In New England church life, the turn into September is often the time when new energy emerges. Many program starts up - new groups, Bible studies, etc. I thought I would do the same by restarting my blog writing.
However, each weekly post will have a particular focus. I was reminded recently that in organizations like the church, "we are what we celebrate." In my current ministry, I am privileged to see lots of exciting things happening around New England. Therefore, each week I plan to highlight one of those exciting things - something that we can celebrate as a community of faith in New England. At the same time, I recognize that there is no way for me to experience everything out there that's going on, so if you've got something you think I should know about and post here, let me know!
Lay Missionary Planters Network training. Nearly a year ago, a group of lay people committed to meeting one Saturday a month for 10 months, 6 hours each day, to learn basic skills of church planting and multiplying leaders. This training was developed by the folks at Path 1 in Nashville, and covers a wealth of material. Participants engage topics like UM 101, Wesleyan theology, pastoral care, church planting, how to multiply leaders and how to multiply ministry and more. Each month participants are given "homework" so that they can further develop the skills learned each month.
At the end of the training, there are four options available for each "graduate," depending on their aptitude and interest. They could 1) plant a new faith community connected to the parent church they come out of, 2) be part of a planting team, 3) be a facilitator for the next network, and/or 4) teach modules of the LMPN training at their local church.
On October 12th at the Nueva Vida UMC in Chelsea, MA, we will celebrate the graduation of 13 Lay Missionary Planters. The celebration is planned for 7 p.m. that evening - if you can, please plan on attending this great night! Here's what's even more exciting: two of those lay people graduating have already formed a new community of over 30 people in East Boston, a community that will become a satellite campus of the Nueva Vida UMC!!