Leader Alert: Want to be a More Missional Entrepreneur?

Date Posted: 6/25/2015

Upcoming leadership trainings provide laity and clergy leaders opportunities to discern a calling to church planting as well as church revitalization –and scholarships are available.

“I had toyed with the idea of planting a new church for almost 10 years,” admits Rev. Brent Parker. “It was during the days at New Church Leadership Institute where the idea of starting a new church grew into a recognition that God was calling me into this adventure. The time spent in worship, in learning, and in conversations with others who were also considering church planting, helped to create the necessary environment for me -- to both hear the voice of God and to find the courage to say yes to God's invitation.” Brent has recently joined the Texas Annual Conference with primary focus on starting a new campus for The Woodlands UMC.
Jeff Olive, Director of New Church Development for the Texas Conference, urges anyone even remotely curious about church planting to attend the upcoming New Church Leadership event Discerning a Call to Church Planting, which is being held October 12-15, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.
The New Church Leadership Institute (NCLI) provides training for clergy and lay interested in discerning whether or not God may be calling them to plant a new church. NCLI is a 4-day retreat during which time participants go through a rigorous time of learning, hearing from top church planters and discerning how God may be calling them to plant a new church.
Goals of the New Church Leadership Institute are to:

  •       Assist pastors and laity to discern if they are called to be a new church planter;
  •       Connect potential church planters with successful new church planters;
  •       Equip potential church planters with knowledge and skills for successful church starts; and
  •     Prepare pastors and laity for a variety of New Church Start strategies/models.
Scholarships are available
According to Jeff, only some of the graduates may eventually have the opportunity to be appointed to start a new church or be the second pastor of a new church--yet, all will gain from better understanding the role of new churches in the spread of the gospel and revitalization of the church. ?For information on participating in this year’s NCLI contact Jeff Olive at (jolive@txcumc.org) or 713-521-9383 ext. 313.
Coming to Houston Next January
Laity and clergy interested in exploring new types of ministry will also be excited to attend an interactive event and conversation called "The Elephant in the Sanctuary" on January 16, 2016. The event will be held from 9-noon at The Woodlands UMC at a cost of $10.
Explains Jeff, “There is little question that these are challenging days for the church, leaving many leaders ill-equipped for navigating the changes in their communities and congregations. Programs that always seemed to work decades ago no longer enjoy the same vitality or participation.” Adds Jeff, “Many church leaders are anxious and risk-averse, knowing they must do something to engage the younger generation, but if they do not know how, they are tempted to give up altogether. As the membership crisis builds, this topic becomes the elephant in the sanctuary.”
Discover Hidden Opportunities with Ministry Incubators
The Texas Annual Conference is hosting a conversation for church leaders ready to strategize new ways to do church.  Adds Jeff; “The Saturday morning event promises to point us toward the hidden opportunities embedded in the looming challenges facing our churches.” Experts Kenda Dean and Mark DeVries from Ministry Incubators (www.ministryincubators.com) will lead this interactive conversation.  Kenda is the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Mark is the founder of Ministry Architects.  Steeped in the changing dynamics of the modern day church, Kenda and Mark have authored more than 20 books and resources for the church.  
Long time friends and ministry collaborators, they created Ministry Incubators to help churches, groups of churches, and missional entrepreneurs imagine, invent, and innovate new expressions of the church.  This workshop is open to any and all church leaders who are interested in learning:
  •       New ways of thinking about financing ministry beyond tithes, offerings, and fundraisers
  •       A process for prototyping an innovative idea for missional entrepreneurship
  •      Provocative strategies for engaging young adults as missional partners and future leaders of the church, rather than consumers of ministry programs
Watch the website for registration information, or notify Marylyn at Marylyn Green mgreen@txcumc.org to receive event updates when available.