Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Youth Small Groups

I am trying to locate a good curriculum for youth for a small group ministry beginning, with the possibility of expansion.
Our youth group is currently 30-35 youth per week, with age ranges of 6-12 grades, with the occasional little brother or sister so that the youth can come and attend when they might be otherwise babysitting.
In order for us to make the next step with our group it looks like we are going to need to move into the arena of small cell groups, with short term studies. This will help to provide the nurturing for our youth who had left the youth group because it had gotten too large, and help us grow as we try to find new growing edges.
I also have this idea that the location of these meetings might be with someof our long-time members. I think this could help in the movement from multi-generational to inter-generational ministries here at the church, as well as providing a very helpful model of Christian witness in the leadership of these small groups.
Any help you can give me about programs that have been helpful to you are welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Taking a Risk

During the month of August Del Rosa UMC has been hearing from our congregation members about their transformational experiences. This has been a risky venture.

First, there are the critics who feel I need to be in the pulpit every Sunday. I point out the four Sundays we are given for vacation and the two Sundays for continuing education. We also are given a week for Annual Conference, and a week for camp, as well as the understanding that we are a connectional people.

Second, I am trying to create a church that has lay people who are being trained in every aspect of church leadership, including preaching. To this end I try to find people to preach for me when I am away, including, but not limited to the four other preachers we have in our congregation. I also look to Sundays like UMW Sunday, Youth Sunday, Camp Sunday, and Laity Sunday to provide opportunities for the lay people of the congregation to preach.

Third, I am intimately aware of the need we have to tell our stories to one another. This congregation has longbeen established, and many people know the stories of one another, but there are new people all the time who need to tell their stories and hear the stories of the faithful.

Fourth, if we are to be a professing people we need practice telling of the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. The hope is that the church is a safe place for that to begin to occur. Then, the people may feel more able to share with another person after already having shared with a large body of people.


Friday, August 11, 2006

School of Congregational Development, part II

We have returned form the adventure that is the School of Congregational Development. More and more the lesson seems to be-have a plan. The challenge to that is when each pastor has his or her own plan, and it is tailored to his or her preferences. When that happens and the church has input the mesh gets to be quite the mix, and one has to hope when the Cabinet makes the next appointment to the local church the pastor has the ability to enter into that mix. The scary thing about most of the plans is that they are pastor driven models, and the conrgegation rarely takes responsibility, though they may follow through on the expectations of the pastor. My goal is to teach a church to teach its pastor each time a new appointment is made, especially since they have to be teaching each other along the way. I want an apprentice for each job in the church.

The second adventure of SCD was housing. Once again we had housing problems. It saves the pocketbook - this time we got three days removed from our five day bill.

When we arrived the room smelled pretty rank. So we went out the next day and bought some candles to aerate the room during our stay.

On Saturday the sink began to back up, which was surprising since the room above us had just had the sink snaked, and one would think the snaking would have removed the clog. The snaking itself was quite loud and disturbed naptime to no end.

The disturbance of naptime would not have been so bad, except that the neighbor next door played his TV so loudly during the night it shook the walls with the bass. Finally after 5 calls to the front desk attendant and the off-site phone service and no response I went next door, disturbed the guy with the "don not disturb" tag in his door who was disturbing us with his TV at 4AM and he turned the TV wayyyy down-maybe even off.

I then reported the sink clog to the front desk the next morning, and they assured me a plumber would be in that day to fix it (Sunday)...he had just left on Saturday when I reported the sink to the front desk. And surprisingly, nothing we got a night comped.

The sink backed up more with this nasty black stuff, and we were offered a new room, which might have been a good idea, with the crazy loud next door neighbor, no kitchenette sink due to the back-up and an elevator that did not work, but alas we decided the work involved to move rooms was not entirely worth it.

So Monday we complained again about the sink, asked about the elevator and the crazy next door neighbor. The sink would be taken care of that day, the elevator tech had already spent two days working on the elevator and there was now a series of parts on order. Nothing could be done about the neighbor, unless we had an immediate complaint about the noise.

Tuesday morning the manager came in and we told her again of all three problems with our room, I think we might also have had a note in the system about the horrid smell of the room when we arrived, since I had to beg the front desk manager for housekeeping supplies to do the airfreshening when we arrived. The fornt desk attendant was chained to the front desk and could not go to a room to do the work, and housekeeping had all gone home.

Needless to say it was more of an adventure, which seems to lighten the load on the pocketbook and that isn't all bad.

I promise the SCD was about more than bad hotel rooms, but for now that is what is really on my mind...that and the funeral and wedding tomorrow...which I need to go prep for now.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

School of Congregational Development

I am excited to go and learn some more stuff about how to encourage and grow the local congregation. But I found a very helpful and successful tool in taking the time to talk to folks who visit the church, whether they stick around for a while or are just one-timers. Take notes from them.

At any rate here is the schedule for the School of Congregational Development.

School of Congregational Development
August 3-8, 2006
San Diego, California
Schedule of Events

DS–District Superintendents' Track
CL–Conference Leaders' Track
BT–Bishops' Track
NC–New Churches
EC–Existing Churches

Thursday, August 3, 2006
Registration 10:00 a.m.
Opening Worship
Plenary: 1: Spiritual Life of the Leader
Bishop Swenson
1:00 p.m.
Break 3:00 p.m.
Basic School - Ministry Tracks
(Same groups meet Fri. at 3:30, Mon. at 3:30, & Tues. at 10:00)

1. New Church Development (Pre-launch): Candace Lansberry/Don Smith
2. New Church Development (Post-launch): Brad Kalajainen
3. Turning Around Existing Churches: Rob Weber & Dottie Escobedo-Frank
4. Focus Churches: Doug Anderson
5. Emergent Ministries: Mike Skelton & Bill Lizor
6. Multiethnic/Multicultural: Edlen Cowley
7. Community Based Ministry: Jim Conn & Rudy Rasmus
8. African- American Track: Joe Daniels
9. Korean Track: Jongmin Martin Lee & Woong Min Kim
10. Hispanic Track: Jorge Luis Mayorga
11. Fitzgerald Pastors: Patti Thomas, Scott Ireland, Junius Dotson

Bishops, District Superintendents, & Conference Leaders
Bishops, DS, and CL Key Trends: Craig Miller
Church Incubator: Barry Carpenter

3:30 p.m.
Opening Dinner with Tongan Dancers at Hotel 5:30 p.m.
Gathering Music 7:30 p.m.
Plenary 2: Vision & Call
Rudy Rasmus
7:45 p.m.
Friday, August 4, 2006
Gathering 8:30 a.m.
Plenary3: Ministry in Urban Areas
Phil Amerson
8:45 a.m.
Break 9:30 a.m.
Basic School: Core Seminar 1
Tracks 1 & 2 (NC) Creating a Discipleship System: Dan Glover
Track 3-10 (EC) Invitational Preaching: Safiyah Fosua
Fitzgerald Pastors

Bishops, District Superintendents, & Conference Leaders
Bishops: Community-Based Congregations: Rudy Rasmus/Jim Conn
DS: Developing a Strategic Plan: Duane Anders/Rachel Lieder Simeon
CL: Congregational Development Strategy: George Howard/Keith Hwang
Church Incubator: Barry Carpenter

10:00 a.m.
Lunch on your own 11:30 a.m.
Plenary 4: The Next 25 Years
Craig Miller
1:30 p.m.
Break 2:45 p.m.
Basic School: Ministry Tracks
(Meet with same group and in same location as Thursday's 3:30 session)

Bishops, District Superintendents, & Conference Leaders
Bishops, DS, and CL – Key Characteristics: Jim Griffith
For participants from Previous Years: First Light UMC: Steven Blair
Conference Leaders' Incubator: Barry Carpenters

3:15 p.m.
Dinner on your own and evening off 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 5, 2006
Gathering 8:00 a.m.
Plenary 5: Intentional Growth
Jonathan Lee
8:30 a.m.
Break 9:30 a.m.
Basic School: Core Seminar #2
Tracks 1 & 2 (NC) – Invitational Preaching: Safiyah Fosua
Tracks 3-10 (EC) – Creating a Discipleship System: Dan Glover
Fitzgerald Pastors

Bishops, District Superintendents, & Conference Leaders
Bishops: Key Steps for Starting New Churches : Craig Miller
District Superintendents: Dane Anders/Rachel Lieder Simeon
Conference Leaders: George Howard/Keith Hwang
Church Incubator: Barry Carpenter

10:00 a.m.

Lunch on your own with the rest of the day off.

End of event for bishops.
(Those who are staying for total event will meet with DS track for its sessions.)

Sunday, August 6, 2006
Worship at Teaching Churches
(You are invited to attend worship at one of the Teaching Churches on this morning and to participate in lunch and a teaching session in the afternoon that meets from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. )

Lunch at Teaching Churches
12:00 Noon
Teaching Sessions 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Travel to Hotel
Dinner on your own and Latino Dancers
5:00 p.m.
Plenary 6: Creating Ministry with Latinos
Michael Rivas
7:30 p.m.
Monday, August 7, 2006
Gathering 8:00 a.m.
Plenary 7: Leading the 21st Church
Rob Weber
8:30 a.m.
Break 9:30 a.m.

DS & CL: Planting a Garden – Linda McCoy
Basic School – Ministry Seminars
(Seminars repeated at 1:30)

10:00 a.m.
Lunch on your own 11:30 a.m.
Ministry Seminars Repeated 1:30 p.m.
Break 3:00
Ministry Tracks (Same group and location as Thursday 3:30 p.m)

District Superintendents, & Conference Leaders
District Superintendents: Dane Anders/Rachel Lieder Simeon
Conference Leaders: George Howard/Keith Hwang
Church Incubator: Barry Carpenter
3:30 p.m.
Dinner on your own
5:00 p.m.
Worship: Remembering Your Call
Dottie Escobedo-Frank
7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Gathering 8:00 a.m.
Plenary: Ministry Through Team & Small Groups
Janet Forbes
8:30 a.m.
Break 9:30
Ministry Tracks (Same group and location at Thursday 3:30 p.m.)

District Superintendents, & Conference Leaders
District Superintendents: Dane Anders/Rachel Lieder Simeon
Conference Leaders: George Howard/Keith Hwang
Church Incubator: Barry Carpenter
10:00 a.m.
End of Event 12:00 Noon