February, 2014

Fellow Ministers of the Gospel,

In life, it is good for us to reevaluate things every once in a while.  Am I making the most productive use of my time?  Am I setting the right priorities?  Is my work bearing fruit?  And if so, is there something I can change so that it might be even more fruitful?

Over the years, questions like these have led me to watch less TV, stop smoking cigars, and be more intentional about carving out family time.  These same questions have also led me to adjust the way I serve and work as your pastor.

Lately, I have been asking similar questions about the way we organize ourselves for mission and ministry at Emmanuel UMC.  Specifically, “What structure will best allow us to love God, love others, and make disciples of Jesus Christ?”

Let’s be honest: nobody likes church meetings.  There’s a general consensus that we have much better things to do with our time.  And, certainly, I am no fan of meetings for the sake of meetings.  But, unless we organize ourselves for mission, we will find ourselves flying by the seat of our pants – jumping frantically from one set of weekly tasks to the next.

There are some congregations in which the pastor alone makes all the decisions and then proclaims from on high what direction the church will be moving in on any given issue.  This is not that kind of congregation.  We are connectional.  We are ALL called to love God, love others, and make disciples of Jesus Christ – and we are called to do it together.

In the February newsletter, you will see a proposed structure for Emmanuel UMC.  I     believe that this structure – or something like it – will allow us to creatively engage in worship and mission while still tending to the important administrative work of the   local church.  I encourage you to prayerfully reflect upon this plan, discuss it with others in the congregation, and let me know your thoughts.

Yours in shared missional leadership,

Pastor Zack

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