Building Vision: Part 3
Vision is a clear mental picture of a preferable, even inspiring future, imparted to us by God. The vision usually takes into account our current gifts, passion, resources and circumstances (though, He is not limited by our current passion, gifts and resources!). God entrusts healthy, prayerful Church families with this kind of vision.
Someone asked me what my vision is for FMCiC. “Healthy churches”, continues to be the short version, because when the local Church is Gospel-healthy then that neighbourhood is eternally impacted. The real question for a denominational executive is, what does healthy Church look like? Two weeks ago, Director of Leadership Development & Church Health, Marc McAlister spoke to me about the FMCiC definition of a healthy Church. Last week we discussed how the FMCiC vision for healthy churches, must in this season incorporate what it means to be a PEOPLE OF PEACE – you can read this here. Today let’s consider how to build this vision.
Before I say anything more, please leaders, and each one of us when we develop our own personal vision plans, consider what it means to first of all become a listener to God. For churches, what does it mean to become a “house of prayer”, and what specific steps do we need to take to get there? Training, prayer commitment from each individual leader, corporate initiatives, etc.
For individuals, what does it mean to be a woman or man of prayer, and what steps do I need to take to get there? Mentors, commitments, etc.
The next step in vision-building is to consider church health, or individual or personal “health”. Specifically, are there any issues of unforgiveness or other sin issues which God would like us to address right now? I remember in one Church as we were about to enter a vision-building season, we decided to hold a Wesleyan “Love Feast” (an unfortunate title for an event, I know). It was a Sunday night, we prepared 100 mini loaves of bread. I explained that the whole time would be communion: walk up to each other, ask if their heart was good with you, and if yes, then each take a piece of each other’s communion loaf. If no, then talk about it. We were to do this with everyone in the room. It was a fantastic night, and some significant conversations happened / started that night. It was healing, and would serve as a marker: “as of this moment all past issues have been acknowledged or have been brought to the Lord”.
Next, Churches please invite your Regional Coach to help you begin with Life Plan. If this is a personal vision-building season, invite a friend to begin to pray and ask you important questions about your gifts, passions and God’s nudges in your life.
The final product will be:
- A written 3-5 Year Ministry Plan.
- It will be inspiring so that those within and those not-yet in the Church will read it and be inspired. This means that you will not allude to people as “projects” or “statistics”.
- It will have clearly stated objectives with preferred outcomes.
- It will be God-size (I mean, that it will not be what you could do on your own, but that it will require His empowering to make happen). God-size does not mean 109 different ministries! Perhaps it is only 5: prayer, worship, children, youth and confronting poverty in town by starting a bakery which mentors people into jobs.
- It will become how you evaluate your effectiveness on your mission.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
2nd Tuesday of each month: What’s Got You Thinking?
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday
None this week
June 12 at 2:00 pm – Erika Mills – Blue Mountain FMC, Thornbury, ON
June 26 at 2:00 pm – Benjamin Platz – Next Church, Kingston, ON
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES http://www.fmcic.ca/
Register online through the link above (Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course. Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCIC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 3-5, 2022 – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*
- Tyndale University: https://www.tyndale.ca/
- FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/
courses/ Wesleyan Theology [#74W] Dr. Robert Vaughan – start dates: Apr 19, June 7, Jul 26, Sep 13, Nov 1
Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit. Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.
Culture and the Missional Church:
Date and location TBA*
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course – Start Date TBA
(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
2022 SCHOLARSHIPS http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP):
The Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) provides financial assistance to candidates who are studying to meet the educational requirements for credentialed ministry, or for members of conference pursuing continuing education.
October 15 is the deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the summer and/or fall semesters of 2022. The 2022 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above. Please use the application forms marked “rev 2022.”
The Special Scholarships provide financial assistance to those who are members of a Free Methodist church pursuing post-secondary education to grow in their Christian faith, to those who are pursuing credentialed ministry, and to members of conference pursuing continuing education.
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during the 2022 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above. Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://www.fmcic.ca/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report hours acquired during each year for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Check the link above for information on CEUs, and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
You can now send a report online anytime you have hours to submit for CEUs. Here is the link: https://fmcic.wufoo.com/forms/continuing-education-unit-ceu-report-form/
Note: For those who attend the fall Minister’s Conferences or the spring Regional Gatherings, attendance is now taken at these events so 6 hours of CEU credit for each event will automatically be recorded.
For those who took courses and/or did in-depth research and learning about how to make the changes required during the pandemic (ie how to live-stream services), add the number of those hours to your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC
Oshawa, ON – The Corner Church (Free Methodist / Church of the Nazarene)
Saskatoon, SK – Lakeview FMC
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC
Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] (deadline to apply in brackets)
Hamilton, ON – Rymal Road Community Church (full-time) [May 31]
Harrowsmith, ON – Harrowsmith FMC (full-time) [May 31]
New Westminster, BC – First FMC (full-time) [May 31]
If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FMC, (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Dunnville, ON – Dunnville FMC
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Pastor of Children and Their Families – Whitby FMC
Associate Pastor of Youth & Outreach – Trulls Road FMC
Tearfund has a number of current openings for interns and students. You can access their list of available positions here.