By Fred Koenig
Pathways Partners is a vision that started in 2005 with the aim of providing resources for new churches and assisting churches in reaching the next generation of youth. In the last four years Pathways Partners has provided $600,000 that has helped to support 25 new church starts.
The program is guided by Rev. Clayton Smith, Missouri Conference elder and executive pastor of generosity at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. He addressed the Conference by saying he first started coming to Annual Conference Session 42 years ago, and has served churches in a variety of ministry settings since then.
Many congregations have members who have accumulated wealth over the course of their lives, and are at a point where they want to make financial gifts that will make a difference. If there isn’t a great need in their local churches, they may choose to make their gift to an institution like a university or hospital. If they were introduced to the Pathways Partners program, they may be excited to learn of an opportunity to be able to share their faith through their generosity.
“Pathways Partners offers a compelling vision for United Methodism in Missouri, that it might not just survive, but thrive,” Smith said. Pathways Partners is focusing its resources on three key areas.