FMCiC 3 Year Ministry Plan: Initiatives 4, 5, 6
Every church should be working on, or working with a current ministry plan. These plans should come out of a prayerful discernment process (we recommend the Life Plan tool) which is about listening to God and your local church’s unique calling to accept responsibility for your community. The leadership of the FMCiC has recently been through this type of process and has approved a 3 year ministry plan. Each week, for the past four weeks, I have introduced you to another initiative in the plan: Engaging women in leadership, our friendship and witness to the LGBTQ community, and “missions” (Intercultural Engagement Team). Today I will introduce three more – each one foundational to our health and for FMCiC accepting responsibility for our community. Perhaps these three should never be teased a part as they are so intricately, theologically connected. Perhaps they should always be a part of one conversation. But for the purpose of clarity, accountability and strategy, we will discuss Evangelism, Prayer and Discipleship as separate initiatives.
Evangelism: Evangelism is not a “program”, nor is it a ministry in the local church; rather, it is a lifestyle and should simply be how the church functions regularly. Evangelism in Scripture is married to discipleship (read Matthew 28:18-20). For instance, when did the disciples become Christians? The Bible doesn’t give us their “spiritual birthdate”. The Bible describes how Jesus discipled His followers into being evangelist-disciple-makers. For Jesus, discipling started with the “nones” and “dones” types, sharing life with Him. Evangelism should be a part of the discipleship culture in your local church. Evangelism is what happens in our age level ministries, in our quilting ministries, in our sport’s, in our Sunday morning times, etc. Nationally, evangelism is necessarily and beautifully connected to church planting, Intercultural Engagement (missions), and prayer. Furthermore healthy churches evangelize.
Evangelism is, in our opinion, a part of the discipleship process, however it is being listed here separately because of this one very important question: “Do members of the FMCiC feel equipped, confident and motivated to tell others about Jesus?” Towards this end, the NLT is in talks with an organization that equips the local church with training and a plan, to fully live as an evangelist. Leaders, spend some time with that question…
Prayer: Prayer is not a program, nor is it a ministry in the local church; rather, it is a privilege and responsibility every follower of Jesus is entrusted with. The National Prayer Team, led by Rev. Ken Roth, has already invited each church to appoint a “Prayer Point Person” to be in contact with this national movement. These point persons and the National Prayer Team have already begun to pray together monthly via Zoom. It is the National Prayer Team’s goals to: to have a prayer point person from each FM church family; continue to grow these monthly prayer times; pursue prayer partnerships with FMUSA, and other Canadian churches; to develop training and equipping events for the point persons; to equip each local church to develop prayer teams (for healing, deliverance, intercession); and to mobilize the FMCIC into prayer.
Discipleship: Discipleship is not a program, or a 12 week class, nor is it a ministry in the local church; rather, it is a lifestyle and should simply be how church family shares life together. Discipleship is an intentional, organic and transformative relationship that Jesus modeled for each of us. The purposes of discipleship include: i) nurturing church family; ii) learning God’s Word; iii) prayer-worshipping; and iv) participating in God’s mission in the world (Matthew 28:19). There is obviously no ‘one size fits all’ model of discipleship, therefore several organizations and leaders are helping us develop training opportunities for our leaders and network leaders. First of all the FMCiC has already developed, and will continue to develop, “Bearing Faithful Witness: Exploring what it means to be a community that lives and tells a good news story”. This discipleship resource is already available to you. Other organizations and resources available to us include: “IF”, “3DM”, and “Radical Mentoring”. Several FM churches are also functioning with very healthy models that we need to consider. The goal is that every FM church has a discipleship model or ethic, and a strategy to help them form a discipleship culture. That when people talk about the FMCiC, “discipleship” is one of the descriptive words.
One More Thing…
Karlene and I were with Freedom FM in Brantford, ON this past Sunday. They set up a long table in the middle of the room from where they served communion. At the end of the service Pastor Greg invited us all to stand around the long table. We used liturgy and then we served each other communion. A very good church family time around Jesus’ table. You might remember that Brantford was interviewed at our last General Conference because they made the brave move to sell their building and rent / partner with a local community ministry that feeds, clothes, trains, loves their community. One long time member who used to be responsible for building maintenance explained it this way to me: “I used to fix the furnace, doors, and whatever else needed repairing. We sold the building to partner with this ministry, and now instead of spending my time on a building, I am now with people serving breakfast Friday mornings, and being with them during the week!” Instead of being preoccupied with building and maintenance, he is preoccupied with people! Great challenge to the FMCiC! Thanks Freedom FM!
Church Health Thursdays – Marc’s Annual Advent Blog: https://fmcic.ca/marcs-annual-advent-blog/
News & Stories Blog – Weyburn FMC & Operation Christmas Child: https://fmcic.ca/16533/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: https://fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Podcast: Jeff and Jan Steckley – Contemplative practice, second half of life & the art of starting: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-53-jeff-and-jan-steckley-contemplative-practice-second-half-of-life-the-art-of-starting/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Rev. Diane Clifford (Lead Pastor at Church of the Holy Spirit, Fort Frances, ON) – appointed Network Leader for the NW Ontario Network, replacing Rev. Doug Wightman, effective January 1, 2019.
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
Louis Innocent – ordination service on March 17, 2019 at 2 pm, Eglise Methodiste Libre La Foi Des Elus, Repentigny, QC
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
Register online through the link above.
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 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
November 1-3, 2019 – location TBA*
June 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
November 1-3, 2019 – location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
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 (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – TBA
(*locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
2019 SCHOLARSHIPS https://fmcic.ca/scholarships/
February 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during Winter semester of 2019. See instructions and the 2019 application forms to download from the link above.
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2019 – apply online from the link above
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://fmcic.ca/introduction-to-continuing-education/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year. Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note: For those who attended the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON
Melfort FMC, Melfort, SK
Weyburn FMC, Weyburn, SK
Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225 (deadline to apply in brackets)
(If you are interested in reviewing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [[email protected] or 289-228-1225] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON
Intercultural Engagement Team Leader – Free Methodist Ministry Centre
Part-Time French Translator – Free Methodist Ministry Centre
Part-Time Receptionist – Free Methodist Ministry Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist Church
Associate Pastor – Verona FM Church