2011 GNJAC District Bishop Day Call To Action

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Presentation given by Bishop Devadhar and Rev. Dr. Doug Ruffle at the 2011 Bishop's Days on the Districts. This is a valuable tool for clergy to help congregations understand the Call To Action and Vital Congregations movement.

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2011 GNJAC District Bishop Day Call To Action

  1. 1. Bishop’s Day on the District<br />2011<br />Greater New Jersey Annual Conference<br />Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar<br />
  2. 2. The United Methodist “Call to Action”<br /><ul><li>Two key questions:
  3. 3. What is faithful discipleship in our time?
  4. 4. How do we as a community of faith fulfill the mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? </li></li></ul><li>A Call to Action<br />The United Methodist Church is called to be a world leader in developing existing churches and starting new vital congregations so that we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.<br />
  5. 5. Disciple making and world transformation occurs through vital congregations . . .<br />Vital Congregations are <br />spirit-filled, forward-leaning communities of believers that welcome all people (Galatians 3:28), <br />make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20), and <br />serve like Christ through justice and mercy ministries (Micah 6:8; Luke 4:17-21)<br />
  6. 6. A vital congregation has . . .<br />Inviting and inspiring worship<br />Engaged disciples in mission and outreach<br />Gifted, equipped and empowered lay leadership<br />Effective, equipped and inspired clergy leadership<br />Small groups and strong children’s programs and youth ministry<br />
  7. 7. A vital disciple is a changed follower of Jesus . . .<br />Matthew 22:36-40 – The Great Commandment<br />Disciples Worship<br />Disciples make new disciples<br />Disciples engage in growing their faith<br />Disciples engage in mission<br />Disciples give to mission<br />
  8. 8. Developing a Ministry Plan for Vitality and Fruitfulness . . .<br />Vital congregations are ministries that recognize a clear calling from God and develop plans and ministries to achieve God’s purposes for their congregation.<br />What we measure, receives attention.<br />
  9. 9. We will measure<br />Disciples in worship (worship attendance).<br />Disciples making new disciples (number of professions of faith).<br />Disciples growing in their faith (number of small groups).<br />Disciples engaged in mission (number of disciples doing outreach in the community and the world).<br />Disciples sharing their resources for mission (amount of money given to mission).<br />
  10. 10. Vital Congregations Website<br />umvitalcongregations.org<br />
  11. 11.
  12. 12. What this book is about<br />Churches are called to be fruitful for God.<br />We need fruitful lay and clergy leaders who believe that the church is created by God to be fruitful.<br />When the church is fruitful, it will have ministry that matters to its community.<br />
  13. 13. ‘Fruitfulness’ is Biblical<br />Fruit appears more than 150 times in the Bible; Fruitful appears nearly 30 times.<br />In Genesis God states the expectation that the fruitfulness of Abraham and Sarah’s way of life will be a blessing to others. Moreover, it will plant the seeds of God’s goodness in the barrenness that comes to those who do not know the Lord.<br />
  14. 14. Pastors are called to ‘Contribute’<br />Working with a congregation to discern God’s vision and guiding them so they bear fruit: <br />Experiencing God’s presence<br />Transforming Lives<br />Growing Disciples<br />Serving Others<br />
  15. 15. Evaluation as a Tool for Leading, not reporting<br />Clarify and define desired outcomes<br />Illustration of Henry Ford: <br />The task was not just to build a car but to build a car in such a way so that it could be sold for $500; only then did he unlock the manufacturing plan required to accomplish such a goal (i.e. the assembly line).<br />
  16. 16. Fruitfulness<br />Not capitulation to the “success” culture.<br />Goal is not personal advancement or acclaim but the advancement of God’s reign on earth.<br />Seeks to shape the life and work of the congregation through a shared passion for its mission.<br />
  17. 17. Fruitful Leaders . . . <br />Care about results because results are ways to go beyond merely filling a personal role to active participation in seeking results that we are convinced emerge from the gospel we preach.<br />
  18. 18. In the Gospels . . .<br />Jesus uses the images of fruit and fruitfulness several times to inform followers that transformation is not possible until we find life in him.<br />The image of the vine and branches in John is a vivid metaphor related to the need of the follower to be fully connected to Christ if he or she is to find transformation.<br />
  19. 19. What does fruitfulness look like?<br />≠ expanding programs and activities<br />The question is not “Are we doing more?” but, “Are we accomplishing more?”<br />It is about outcomes not activity.<br />It is about what we are accomplishing toward the mission of the church. Are we bearing fruit?<br />
  20. 20. Says Bishop Schnase . . .<br />To use the language of fruitfulness causes congregations to become clearer about desired outcomes . . . Fruitfulness directs our focus to what we accomplish for God’s purposes and corrects the tendency to congratulate ourselves for all the work, resources, and people we apply to a task while ignoring or denying that our efforts may be making little difference.<br />
  21. 21. For John Wesley ‘fruits of ministry’ was a key concept<br />He liked to ask three questions of spiritual leaders:<br />Have they faith?<br />Have they gifts?<br />Have they fruit?<br />Fruitful leadership is leadership that shapes itself around accomplishing the mission.<br />
  22. 22. Two powerful words: “So that”<br />Have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them (Exodus 25:8).<br />Having a clear “so that” statement helps to keep everyone focused on the end and not just the means.<br />Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).<br />
  23. 23. Looking for God’s Vision<br />What is God trying to accomplish here?<br />What can we do that would serve God’s reign at this time in this place?<br />How does my personal calling match what God desires?<br />How can my personal gifts, graces, passion, and opportunities be put to use here?<br />

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