Learn How to Get Your Church 'Unstuck' at Time of Discovery Events


 By Jasmine Haynes, Web and Social Media Specialist, Mississippi Conference  

Photo right: Assistant to the bishop and director of faith community formation, Rev. Tim Thompson shares resources and next steps for the journey of church planting and revitalization.

Clergy and laity from the Jackson Metro Area met to learn about church planting and revitalization at the 'Time of Discovery' session at Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson. Rev. Timothy Thompson, assistant to the bishop and director of the faith community formation office facilitated the event and expressed that sometimes pastors and members feel stuck and seek to hear direction from God before taking next steps as a faith community.

Christians can be aware that God called them to be a disciple and to make disciples, but aren't really sure how to actually become one. A Time of Discovery's purpose is to give an overview of what tools can help believers become and make disciples. These tools include 360+, a survey created to aid churches take clear steps as they walk through the process of revitalization. In addition, coaching was not only mentioned as a resource but also clearly defined in terms of what coaching is and what it is not. Coaching is not managing or mandating, but it is encouragement and an added level of accountability to help faith communities achieve the vision they feel God has called them to work towards.

"One of the most important things in church revitalization is keeping the main thing, the main thing," said Thompson. "Good leadership is choosing the right focus at the right time -- that's what revitalization is about."
Thompson shared with the group the danger of pastors attending these revitalization and planting events alone or sending one lay person to take notes.
"Take a team because whoever goes -- if they go by themselves-they will get excited because a spark will be lit," explained Thompson. "Then the person who attended will go home and try to explain the vision to the rest of the church and they'll put cold water on your fire."

More informational church planting and revitalization gatherings are to come. Click here to see times, dates and locations for upcoming Time of Discovery events.