Rev. George Riggins, Pastor of Monroe UMC wrote this on his blog.
I’m sure you are curious about the reason for my excitement.
Actually, I think our whole congregation has reason to be excited.
Now I know you are curious!
Two days ago I asked you to be in prayer for the members of the Administrative Council as they met that night to make a decision on whether or not to accept the invitation of setting some challenging goals and receiving training in six areas: ministry with the poor, worship, faith development, stewardship, making new disciples and new church partnerships.
I am excited because the Council unanimously agreed to accept the invitation and to become a participant in “The Five Talent Academy.” The Academy has been created by the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church to offer resources and opportunities for any local church which desires to take the next step in mission and ministry. (You may remember that the July 27th edition of the Monroe UMC Connection focused on the Five Talent Academy.)
The Council made a three year commitment to focus on the six areas I mentioned above. Each area will be the subject of concentrated attention for six months. Speakers with expertise in one of the areas will make presentations at large gatherings. Following these presentations participants will meet together in smaller peer groups to facilitate sharing among congregations in the Academy.
By the way, the next large gathering features a speaker who will focus on ministry with the poor. It will be on Tuesday, October 2nd, and the location closest to us is Thrasher Memorial UMC in Roanoke. If you would like to go, please contact me before September 9th for more information.
I believe the Council has taken a courageous first step toward making Monroe UMC a congregation that will become more fruitful in ministry and mission in the future than it is currently. All of the ambitious goals that have been set may not be reached, but I am convinced that more is going to be achieved than would have been achieved had the goals not been set at all.
Here are the goals:
- Worship: 5% annual increase in attendance.
- Evangelism: professions of faith represent 10% of average worship attendance.
- Faith Development: Small group participation represents 50% of average worship attendance.
- Engage in Mission and Ministry with the Poor: 50% of worship attendance serves by actively participating in relational ministries with the poor; 10% of annual giving supports ministry with the poor.
- Stewardship: 5 % increase in annual giving.
- In addition, we will prayerfully pursue a plan to plant or partner in planting a new faith community in the next five years.
Let us continue to pray for our congregation, “Lord, your will; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.”
Grace Upon Grace,
Rev. George Riggins — Pastor of Monroe UMC