Saturday, August 7, 2010

One of the requirements in the the final year of our ordination process is to complete an ordination project.

It needs to be something we’d be doing anyway and we’ll just need to add some layers — writing a spiritual reflection paper and preparing and giving a 15-minute multimedia presentation to the Board of Ordained Ministry, a division of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville, TN.

In that light, here’s the background I wrote for this project …

I arrived at Centre Grove in July 2008 with the initial goals of (1) getting acquainted/acclimated and (2) building a shared vision. To build a shared vision, I began leading Council on a 2-year journey through Bishop Schnase’s Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations in January 2009. As we finish up our engagement of the Five Practices, the next step is to rethink prayer in the life of a disciple-making/transformational church!

Here’s the purpose of this project …

The best way to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world is to be a prayer-saturated church. A prayer-saturated church is mission-driven and outward-focused. My goal, as a transformational leader, is to cultivate a place where prayer informs, guides, and empowers mission and ministry!

Here’s the plan for executing this project …

  1. Deepen my own personal prayer life through greater focus on spiritual disciplines (especially prayer, Scripture reading, journaling, and fasting).
  2. Recruit prayer partners to pray for me and the mission/ministry of the church.
  3. Develop a missional prayer guide based on the Lord’s Prayer.
  4. Equip leaders to lead groups/committees in missional prayer.
  5. Engage in missional prayer in Council meetings, particularly as we discuss Risk-Taking Mission and Service and create new ways to engage our community with the good news of Jesus Christ (fall 2010).
  6. Equip people for missional prayer through preaching (fall 2010 series on the Lord’s Prayer, “What Would Jesus Pray?”) and teaching (emphasize missional prayer in new First Steps class, which grew out of our Five Practices discussion; open to all, required for membership).
  7. Provide opportunities to model and/or engage in missional prayer (e.g., make prayer during worship more missional by praying intentionally for mission and ministry, in addition to personal needs) and prayer-walking/driving in our neighborhoods.

The project involves identifying the fruit/results of the project. While shaping the culture of a church is a long term effort, there are some short-term goals I’d like to accomplish in the next few months:
  • Equip people to pray missionally (i.e., to saturate the church’s ministry in prayer).
  • Be more intentional about praying missionally in worship gatherings, ministries, and meetings.
  • Experience greater fruit from our mission/ministry.
  • See more people get involved in the mission and ministry of the church (this one may take longer to see fruit, but it’s an important, if not long term, goal).

While my time is limited, I am hoping to connect with and learn from other prayer-saturated churches (churches that saturate their mission and ministry in prayer).

I would appreciate your prayers for this effort (not just the “ordination project,” but more importantly, the initiative at Centre Grove!).

---by Randy Willis, Centre Grove UMC,
Clearfield, PA; Susquehanna Ann Conf.
God is Still in Control!
Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer

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