all of the State of Maryland. Extensive damage occurred in Ellicott City, Frederick and Washington counties, and parts of West Virginia. Businesses in Ellicott City were particularly hard hit as they were still recovering from the 1000-year flooding they experienced in 2016. In these areas, more than 50 roads were closed with some requiring repair. Over 40 residents, business owners and others are reporting major damage to their houses, cars, or other property.
Immediately needed are hammers, Micro Spray for mold, and medium plastic bins with covers for possessions, as well as cash or cash cards. Pastor Fred Sipes, Disaster Response Coordinator for the Baltimore Washington Conference, is currently meeting with local officials to determine other needs, including sending volunteers in to help with recovery efforts.
St. Matthew’s UMC in Bowie is a HUB for Mission Central in Mechanicsburg, PA, and churches in the Washington East District routinely provide disaster supplies to St. Matthews for delivery to Mission Central. St. Matthew’s will be the collection point for all District churches contributing to these present needs. Please contact Dan Blades, Disaster Response Coordinator at St. Matthew’s, at 240-463-8662 or 301-262-5148 should you have any questions.
If you would like to make a donation to support flood disaster enter “Flood Relief” on the memo line of your checks and giving envelopes. When making online gifts, please select Fund Code 239 Flood Relief. All donations will be sent to agencies involved in recovery operations from the recent flooding.
Details regarding the ReCall Summit 2018 are posted on the BWC website http://www.bwcumc.org/events/the-recall-summit/
School of Congregational Development
Have you heard that the Office of Leadership and Congregational Development has stepped out into new territory and with the assistance of GNTV and Global Ministries our conference will be hosting SCD “Live” from San Diego for two designated sessions of the School of Congregational Development.
We will be hosting the Spanish only session on Friday August 17 at the BWC Mission Center and the English only Session on Saturday August 18 which will be hosted by two of our churches and at the BWC Mission Center. We hope that you will help us in marketing SCD “Live” from San Diego on your sites and with your congregations. Detailed Information and registration links can be found at http://www.bwcumc.org/event/1158902-2018-08-17-2018-scd-momentum-livestream/. At the bottom of the webpage are downloadable flyers and post cards in English and Spanish.