Setting the Record Straight
While the Call to Action does not define vitality, it assumes that a vital congregation is living out the mission of The United Methodist Church to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Roberts pointed to The Book of Discipline par. 122 for “The Process for Carrying out our Mission”:
We make disciples as we:
- proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ;
- lead persons to commit their lives to God through baptism by water and the spirit and profession of faith in Jesus Christ;
- nurture persons in Christian living through worship, the sacraments, spiritual disciplines, and other means of grace, such as Wesley’s Christian conferencing;
- send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, being and becoming a compassionate, caring presence, and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the gospel; and
- continue the mission of seeking, welcoming and gathering persons into the community of the body of Christ.
Churches Respond to the Call to Action By Melissa Hinnen
I have been coaching pastors this summer around visioning, the planning process, congregational mapping, community mapping and implementing ministries to achieve all 16 of the ministry drivers found in the Call to Action. Nothing can be achieved without a commitment to calling, equipping, nurturing and sending disciples. The pastor and congregation must be willing to develop new ministry systems and engage ministry to become more externally focused. The concept of being externally focused is a new and learned behavior for pastors who have spent many years honing their skills to focus on their congregation and keep everyone internally happy.