The World as Our Parish
Two weeks ago I attended a leadership conference at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. The last time I attended was in 2014, and I found the workshops and speakers incredibly helpful as our congregation undergoes a time of death and resurrection. I’m still compiling my notes and the ideas shared, but I wanted to go ahead and name some things that especially stood out that apply to us.
- “The world is our parish.”: Reverend Michael Beck led two sessions that I attended and encouraged looking for “fresh expressions of ministry. He reminded us of John Wesley’s famous quotation that he looked upon the world as his parish. Rev. Beck pointed out that so often in the church, we make the parish our whole world instead of going into the world to make disciples. Oh how that statement hit me! It is so easy for our worlds to revolve around where we are instead of venturing out into the new thing where God’s calling us.
- “We are called to create environments where we are honest with ourselves, with God, and with one another through the lens of the gospel”: Speaker & coach Carey Nieuwhof emphasized how desperately people are looking for honesty and authenticity. The earliest Methodist societies thrived because they were rooted in prayer, confession, and the study of Scripture. This is such a powerful but simple model we are called to embrace in the Church.
- “Turn away from scarcity mentality.”: Reverend Olu Brown did an excellent job of explaining that we often give up in ministry because we feel like “we never have enough.” We must reclaim that we serve Jehovah-Jireh—the God who is more than enough! Reverend Brown reminded me that as children of God, we are a people of hope, not despair, and he will always give us more than enough!
all good things to each of you,