Strategic Plan goal: fruitful congregations
The Oklahoma Conference, proud parent of a 1-year-old, is expecting twins.
Churches, that is.
CrossTimbers United Methodist Church in Moore celebrated its first birthday on Easter Sunday. Its records show 47 professions of faith.
First United Methodist Church in Moore is the "anchor church" for CrossTimbers, and the pairing has boosted both of them. Lay Leader Kenny Quenzer reported that First Church just broke ground for a multipurpose center.
Other congregations are serving as anchors for two new-church plants, launched this month. Allen Buck and Adam Ricks were named Church Planters for the startups, in southeast and northeast Edmond. The anchor churches are OKC-Chapel Hill and Edmond-Acts 2, respectively.
"A new church is one place where we get a financial return on our investment, as well as a spiritual return," said Craig Stinson in the report for the Department of Congregational Development. The department directs funding support and more to grow churches.
Rev. Stinson saluted three churches established in this decade: Acts 2, Abiding Harvest in Broken Arrow, and Bridgeview in Norman.
"Each of these has already paid back more in Apportionments than the Conference gave them to start," he said. "From 2002-09, these three churches paid a total of $626,000 in Apportionments."
Delegates also approved action by other Conference entities to reach new people of faith. The Racial Ethnic Coordinating Committee (RECC) disbanded, shifting funds to a new category: Racial/Ethnic Church Starts. Six racial/ethnic representatives will be added to the Department of Congregational Development.
The Committee on Equitable Compensation added new church starts as a fourth category for salary supplement. Chairman Bruce Brotherton said the goal is to give new churches "every opportunity to succeed."
The Discipleship Ministry Team will roll out an evangelism initiative later this year, according to Chairman Greg Tener. James Graham encouraged churches to use the Natural Church Development (NCD) tool.