Shall we journey together? Let me tell you a story… Last September a team of 14 Trinity folks (6 staff and 8 lay
leaders) traveled to Kansas City for the Leadership Institute at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. (For those who have read or used any of the myriad of his books, Adam Hamilton is the Lead Pastor of UM Church of the Resurrection.)
The Leadership Institute was an intensive two and half days of non-stop worship, learning and challenge. If you will
forgive me for employing an overused cliché, it was much akin to “drinking from a firehose.” Here are a couple of “takeaways” that is to say, conclusions drawn from this experience:
First, the Holy Spirit is at work! The Church of the Resurrection is a United Methodist megachurch. This seems so
counter-intuitive, but a church with our theology and values has grown to a Sunday worship attendance in the thousands and is thriving. There are vital UM churches around the country growing and reaching others for Jesus Christ! One thing that they all seem to have in common is that they are focused. They are very clear that their purpose is to be disciples of Jesus. They know what that means, they know how to do it, and everything that they do in and through their churches is judged by that standard. This was encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring. These people were serious and are on fire for Christ!
Secondly, we were confronted with the undeniable truth that our world has changed and being the church is much
more challenging. At times our team found ourselves looking at one another because it seemed that the speaker was talking directly to Trinity. How focused are we? How intentional are we about being disciples of Jesus Christ? How exactly do we do that? Here’s the truth: Trinity has been in numerical decline for over 15 years. Yes, we are still strong and comfortable.
And yes, it is a sign of the times, but we must not be complacent. Nor can we continue to do the same old things
while hoping for a different result. We have a vital job to do: We must proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all, with words and lives. We have to adapt to changing times so that the legacy of this church as a place where people encounter God and are changed is carried into the future and carried with power. Trinity can have a bright and glorious future, but we have to embrace it: We have to do some soul searching and ask ourselves what does it really mean for each of us to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ? What does Trinity need to do to successfully reach out to those around us? What is our strategy for making (growing) disciples? Where do we start? Let’s dare to ask the questions and journey together.
WHAT’S NEXT? (Glad you asked!)
Town Hall Meeting January 7 Noon in Trinity Hall. Let’s continue the conversation …
Sermon Series: “New Resolutions” RISE up! January 7 – February 4 Christ calls us to follow and be disciples. Let’s look at what this means in 2018, for our church but most importantly for you and me.
Study Component: We have developed a Sunday School study to accompany this series. Will your class be studying with us?
Midweek: If you are not part of a class following along with the sermons, we will be offering a midweek component. I and several of our Kansas City team members will make ourselves available to lead a Wednesday evening small group meeting at 6:00 PM in the Mastin Room. Child care is available.
Church Consultation: One of the most impactful addresses at the Leadership Institute was a keynote address given by Tony Morgan. Tony is the founder and lead strategist of the Unstuck Group. This firm specializes in working with churches such as ours that are “stuck” in a maintenance mode. Tony is also the author of The Unstuck Church as well as a number of other books and articles.
Following a proposal from the Kansas City Team, and me Trinity’s Church Council voted on December 17 to engage
Tony and The Unstuck Group for a Church wide Consultation in 2018. We believe that this will be the catalyst for
many other exciting possibilities.
The Spirit is moving. God is doing a new thing. Come, let’s journey together.