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Shared Learning Experience. WELCOME!. Session Six. Focusing Outward. Core Purpose for Today. Our core purpose today is to understand the importance of moving our church from being inward focused to being outward focused by reaching out to the community. Objectives for Today.

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Shared learning experience

Shared Learning Experience


Welcome

WELCOME!

Session Six

Focusing Outward


Core purpose for today

Core Purpose for Today

Our core purpose today is to understand the importance of moving our church from being inward focused to being outward focused by reaching out to the community.


Objectives for today

Objectives for Today

  • Evaluate where your church currently stands on being outward focused

  • Discover how to determine the best ways to connect with the community

  • Identify who God is especially calling your church to reach


Ground rules

Ground Rules

Be on time

Be engaged

Be curious

Be respectful

Please silence cell phones


Spiritual centering 1 corinthians 9 19 23

Spiritual Centering1 Corinthians 9:19-23

19 Although I’m free from all people, I make myself a slave to all people, to recruit more of them. 20 I act like a Jew to the Jews, so I can recruit Jews. I act like I’m under the Law to those under the Law, so I can recruit those who are under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law).


Spiritual centering 1 corinthians 9 19 231

Spiritual Centering1 Corinthians 9:19-23

21 I act like I’m outside the Law to those who are outside the Law, so I can recruit those outside the Law (though I’m not outside the law of God but rather under the law of Christ). 22 I act weak to the weak, so I can recruit the weak. I have become all things to all people, so I could save some by all possible means. 23 All the things I do are for the sake of the gospel, so I can be a partner with it. -- Apostle Paul


Reflection questions

Reflection Questions

  • How does this scripture speak to you?

  • Describe a time when you feel as though you emulated Paul’s ministry approach. Describe a time you believe your church did this.

  • How do we, and those in our church, put our mission to reach out above our preference to keep ourselves comfortable and take care of ourselves?


Action plan review

Action Plan Review


Action plan review questions

Action Plan ReviewQuestions

  • Application Learning:How did you apply what you learned to your specific situation?

  • Peer Mentoring:How can your teammates help you achieve your plans?

  • Accountability:Were you able to accomplish your plan? If not, what got in the way?


Action plan next step assignments

Action Plan Next-step Assignments

  • 1. Develop a plan to help your church decide which of the next-step options it will take.

  • 2. Find out if your church has official mission, vision and values statements. If your church hasn’t established these, then you’re encouraged to wait until Step 3 of FCJ before working on them.


Transforming our communities

Transforming Our Communities

“If this is Christianity, then I’m interested!

(The Externally Focused Church, p.7)

What experience have you had where someone was drawn to Christ because of actions they saw from Christians?

What might a local church do in their community as outreach that could end up being a form of evangelism? (See pp. 21-23)


Outward focused exercise

Outward-Focused Exercise

In five minutes list as many ministries offered by your church as you can, including worship.

Place an “O” in front of those that are directed toward persons outside your church.

Place an “I” in front of those that are directed toward persons inside your church.

Place an “I/O” in front of those that are directed to both groups.


Outward focused exercise1

Outward-Focused Exercise

Do you have more “I’s” or “O’s”?

Now star those ministries that are outward-focused (“O” or “I/O”) that your church has an intentional plan that does the following:

Collects their names & contact information.

Has someone intentionally contact them.

Has a follow-up activity/event to which they are invited.


Reflection questions1

Reflection Questions

  • What did you discover about your church through the above exercise?

  • What next-steps might your church put into place in order to connect better with its community?

  • What ministries could be modified so that it meets the above three criteria (prior slide)?

  • What ministries should you eliminate?


Focusing outward

Focusing Outward

Question: Why is it that 80% of churches in American are declining?

Answer: Primarily because they no longer are outward focused!

Questions:

Is your church in that 80%?

If so, does that bother you?


The fields are ripe

The fields are ripe!

  • 90% believe in God, most would include Jesus on a list of the 3 greatest humans who ever lived, high interest in spirituality.–AlanHirsch

  • The latest consumer studies show that the name “Methodist” is a positive name in the minds of the public (the highest rating of all denominations). -- from Bishop Coyner

  • UM’s focus on God’s grace, personal piety and acts of mercy (service) resonate with the unchurched.


Reality of the church

Reality of the Church

  • In 1906 half of UM churches were less than 25 years old, many growing; today most UMC’s are over 100, many are dying.

  • Each year about 40% of UM churches have no Professions of Faith.

  • In 1960’s our members were younger than the U.S. population. Now we’re older.

  • The percentage of young UM pastors (elders) has declined from 20% in the 1970’s to 5.6%.


Reality of the community

Reality of the Community

  • 80% of the U.S. population doesn’t fit the profile of married couples with children at home.

  • In 1960, 9% of children had one parent; in 2008, 25% did.

  • Sunday school was the primary doorway into the life of the church, more recently worship. Today it may be service and mission.


Where do we start

Where do we start?

Service


Where do we start1

Where do we start?

Service


Where do we start2

Where do we start?

It is at the intersection of these three that we’ll discover the type of service that our churches should focus on.


Church s strengths

Church’s Strengths

  • Consider your church’s ministry niche that it’s known for in its community.

  • Consider what it has historically been strong in.

  • Consider the ministries that are bearing fruit and are growing.


Community s needs and dreams

Community’s Needs and Dreams

  • Ask the people you’re already servingwhat their dreams and needs are.

    2. Conduct or use existing researchon the needs and dreams of the community, using tools such as:

    • Community Windshield Tour

    • Prayer Walking Guide

    • Community Leaders Interview Guide

    • MissionInsite (demographics)


Community s needs dreams

Community’s Needs & Dreams

3. Recognize the power of existingrelationships, including community leaders already in your congregation.

4. Prayerfully look and listen.


Where god is at work

Where God Is at Work

  • With whom does God seem already to be connecting you—Sunday mornings, weekday ministries, special events (e.g. VBS)?

  • What ministries does God seem to be blessing?

  • Where do you see God working in the community—the schools, other churches, etc.?


Reflection questions2

Reflection Questions

  • What do you think are the major needs in your community?

  • Where does God seem to be at work in your church and community?

  • 3. Where do you see those intersecting with your church’s strengths?

  • 4. How might you serve where those three intersect?


Focusing outward1

Focusing Outward


Determining your target group

Determining Your Target Group

  • Start with who you’re already reaching:

    • -- Are they coming from a particular geographic area?

    • -- Do they have a common ministry interest or need? (A.D.D. children, single adults, deaf, etc.)

    • Consider a people group whose needs are unmet, that match your church’s strengths and vision, and seem to be where God is already at work.


It s all about relationships

It’s all about relationships!

  • Less is more—what one or two groups might God be calling your church to intentionally reach?

  • You’ve got to learn their names, and they must learn yours. Match individual prospects with individuals in your church.

  • Spend timetogether.


Key learnings and takeaways

Key Learnings and Takeaways


Action plan prayer concerns

Action Plan & Prayer Concerns


Next step assignments

Next-Step Assignments

Come up with a plan to help your church identify its three greatest strengths.

Come up with a plan to help your church determine its target group.

Use at least one of the tools suggested for assessing your community.


Continue the conversation

Continue the Conversation!

1. Facebook page = http://www.facebook.com/makingdisciplestransformingcommunities

2. Blog Site = http://churchdevinumc.wordpress.com/


Our fcj toolbox

Our FCJ Toolbox

  • Outward-focused Exercise

  • Natural Church Development*

  • Community Windshield Tour*

  • Prayer Walking*

  • Community Leadership Interviews*


Core purpose for today1

Core Purpose for Today

Our core purpose today is to understand the importance of moving our church from being inward focused to being outward focused by reaching out to the community.


Objectives for today1

Objectives for Today

  • Evaluate where your church currently stands on being outward focused

  • Discover how to determine the best ways to connect with the community

  • Identify who God is especially calling your church to reach


Wrap up closing

Wrap-Up & Closing

Next book:

Get Their Name, by Bob Farr, Doug Anderson, and Kay Kotan

Evaluations


Have a great month

Have a great month!


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