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A Question of Fruitfulness “My Father is glorified by this that you bear much fruit and become (prove to be) my disciples.” (John 15:8)

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Presentation on theme: "A Question of Fruitfulness “My Father is glorified by this that you bear much fruit and become (prove to be) my disciples.” (John 15:8)"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Question of Fruitfulness “My Father is glorified by this that you bear much fruit and become (prove to be) my disciples.” (John 15:8)

2 A Question of Fruitfulness John 15:4-5 “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches... apart from me you can do nothing.”

3 “Joining Jesus in his revolution to transform leaders, communities, and the world.” What led to ABIDE for Smaller Congregations?

4 By the Numbers Percent of UM Churches By the Numbers Percent of UM Churches 50% = 16,500 churches50% = 16,500 churches 47 plus in Worship46 or fewer in Worship UMC churches w/t a PF in 2012 = 48.5%

5 Six Issues Identified Six Issues Identified 1.Spiritual Life— 1.Spiritual Life— Low self-esteem, reduced prayer, biblical illiteracy, apathetic worship, and missing connections to Jesus. 2.Leadership 2.Leadership— Both appointed pastors and laity often feel ill prepared to lead their churches in this century. 3.Conflict— 3.Conflict— Personal preference wars have often eroded a sense of loving fellowship both for insiders and new attendees. 4.Mission & Vision 4.Mission & Vision— Many struggle to maintain a mission focus while facing survival challenges. 5.Context 5.Context— Older smaller churches often no longer relate well to the community they reside in. 6.Structure— 6.Structure— Sometimes related to facilities but more often to control issues, effective decision making, and unity of purpose.

6 ABIDE Creating leadership teams in smaller membership churches that are: ABIDING IN CHRIST, ADVANCING GOD’S MISSION, ALIVE IN GOD’S GLORY.

7 “Joining Jesus in his revolution to transform leaders, communities, and the world.” The ABIDE Model

8 The ABIDE Process Notebooks with all materials are provided for each participant throughout the project. ABIDE begins with an overnight retreat designed to:  rekindle faith, hope, and love  reveal the John 15 design  begin forming covenant teams  love, learn, and lead together

9 The Full ABIDE-SLI Project The ABIDE process continues for another months during which participants learn the value of spiritual leadership and the specifics of how they will invest at least 8 hours a month to:  practice a way of life  invest together as a team  hold themselves accountable  transform the community.

10 ABIDE Team o Builds a team of spiritual leaders (becoming like Jesus) who are Loving Learning and Leading together in covenant. o Creates an environment where persons can be and can make disciples. o Clarifies Values, Mission, and Vision (Focus). o Develops a MAP (Ministry Action Plan) answering o Who are we? o Where are we? o What is God calling us to? o How are we going to get there? o Commits to bringing transformation to both the church and community by putting their MAP into action and continuing to adjust it as needed. o Expands the process by building other similar teams who MAP and implement ministry.

11 Ministry Action Planning Worked Through in Two 6 Month Cycles

12 Ongoing Monthly Activities o Loving God & Neighbor through o Spiritual Formation and worship - the process of being conformed to the image of Christ, a servant of others for the sake of God’s mission o Sharing with others their ongoing spiritual journey and relationship with God o Learning through o Personal and congregational examination o Reading and discussion of recommended materials o Intentional efforts at Ministry Action Planning o Leading by o Participation in developing a leadership team o Participation in building and implementing a congregational Ministry Action Plan

13 Living into the L 3 DNA

14 Creating the Environment

15 LOVE as Spiritual Formation Growth in my personal relationship with God in Christ – abiding as his true disciple Growth in my relationship with the ABIDE team and others in a covenant of worship, trust, and love

16 The Learning Process

17 Reading and Assignments Books & videos YouTube Movies Teaching Data & discussion Your context internal external Your values, mission, and vision Your ministries

18 Leading for Transformation

19 Leading Strategically Becoming true spiritual leaders in your church by helping others learn and experience what you have. Engaging others to explore the very best ways to expand the work of the Kingdom and help transform the community.

20 Advancing God’s Mission Joining the Holy Spirit in Transforming our Communities is our ultimate calling and mission. o Becoming Externally Focused o Individually and as Congregations o Exploring Cooperative ministries o Such as how to join with others and address poverty, new people groups, family issues, etc.

21 Spiritual Leaders The key to success is the willingness of participants to make abiding in Christ and being fruitful for God’s glory a high priority for this season of their lives, investing 8 hours a month as a group to Love, Learn, and Lead together for revitalizing the Church and impacting their world.

22 Simply Put, They... o Create an environment of grace and truth in which persons can mature as spiritual leaders. o Compose a covenant of mutual accountability and live in it for at least a year. o Journey together committed to helping the whole congregation become and make disciples.

23 “Joining Jesus in his revolution to transform leaders, communities, and the world.” What People are Saying

24 Finding us on the Web Under the “Resources” TAB you can find various materials related to ABIDE as well as an ABIDE Video Introduction. Also, check out the testimonials under the “SLI Story” TAB, and explore the entire site for more information on SLI. The SLI Website

25 A Video Introduction

26 What People are Saying ABIDE is refocusing our hearts and minds on the purpose of the church and helping us look once again to the future. Our group is deepening their life in Christ, and seeking God's will for themselves and our church. All of this after only 3 months in the program. I can hardly wait to see what God will do here by the time the program ends! Thanks SLI, for helping us ABIDE in Christ once again. Rev. Debbie Arvelo, Alden UMC, Alden, Kansas.

27 What People are Saying I will be 53 years old this August and never searched God’s life book for guidance in the topic of Church business. But thanks to our Abide journey, I have learned what truly abiding in Christ is supposed to be. No, I do not get it all right now, but I do know where to go for ALL of life’s questions. Every step we made toward God, he was there waiting to bless us. The Abide group has been just the best. Come on in boys, the waters fine!!! o Jeffrey Hoover, Gamewell UMC Lenoir, NC

28 What People are Saying Though entering into the ABIDE Process with some trepidation, we have found it to be life- changing for our five-member team. It is amazing the bond we have establish between us. We hope that we can spread this love and enthusiasm with others. We also have great optimism about the potential impact upon our small church and community as we head into the future of this ministry - with God's help. Dianna Bloom and the ABIDE Team of Big Springs United Methodist Church, Kansas.

29 What People are Saying The Abide process is “real world” Christianity calling each of us to leave our comfort zones, to get out of the box and to be and take the church out in the community. Abide also calls us to have eyes, ears and hearts alert and responsive to the glory of God at work all around us. Jesus said, I am the vine. You are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing. Cling to Jesus. God Bless. Nancy Tate, member, Providence UMC, Rutherford, NC

30 What People are Saying Abide is what Blue Mound UMC has been waiting for. We wanted to try some things and we had started a Bible Study; but Abide has tied much of it together and brought our team together. Now we are going through the process with excitement as we look to the future. Dallas Peterson, Pastor Blue Mound UMC, Kansas

31 What People are Saying ABIDE has had a wonderful impact on my life. It has brought me closer to Christ and through Him I have been able to use the knowledge learned in ABIDE to become a leader in areas where I never felt God could use me before, such as leading my church's ABIDE team and teaching women's groups. Thank you for this program. In Christ, Beth Murphy, Team member Cedar Grove-Sunshine Charge, NC

32 What People are Saying All the concerns in this list were real issues I felt we needed to address in our congregational development plan for the Marion District. I felt (and still feel all the more) that ABIDE is the best way to address them. Leader Development, especially empowering new, young adult leaders; Training, especially empowering laity; Recovery of Focus (the mission of the Church); and Planning and Implementation Skills. It’s win/win for everyone! Marion District NC (Phillip Cole, DS)

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