Macon United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
175 Years Of Giving God to Glory
Macon United Methodist Church!
180 years of giving glory to God.
Sunday School at 9:15 Worship at 10:30
Macon United Methodist Church, today
Macon United Methodist Church
11964 Macon Highway
Clinton, MI 49236
Rev. Lance E. Ness
Sunday School: 9:15-10:00
Sunday Morning Worship: Sundays 10:30-11:30
Choir Rehearsal: Wednesdays at 7:00
The Future for Macon
On May 22 we had a brief meeting to discuss the future of our church. I'd like to thank everyone who attended. Your presence and input are greatly appreciated. At the moment Macon is facing troubles as we have many times before. In fact most mainline denominations in America are suffering losses and few gains. It can be discouraging and make us uncertain for the future, but 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” It would be better for us to be part of the solution and not another victim of the problem. The only way we are going to deal with problems is put our faith in God and deal with troubles head on.
Over the last few months I have been to several seminars and I am now ready to start making information available to everyone and start developing a strategy for church growth. This plan will entail as much cooperation as we can make. I know many of you may doubt your ability to participate in every possible activity, but I know everyone can help in some way. A turnaround requires commitment from every person from the top down. As always, we need prayer, love, encouragement, and even just a kind word can help. We need everyone's help to start moving us in a new direction. Please read this message in it's entirety, think on what I have written, and feel free to get your ideas to me as soon as possible. Whether you send it to me via email, call me, or hand me a note, I really want to hear, today, what you are thinking
To follow through on our May 22 meeting I will serve a breakfast on Saturday, June 25, starting at 8:30 AM. This will be a time to start sharing information, ideas, and assemble a team to make plans. Please attend if you are able.
Much of what I learned cannot be covered in a one time event. So I will start with offering information and ideas every week for the next month through e-mail and fliers. Please read them, think on them, share them with others, and join me in June for a planning session
Where to start?
Each seminar said essentially the same thing
-- PRAYER --
We need to set our eyes on God; make God the priority for our own lives as well as for the life of our congregation. We need to start out by seeking God and following God's way. That means staying open and connected to God. It means offering up our concerns and feeling free to ask specifically for what we seek. (If you think we need families with young children, feel free to pray for that, and also pray we will be ready to handle them when they come.) Churches start with God, stay on God, grow in God, and proclaim God. The central focus of all we do must be – GOD. Based on information gathered from churches all over the world, whether it be South America, Africa, India, Korea and wherever, one thing remains constant: churches that grow are churches that focus on God, Jesus, Bible, Evangelism, and believing in the transforming power of Jesus. (What a surprise.) Even in some very skeptical corners of America and Europe, where churches are dying quickly, we see some are growing. Which ones? The ones clinging to God, Bible, Jesus, etc. People are not hungry for the latest Philosophical theory, or political opinions. People want God. People want to see their lives changed. People want direction, and that's found in Jesus.
Identify Macon's – CORE VALUES.
What is the heart of Macon? What do we really value? What do we really believe? Sometimes the best place to start is by looking into ourselves. I have been told many times the more a pastor understand him/herself the better a pastor they are. The same is true of a church. If we really understand who and what we are as a church it makes growth and turn around more likely.
We need to develop - VISION.
Once again, this starts with prayer. Coming up with a plan that is God's plan and not our own.
What has Macon's place been in this area in the past? What purposes did it fulfill? What need is it filling today? What needs can we fill in the future? Etc. Understanding our Core Values helps make good Vision Statements.
Keep in mind, too many churches make the mistake of trying to develop a one sentence Vision statement. That may work for a business (“A car in every driveway”) but a church is actually more complicated. We need visions for Spiritual growth, Mission work, Outreach into the community, and much else. Feel free to come up with several ideas, several visions, for each major ministry a church is engaged in; “Our vision for mission work is...”, “Our vision for worship is...”
Start making a BHAG – “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”
It's OK to have a dream that you think is way beyond our reach, because it gives us something to shoot for, and with God all things are possible. As I preached on May 22, we cannot put a limit on God. Where would you like our church to be? Remembering our past and what did work may be useful, but we have to live in the present. A lot of what did work will not work today. We need some new goals.
I will end here for now. I still have a lot to share. - But please think on what I have written and feel free to get your ideas to me. I really want to hear, today, what you are thinking before June 25. Then we can start considering your ideas now and see about putting them to work.
and 180th Anniversary
September 21, 2014
180 Years, and still serving the Lord!