Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Benefits from our Big Sister Conferences

I am sitting in a PNW cabinet meeting today in Seattle.  I always appreciate the hospitality they show me whenever I can attend.  I do listen to conversation and teaching about PNW conference matters.  And I always seem to pick up things for consideration in Alaska.

One example today is a process they are hoping to implement that will help churches who want to increase their health and vitality.  What is vitality?  Does it look different in Washington or Idaho from Alaska?  How do we measure vitality?  Worship attendance, baptisms, professions of faith are metrics that relate to the UM Church as an institution.  How do we measure vitality when it cannot be  counted?  How are our elderly disciples counted when they cannot attend worship?  How can we "count" people who participate with a church via social media?  How do new missional communities fit with the UMC institution?

As you can see I have more questions than answers.  My final question is this.  Should the Alaska conference engage in an invitational process to help local churches look seriously at their mission and ministry?

Grace Always,

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