Stepping into the Gap
by Sally O. Langford
I easily picture vital local churches. I visualize healthy congregations, whose leaders and members are eager to grow in their love for God and others, to be witnesses to their faith, and to use their gifts and resources to serve the global community.
At the same time, I see that many local churches are struggling to be vital in the midst of changing demographics, declining finances, shrinking resources, and unengaged members.
How can clergy leaders faithfully and effectively lead local churches from where they are now to where God is calling them to be?
Susan Beaumont can show us a way to bridge that gap.
It is tempting to feel discouraged, even powerless, when confronted by the gap between current reality and God’s desired vitality. And yet, the gap represents a leadership opportunity from God. God is calling us to step into the gap to help local churches move from where they are to where God wants them to be.
Susan will give us the skills to mobilize our people to tackle the tough challenges. She will teach us how to lead in the midst of conflict and influence others appropriately.
The Reverend Susan Beaumont, an experienced consultant and coach, will lead a leadership development conference for WNCC clergy on October 6-7, 2015 at St. Luke’s UMC in Hickory. For interested clergywomen, Susan will lead a morning session on the particular leadership challenges of clergywomen on October 8.
Two years ago, I participated in Susan’s leadership development conference, “Leading Adaptive Change.” The experience was for me mind altering and life changing! I learned that leadership is an activity of choice. Susan reminded me that the old ways of doing things aren’t working. She taught me how to identify underlying challenges in my own ministry setting and then showed me how to enlist people to address those challenges. Thanks to Susan, I made an action plan for continued growth as a leader. I’m not yet the perfect leader, but thanks to Susan Beaumont, I am leading.
You too can learn from Susan Beaumont.
I invite you to put on your calendar Susan Beaumont’s leadership training in October. In October, you can step aside from the busyness of your normal ministry routine and gain rich, practical insights into your own leadership challenges and opportunities.
Registration will open at www.wnccumc.org
on July 15. The two day event is $50 and includes registration, snacks, and lunch both days. Hotel rooms are being held in the Hickory area, and information will be available in July. For no extra charge, clergywomen are invited to attend a morning session with Susan on Thursday, October 8.
Susan Beaumont can inspire us to step boldly into the gap, where we will exercise leadership for the sake of God’s work in the WNCC.
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at email@example.com.