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Where is your neighbor? Evangelism Event Wisconsin Conference UCC

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Presentation on theme: "Where is your neighbor? Evangelism Event Wisconsin Conference UCC"— Presentation transcript:

1 Where is your neighbor? Evangelism Event Wisconsin Conference UCC
David Schoen Congregational Vitality and Discipleship United Church of Christ

2 Meeting your neighbors Reclaiming a focus on neighbors
Missional in purpose Get the church outside of itself Relational in outreach It’s all about relationships Conversational in witness Talking about faith and life

3 Change or Opportunity Meeting your neighbor will mean changing your program but just program change is not answer Meeting your neighbor will call for change of mindset and understanding of church Importance of Message Change = Opportunity

4 Missional in Purpose Missional congregations clear sense of purpose
are sent churches reach out beyond themselves birth new ministries and congregations

5 Missional Church “The Church exists to serve God’s Mission” Mission as Missio Dei, UCC Committee on Structure, 1992 The church of Jesus Christ is the instrument and sign of God’s mission and realm. God’s mission is calling and sending us, the church of Jesus Christ, to be a missionary church in our own societies, in the cultures in which we find ourselves.

6 Missional in Purpose Relational in Outreach
Ministry in 21st Century is Relational Build community with those outside the church Get to know your neighbors and neighborhood This means Get out of the church!

7 Vital congregations discern God’s call and mission
The greatest characteristic of a vital congregation is the ability to articulate and live God’s purpose. What is God calling this church to be and do at this time, in this place, with the gifts we have on this corner of God’s realm that we are placed? Does your church love your neighbor (as it loves itself) ?

8 Relational in Outreach
Bridge the gap by building relationships The days of waiting for people to come to church to welcome them are over. Instead of waiting inside, we go outside

9 Meeting your Neighbors
Walk or Drive your neighborhood Watch for where God is at work Take notes, make a map, collect contact data Who lives where What are community needs Who are allies and good neighbors Do this again and again Talk to your neighbors What are the hopes and challenges of neighbors How can the church be a good neighbor?

10 Meeting your Neighbors
‘Hang out’ with your neighbors Meet neighbors where they gather Spend Sunday morning with your neighbors Soccer matches, Lowes, Coffee Shop, Exercise Pastors ‘office’ in a coffee shop, fast food, bookstore. Have meetings outside the church. Bible/book studies in coffee shop, book store Council meetings in neighborhood context Engage in conversation, build relationships, collect data of names/addresses/ s

11 Getting to know your neighbors and neighborhood
Invite Neighbors to focus group discussion Invite civic leaders, neighborhood planners What is happening in neighborhood? What are future trends and plans? What are physical/spiritual needs? How can church be good neighbor?

12 Meeting Your Neighbors
Random Acts of Kindness Clean the streets in neighborhood Block or neighborhood parties, picnics Free car washes, free ‘bake sales’ Frazzled parent dinners College student dinners Senior Dance evenings Charity or Accompaniment? Not ‘we are here to serve you because you need us’ We are here to accompany, walk with you and this neighborhood seeking to as good of neighbors and community as we can be.

13 Going where Your Neighbors Are
Go to the unlikely places Tattoo parlors Bars and Taverns “I stopped wondering about how to draw younger folks into my church and started focusing on how to draw my congregation out of its building and into relationship with the world outside its doors.”

14 Building Relationships Celtic Evangelism
In The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West Again, George Hunter writes about the difference between what he describes as the evangelism approach in Roman and Celtic Christianity. Celtic Christianity is the tradition of mission and ministry that was first developed by St. Patrick in Ireland and then journeyed into Scotland. Roman Christianity is the tradition of mission and ministry that was practiced by missionaries from Rome that sought to Christianize the people of England.

15 Celtic Evangelism Roman Model Celtic Model Presentation Fellowship
Decision Ministry and Conversation Fellowship Belief, Invitation to Commitment The Roman model seems very logical to us because most American evangelicals are scripted by it! It is the evangelism of revival, door knockers and brochures that ask where we are going to spend eternity. It is the evangelism that we usually respond negatively to. We explain the gospel, they accept Christ, we welcome them into the church! Presentation, Decision, Assimilation. In contrast, this is the Celtic model for outreach: (1) you first establish community with people, or bring them into the fellowship of your community of faith. (2) within the embrace of community, you engage in conversation, ministry, prayer and worship. (3) As people discover their gifts and faith, you invite them to commit to discipleship.

16 Belonging and Believing
Christianity is more caught than taught! As Professor Robin Gill observes, belonging comes before believing. For this reason, evangelism is now helping people belong so that they can believe. No Matter Who You Are or Where You Are on Life’s Journey, You Are Welcome Here! Reflect on your own experience, came to believe in community of faith Helping people belong so that they may believe. Stillspeaking experience reminded us that we have a mission and message. Reaching out over the abyss of alienation to the spiritually homeless those alienated from god and god’s people with a message of God’s extravagant welcome. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey you are welcome.

17 Relational in Outreach Conversational in Witness
Conversational ministry is central to the future of the church in 21st Century Count conversations, not conversions Brian McLaren, More Ready than You Think

18 Conversational Ministry
The postmodern world calls for disciples who reach out to a world that is hungering for good conversation about faith, values, hope, meaning, purpose, goodness, beauty, truth, life after death, life before death and God. Engaging in everyday faith conversations will not only help others become Christians, it will help us become better Christians, who know and love the still speaking God more than ever.

19 Conversational about Faith and Life
Spiritual Seekers want to talk. Holy Conversations – Richard Peace We are the ones not talking. Reverence for God – silence and service. Tell it Like it is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony - Lillian Daniel Your neighbor doesn’t know why you do what you do.

20 Conversational in Witness
Buzz Marketing Evangelism One beggar telling another where there is food Come and See!

21 Love Your God and Neighbor
The Evangelistic Love of God and Neighbor: A Theology of Witness and Discipleship, Scott. J. Jones, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2003 If we love our neighbor and our God We will share our still speaking faith and community with them. We will find appropriate ways and time to do so.

22 Are You Ready to Talk? Why do you love your church?
What impact has believing in God and following Jesus made in your life? What Bible text has made a difference in your life? Let’s practice Pastor had helped congregation simply to ask, do have a church you go to Are you ready to talk Why do you love your church What difference has knowing god, christ, and the holy spirit made in your life No theological words Richard peace, practice with unchurched

23 Still Speaking Conversation and Invitation with Neighbors
Informal moments at work, shopping or…. Be attentive for moments for a still speaking word Become a Still Speaking Voice Wear your still speaking witness Home dinners with neighbors First Welcomers New Neighbors Public Worship Ashes to Go

24 E. Word - Elbow “The e.word today is elbow.”
Jim Griffith 2010 Wisconson Conference Still today the way most folks find a community of faith is when they are invited to come by a friend or neighbor.

25 Friend–Raising Weekend
315 Congregations 4,200 visiting guests 6.2% increase in worship St. Stephen’s UCC 35 guests from 79 invitations Journey UCC 33 members - 36 guests St. John’s UCC 52 Guests 15 Youth

26 Go Forth…. Into the Virtual World.
In Asia, Europe and North America—an entire generation has experienced the Internet as a means for maintaining relationships with family and friends. The Internet is a lifeline for users whose mobility is limited by disability, chronic illness or advanced age. The Internet is where we can find and engage our neighbors.

27 Costs are nominal or FREE!
Greetings. It’s a pleasure to be with you today. As David shared, I have been doing this work for the better part of 15 years. I’m proud to say that the foundation of my work was built on print production, design and Christian journalism. The tenants that I learned early on are used on a daily bases with the work I do online. Let’s review a few housekeeping items before we get started. We will be covering the following today: The impact of social media What is social media Share examples of social media in journalism The tools of social media How you can use these tools in your work Type your questions in the “Ask Questions” box to your left. Click the full screen button to view webinar in full-screen. You will not be able to see the Ask Question box in full-screen. To close full-screen simply click the full screen button again. Thank you again for having me. Let’s get started. Costs are nominal or FREE!

28 Daily Devotional now has nearly 20,000 subscribers – and many more read on facebook. Very popular.

29 Meeting your Neighbor on-line
Connecting with neighbors on-line Church Website Invitational Interactive Messaging E.newsletter Links Facebook Church fanpage Your own Advertising

30 Meeting your Neighbors with new Technology
Blasts KYEP Cong. Vitality Daily Devotional Twitter You Tube Webinars Go To Meetings Apps

31 God is still speaking, Through you and me! Let’s practice
Pastor had helped congregation simply to ask, do have a church you go to Are you ready to talk Why do you love your church What difference has knowing god, christ, and the holy spirit made in your life No theological words Richard peace, practice with unchurched

32 Meeting your neighbors Reclaiming a focus on neighbors
Missional in purpose Get the church outside of itself Relational in outreach It’s all about relationships Conversational in witness Talking about faith and life

33 Where is Your Neighbor? What are you taking home?
Pray, Pray for your neighbors and congregation This takes time, strategy and work. Get a team of ‘bright-eyed’ people together Study and conversation with congregation Takes support of congregational leaders Just get started. Do one thing. Start with strength

34 Where is Your Neighbor? Thank you for your vital Leadership
Blessings as you discover where your neighbor is Thank you for Your Support of Changing Lives: That’s Our Churches’ Wider Mission

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