A Moment for Mission
“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him all his angels; praise him, all his host!” Psalm 148:1-2, NRSV
For decades in many U.S. annual conferences, planting churches was not a priority. That began to change in 2008 with the founding of Path 1 New Church Starts, part of the denomination’s Discipleship Ministries.
Path 1 works with conferences to provide coaching, training and other resources for new church developers.
The Rev. Candace M. Lewis, Path1 executive director, said her division helps “the denomination see the big picture” as it goes about starting new faith communities.
Through Path 1, we are making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Success comes not only in numbers, but also in lives drawn to Christ. Vital United Methodist churches will continue to attract people in search of spiritual homes. Building perfect churches is not the goal. However, growing churches that may be a perfect fit for those with worship, relationship and mission priorities is the vision of church planters charged with re-evangelizing the church in 2016!
When your church supports World Service and other apportioned funds, options also abound for second-mile giving to designated ministries important to you. One hundred percent of all donations to World Service Special Gifts go directly to various causes, including Path 1.
You are part of an energetic and spirited church trying to regain a healthy denominational habit of planting new churches for the young, the diverse and the recommitted. Build it, and they will come!
Loving God, thank you for the ordinary gifts of the day – the opportunity to worship, the smiles that greet us and the message that inspires us. You call us to serve you in so many ways. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: First Sunday after Christmas - Gracious God, we praise you for the greatest gift, salvation in your Son Jesus. In him, we find deep and abiding joy. As we dedicate our offerings, we devote ourselves to your service. Help us to live faithfully, growing in wisdom in the light of the miracle of Christmas. Thank you for giving us opportunities to bring tidings of joy to our neighbors through the ministries of this congregation. Amen. (Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:41-52)
Do you have any idea what your church is up to? In 2016, our big-thinking leaders will send 2,016 church planters into diverse communities to start 1,000 new United Methodist congregations! The same big-thinkers want those new congregations to start yet another congregation within 10 years. Do the math!
Path 1, an ambitious plan by Discipleship Ministries, isn’t all about numbers. It is more about meeting spiritual needs – for churches with missions that excite, programs that engage and worship that fulfills both new churchgoers and lifelong members.
The World Service Fund, one of seven apportionments fueling our agencies, ministries and programs, is a financial “must” for keeping our denomination vital. However, we also have an opportunity to contribute to other ministries through World Service Special Gifts. Path 1 is an example.
Through World Service Special Gifts, 100 percent of your donation goes to designated causes that are important to you – Path 1, Africa University Endowment Fund, the Global Education Fund and others.
Please celebrate our growth by giving cheerfully and generously.