55 churches have signed up to begin the EPA’s new Pathways journey this fall. Your church can learn more by viewing this introductory video: Introduction to Pathways
Do you desire for your congregation to learn and live out God’s purpose and blessing?
Has imagining and creating a right path forward in ministry been a challenge for your church?
Are you ready and willing to move forward in your mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? But are you unsure of the next steps you need to take?
The new Introduction to Pathways video begins by asking the questions churches will ask themselves, as they consider participation in the new EPA Conference initiative to help congregations envision and work toward forging a more vital, hopeful future.
Indeed, such questions are essential to discernment; and that is what churches are being encouraged to do first, as they begin to map out their chosen Pathways to Fruitful & Healthy Ministry.
The video’s two on-screen narrators—the Revs. Evelyn Kent Clark, Dean of the EPA Cabinet, and Steve Morton, EPA’s new Leadership Development Manager—assure churches in this brief video (under five minutes) that “we are ready to come alongside you for the journey…” They describe Pathways as “a guide, a tool to help congregations discern God’s calling for them, even in a season of change,” so that each church can “reboot and prayerfully move forward” in serving God and its community.
Moving forward starts with assessing a church’s situation, context and options for doing efficient, effective ministry, particularly in communities with changing social dynamics. Whatever the direction—whether to increase the vitality of worship, or create small-group ministries, or grow financial giving, or resolve church conflicts, or learn to counter racism and engage in ministry with diverse communities—the end-goals are still the same: to raise up new leaders, grow disciples and transform lives.
Congregations that choose to adopt a Pathway, Clark and Morton tell viewers, will receive a trained coach to help them learn and offer them support and encouragement in their planning and follow-through. But any help will be “facilitative, not directive,” as churches make their own decisions.
“The way many of us did ministry in the past was good, but it will not carry us into God’s desired future,” says Morton. “A new vision from God may be unfolding amidst the changes taking place in our churches and communities.”
“Let’s share this journey together!” the two leaders urge at the video’s end.
To learn how you can be part of Pathways visit EPA’s website and use the Pathways link at the top (www.epaumc.org/pathways).