May31FriMay 31, 2019
This past Wednesday Lesli Van Milligen of our denomination’s Faith Formation Ministries presented The 6 Essential Strategies that help congregation’s engage themselves in ministry and community life as a church, focussing especially on engaging youth and children. The strategies are reinforced by considerable research. Lesli began her presentation by reviewing several myths, things that are NOT essential to churches willing to engage. Those myths included things like “a trendy region or location, an off-the-charts cool quotient, a big modern building, a big budget, trendy worship, watered down teaching style, a hyper entertaining ministry program.” Although a church must consider their context and times, slick does not always mean success or effectiveness. Instead the research presented concluded that what is effective are some of the following: unlocking keychain leadership (handing over the keys of leadership and responsibility), a willingness to empathize with others- especially youth, taking the message of Jesus seriously, fueling a warm community, prioritizing young people and families, being the best neighbours by engaging the surrounding community. Each of the previous phrases need much more unpacking and Lesli helped us to begin to do that unpacking. She also encouraged us to identify and work with our strengths to move forward.
Bethel Church owns several of the GROWING YOUNG books in which much of these principles are filled out. Please let the office or myself know if you’d like to read one. They’re available in the council room. Wednesday evening represented an time of worthwhile and helpful learning! Thanks to all those who attended. -EGN ps. A book also highly recommended by Lesli is entitled GROWING WITH (Kara Powell) and is especially helpful to and directed at parents