Monday, February 22, 2016

The Journey

By Rev. Mike Bealla
Director of Connectional Ministries

Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!

It was about six years ago that I first floated a Connectional Ministries survey via the internet asking our local church leadership to tell us about how we could best resource them in the areas of mission and ministry. Many of you (some 300+) responded to that survey. The survey was an intentional effort to help us fulfill the purpose of the annual conference to “help equip local churches with effective tools and resources for effective disciple making.” Your responses were very helpful in charting the formation of our new conference structure including our five major ministry teams and helped to guide our work over the last few years.

As we now enter the new quadrenium, (the fancy name for the next four years of ministry which begins with the gathering of General Conference), it felt wise to ask you all again how we are doing, and how can we continue to provide you with relevant and effective resourcing for your local church. The Discipleship Resource Team, chaired by Pat Bollinger, went to work and put together a recent “Survey Monkey” asking church leaders to respond to where they felt they were most effective in ministry and where they could use some help. Your response was simply amazing! Almost 500 surveys were completed and the information gathered will help guide our work in the years ahead. Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you!

Since the mission of every local church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, you have told us that areas where you felt the most need of tools and resources are: Developing and maintaining small groups as a foundational piece of disciple-making, Christian Education and Bible study. You indicated that ministry with 19 - 35 year olds is a challenge.

Although the information was not a huge surprise, it has confirmed we are on target with our current and future resourcing development. Our E-Tours for 2016 are focusing on each of these needs and we will certainly reinforce that direction as we approach future E-Tours. Come and check out why folks are loving E-Tours!

Please feel free to contact me (mbealla@susumc.org) or any of our staff at any time if you need support or direction in these or other areas of mission and ministry. Through our own resources, the networking of others who are effective in their work, and through the larger connection, we can partner with you to increase the vitality of your church for the living out of God’s purpose for each and every one of our local churches. As a connectional church, we truly believe that we are “Better Together!”

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