Our Methods ==> Our Mission
"Methodist", the word that defines our denomination, could have become one of a number of names in our early history. Charles Wesley and his brother John (the founder of our denomination) met regularly and passionately with a group that eventually became known as the "Holy Club". This group was known for their methodical passion and practice of the faith. They went so above and beyond in their practice of weekly communion (most protestants shared the table monthly), fasting, prayer, visiting people in prison, and regular meetings and discussions, that they developed a reputation of doing "too much" as a small group of people.
Some called them "Enthusiasts", others called them "Supererogation-Men" (can you imagine if that name stuck for this denomination?), and others called them "Bible-Bigots". Either way, they were known for their passion, enthusiasm and devotion to ministry in the world as God's witnesses to the Gospel. Their methodical approach not only made them disciples of Jesus Christ, but it created a legacy in which millions of disciples would follow in their footsteps over the coming generations, including today.
Part of our method requires that we have well-equipped, lay led ministry teams and administrative teams. There is no perfect model for how a church operates, but there are things a church can do that determine whether leadership will be effective or ineffective. Leaders need to be given defined positions with a clear understanding of what their team's role is within the church. Pastors and leaders need to grow together in their own skills, while equipping and sending out teams to do purposeful ministry that makes disciples and witnesses to the Gospel message. Organizations also need to remain open to fresh ideas and new leadership as the needs of the church and community changes from year to year, decade to decade.
With that understanding in mind, I ask you to prayerfully consider stepping into a ministry position this year. Our administrative teams include the Board of Trustees, who manage the church property and long term financial stewardship of the church; the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, who support the pastor through goal-setting and accountability, while acting as a conduit for communication between the conference, pastor and congregation; the Finance Committee, who manage the annual budget and stewardship of the ongoing church revenues and expenses; and the Nominations and Leadership Development Committee, who meets to invite and equip church members into positions of leadership.
In addition to our administrative teams, we need passionate people to consider stepping into ministry positions to help advocate, plan for and cast visions for various ministries in our church. I feel that it is critical to have representatives in the church focused on children and youth ministries, adult discipleship and missions, and community outreach and hospitality. Ideally, over time these ministry teams would be much larger and more vibrant than our administrative teams, who are more focused on maintenance. But for the present time, having people to lead those ministries and help cast a vision for this congregation going forward will be a critical step for the future of this church.
As pastor, I hope to develop intentional strategies for equipping leaders and carrying out purposeful ministry in the Washburn community. But the first step we must take as a church is to turn to the Spirit and listen for our call. I ask you to spend time in prayer, seeking God's guidance and direction, as I pray for the direction of this congregation. After that, I hope that you'll respond to God's call in your life, and take the risk of stepping into leadership. We may not be as methodical as John and Charles Wesley were, but we can seek the same type of fruitfulness that they built our church around, as we lead the congregation and community on a new journey together. I hope you'll jump on board and come along for the ride.