September 2014

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up
according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.”
[Ephesians 4:29]

Greetings in the name of Christ,

The story of the cross. Only a few faithful remained at the foot of the cross, the others had lost hope. Luke 23:49 Things were about to change …

The story of John Wesley. John Wesley realized that the institutional church was not effective at making disciples for Jesus Christ. He started the home church movement and alternative worship venues. Things were about to change …

Our story. Many of our people have lost hope, given up, and see a limited future. We are comfortable, set in our ways, and have a fear of change. Things are about to change!!!

No matter what happens – we need to be in charge of the change.

On July 22nd I had the opportunity to attend an ARISE workshop at the offices of The Oklahoma United Methodist Church Foundation. What a wonderful program. I have provided a snapshot of the program in this newsletter.

ARISE consists of four areas: Prayer, Purpose, People, and Plans. The first three (Prayer, Purpose, and People) were presented during this workshop.

 

PRAYER

“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” Acts 1:12-14

Seven days of Prayer will help focus our thinking, set priorities and bring God into ARISE. We can try to do it on our own, but God is the only one who can truly lead us.

Seven days of Prayer will actually last two weeks: one week of preparation and one week of prayer.

PURPOSE

VISION

A current and relevant vision statement can guide our church and empower our members to be more effective in ministry and in making disciples for Jesus Christ.

The vision statement should reflect what God has in mind for our church. It will focus primarily on our community, while not neglecting the needs beyond our city limits.

MISSION

Can you imagine mission opportunities in our community? We can quit asking the question: What opportunities are within the shadow of our church and we can start recognizing those within the shadow of our church.

PEOPLE

What is the most important leadership principle we should all understand? Great leaders serve.

We need to:

  • Pray daily and support each other;
  • Give the best we have to offer in our time, talents, gifts, service and witness;
  • Tithe or work toward the tithe;
  • Be creative;
  • Develop and equip shepherds;
  • Lead without fear;
  • Be accountable; and
  • Practice Ephesians 4:29.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

As we enter the time to prepare for Charge Conference, let us pray about how we can more effectively make disciples who make a difference.

Turning our church over to God. In the near future, I will be planning an ARISE workshop here at Talihina First United Methodist Church.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

In faithful service,
Don Baker

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