By Roger Ross
The Missouri Conference leadership agrees that The Missouri Conference leadership has identified many places in Missouri in need of a new United Methodist Church. Through generous support and careful stewardship there is money available to help support the initial phases of starting a new church. Just one key element is coming up short: people who are ready and willing to go out and start something new.
Missouri Conference Director of Congregational Excellence Roger Ross aims to change that. Beginning now, Congregational Excellence is initiating a 10-month Planting Academy for pastors and laypersons who sense God’s call to start a new faith community.
The vision is to form an intentional community of potential and existing planters who experience a culture of worship, multiplication and accountability in a cohort over the course of one year, infused with coaching and mentoring facilitated by the Center of Congregational Excellence.
The process will be intense. The participants will form bands that will meet weekly, either in person or via conference call. Weekly readings will be required. Each month participants will be part of site visits or webinars. An expected outcome is that all participants will grow in their spiritual leadership and will begin a new faith community within one year (be it a small group/ class, missional community, new worship experience or new church) with the purpose of reaching new people with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Watch for the March issue of The Missouri Methodists, which will have a story about the Discernment Retreat in Columbia in late January. This event will kick-off the planter development process. Pastors and laypersons interested in knowing more about the Planting Academy should email Ross at rross@ moumethodist.org.
And what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.