July 28, 2017

By Jennifer Simms & Susan Sneed

Roger Ross, newly named the Director of Congregational Excellence for the Missouri Annual Conference, received a warm welcome Saturday afternoon as approximately 250 clergy and laity attended is workshop, “Meet the Goodpeople: Wesley’s 7 Ways to Share Faith.”
    
Ross defines “Goodpeople” as people who do all the right things (pay their bills, don’t commit crimes, mow the neighbor’s lawn) but don’t have a personal relationship with God. They often feel a void, a “something missing” in their life, but aren’t sure what the missing piece is.
    
These people are in every community, as is evidenced by the fact that the U.S. is now considered the third-largest mission field in the world. Ross share personal stories from his career as pastor of both an established church and a church plant, reaching the unchurched and growing communities of faith.
  
Ross challenged attendees who sometimes feel their church is stuck to consider an important question: “To get a new result, what new prayer do I need to pray?”
    
Rev. Chris Snyder, Lake Lotawana UMC, was motivated to buy Ross’ book  after attending the workshop. “Hearing his passion and Wesleyan influence was encouraging. I look forward to hearing more from him and working with him in the future.” In brief, the seven ways are: 

  1. Be devoted to prayer: “…the grand means of drawing near to God.” 
  2. Go where the people are: Wesley didn’t wait for people to walk in the door; he went to them no matter where. 
  3. Speak plain truth: Use everyday language with everyday people, despite all the $3 words you may know.
  4. Use the music of the culture: If it doesn’t touch people’s hearts, they won’t hear God. Make music for the people who ARE NOT there. 
  5. Place everyone in a small group for spiritual growth: Intentional support and encouragement happens easier in the intimacy of a space group. It can provide an on-going awakening and a spiritual family.
  6. Give the ministry to the laity: Wesley took his mother’s advice. When the laity oversees the ministry, they have real ownership in it and it multiples. 
  7. Use mass communication to get the word out: Wesley prolifically used what he had….the printing press. Learn to use social media and other digital tools effectively.