Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why regional ministry matters

Worried about the decline in your congregation?  November can be a prime season for stewardship emphasis, yet do our worries about the financials and the weekly worship attendance threaten to eclipse our willingness to risk and reach out beyond our four walls in our planning of budgets and commitments of 2014 ministry priorities?

Missional church thinking can be the helpful additive to your congregation's diet.  Indeed, it may help address the malaise or nudge us in new, more vital directions.   When congregations budget with the subtext of woe and worry, do we have the courage to ask ourselves questions that reframe our situation and identity?  

Our American Baptist region provides best practices and companionable presence in the form of our ordained region staff members Dr. Jim Kelsey and Rev. Jerrod Hugenot.  In fact, we welcome your calls and your emails to engage in good conversations about your church.   We can help you connect with ABCNYS and ABC/USA resources to help you know more about your community, explore new opportunities for ministry and mission, etc.  

Why do we do this?   Because strengthening local churches is our business!  

For example, with one congregation, we are exploring together questions of what sort of interim ministry is needed to create strategies for building up its future.  With another congregation, I am helping the church body discern what their strategic planning needs look like for the coming year.  (It's right after a potluck, which is always a good way to gather a group of Baptists!)

The ability to have these conversations and journey with a variety of congregations dealing with varied challenges and possibilities happens thanks to our congregations supporting the ABCNYS Region Offering and United Mission.  The churches who are in these conversations and on these journeys thank you for making this sort of support possible!

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