Learning doesn’t have to be hard (Coffee Responses Part 1)

This fall I had the chance to meet in small gatherings with over a hundred leaders from our churches who are passionate about reaching out to their community and world.  We discussed many ideas and challenges that we face in navigating mission, advocacy, finances, volunteers…the list goes on…  This series of blog posts will focus on some of these topics, and hopefully you will share in some discussion.

The United Methodist Church has more than a thousand congregations in Indiana.  It’s not always easy to learn something new (first you have to admit you don’t know it all already!), but just think about the impact we can make if we all work together learning from each other. So, before we dive into these issues I wanted to celebrate and share.  God is moving and working through our Indiana UM congregations.  Take a moment to learn and be inspired by just three examples:

  • Bluegrass UMC, located in the Evansville area understands that there are needs all around us.  God has given his people the ability to meet these needs, and so we are all called to serve.  Bluegrass created a website www.we-act.org as a place to connect those who are willing to serve with needs in the community.  Their church partners with community organizations to better understand and communicate the things that can be done to change lives.  Each year they do a “We Act” day of service.  The church comes together on one day to do as much as possible to improve life in their community.
  • Trinity UMC in Huntington, Indiana provides free medical care through a medical clinic located in their church.  They served over 1500 people last year alone with medical care, medication, dental care, and blood screenings.  They are serving God by healing the sick in their community who are underprivileged, uninsured, and those facing difficult financial times.
  • Monrovia UMC in Monrovia, Indiana has committed to serving a nearby mobile home community.  Their congregation regularly brings loads of food to the mobile home park.  Not only do they spend time handing out food, they take time to converse and get to know these people living near their church.

These are inspiring stories from churches both large and small.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  God is using our church.  Please, don’t be intimidated by another church. Instead ask them questions, try their ideas in your own church, or just let their passion for loving others help you to love others more.  Change and growth are not easy or comfortable, but it can be made much easier with the help and support of others.  Let this be a time for discussing, learning, sharing, and growing as churches connected with the same mission of transforming the world through the love of Christ.

What are some things your church is doing in the area of missions that are worth celebrating or sharing? Please post them in the comments below!

(This is part 1 in a series on Mission and Advocacy in your local church)

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