Here’s where we left off last week: I entitled this Cliff’s Notes series “FMCiC’s First Priority: Prayer-Worship-Evangelism-Discipleship”. We tease these apart, prayer, worship, evangelism and discipleship, in order to help clarify doctrinal statements, and to have clearly defined categories on our bookshelves; but these are not neatly separated in Scripture. Worship and prayer are not separate categories in Scripture, and those who pray-worship will feel compelled to evangelize. For Jesus, evangelism was (is) simply a part of the discipleship journey. In order to evangelize we must do so ‘out of’ a dynamic prayer-worship life, and evangelism, prayer and worship are essential elements of discipleship. FMCiC family, pray-worship-evangelize-disciple – this is our number one priority in 2022.
I believe that evangelism is an element of discipleship. Our current working definition of “discipleship” is (by the way thank you for the ongoing contributions you make to this working definition): The Church must provide a variety of experiences in order to fully disciple – Jesus did! Jesus discipled by teaching His disciples, but He also simply lived with them, camped, journeyed, played, laughed, served others, went to parties, went to Temple (and synagogues), asked questions, and helped them make a difference in other people’s lives. Discipleship in Church must also be multi-faceted. We are asking all churches to create a “Discipleship Plan” as a part of their own “3-5 Year Ministry Plan” or strategic plan. The following will help in the development of your strategic discipleship plan, as local churches incorporate and provide these elements of discipleship for their members. Discipleship is:
- Jesus-discipleship is Christ-centered; therefore, we should understand discipleship as an intentional, organic and transformative relationship that Jesus modeled for each of us, wherein 2 or more people meet regularly for the following purposes:
i) nurturing Church family;
ii) learning God’s Word in order to apply to daily life;
iii) learning to hear and listen to God;
v) discovering gifts and participating in God’s work in other people’s lives (Matthew 28:19) and
vi) healing, deliverance, and wholeness in Christ.
- Jesus-discipleship includes fellowship with the local Church family. This may include the following:
a) Small group;
b) Participation in local Church ministry;
c) Fellowship activities where Church family laughs and enjoys each other (potlucks without those nasty Jell-O salads with broccoli and raisins inside, clubs, and sports);
d) Sunday morning corporate worship experience;
e) Prayer meetings;
f) Church classes, seminars, conferences and other training opportunities.
- Jesus-discipleship includes coaching / mentoring: There are differences between coaching and mentoring, however, for our purpose it is sufficient to say that local Churches should provide both of these. Coaching is defined as a help given by an expert to an individual for the improvement of her life. Mentoring refers to an activity where a person guides a less experienced person. Some FMCiC coaching / mentoring opportunities include: “IF”, “3DM”, “Radical Mentoring”, “Transformational Leadership”, and of course the FMCiC network system for our ordained leaders.
NOTE: Coaching can be a professional designation, that would certainly complement bi-vocational pastoral ministry. Coaching can be a community service, an evangelistic opportunity, and could generate an income for bi-vocational pastors. I encourage pastors to participate in coaching, and to consider exploring professional certification.
- Jesus-discipleship may include spiritual direction: Spiritual direction is a soul-care relationship in which a person journeys with another believer in order to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading. The Spiritual Director is someone attuned to God and particularly gifted as a listener. The director listens to God, self and the directee. Together they discern God’s calling for the directee in each new life season.
NOTE: Spiritual Direction can be a professional designation, that would certainly complement bi-vocational pastoral ministry. Spiritual direction can be a community service, an evangelistic opportunity, and could generate an income for bi-vocational pastors. I encourage pastors to participate in spiritual direction and to consider exploring professional certification.
- Jesus-discipleship may include Christian counseling / psychotherapy.
NOTE: Psychotherapy is a professional designation, that would certainly complement bi-vocational pastoral ministry. Psychotherapy can be a community service, an evangelistic opportunity, and could generate an income for bi-vocational pastors. I encourage pastors to participate in psychotherapy, when appropriate, and to consider exploring professional certification.
I encourage all of us to consider our engagement in discipleship. Are you being discipled, as per our working definition, AND are you discipling? There is professional training that more of us should prayerfully consider. Pastors I recommend that you spend your continuing education units well, and I’m suggesting that the aforementioned are examples of well spent CEU’s!
Finally, An update about Rule of Life 2.0. I have decided to postpone at this time. The National Prayer Team will be inviting us into a Lenten prayer season for our movement.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
2nd Tuesday of each month: What’s Got You Thinking?
3rd Wednesday of each month: Get the Scoop with Lisa and Alison
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday
Message from Bishop Cliff: https://vimeo.com/
Coffee with Jared: https://vimeo.com/
Mystery Beverage with Marc: https://vimeo.com/
None this week
March 20 at 2:00 pm – Alyson Lauber – Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK
Date and time TBA:
Erika Mills – location TBA
Benjamin Platz – Next Church, Kingston, ON
2022 FMCiC INTERNSHIP PROGRAM https://www.fmcic.ca/intern-prog/
The FMCiC Internship Program exists to build healthy leaders for The Free Methodist Church in Canada and beyond. We invite any local church interested in participating in the FMCiC internship program to review the detailed information on the website (see link above) and apply online.
The deadline to apply for a 2022 FMCiC-sponsored internship is FEBRUARY 28, 2022.
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES http://www.fmcic.ca/
Register online through the link above (Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course. Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCIC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 4-6 2022 location TBA*
June 4-6 2022 location TBA*
- Tyndale University: https://www.tyndale.ca/
- FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course with several start dates: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/
Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit. Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.
Culture and the Missional Church:
2022 Date and location TBA*
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course – 2022 Start Date TBA
(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
2022 SCHOLARSHIPS http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP):
The Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) provides financial assistance to candidates who are studying to meet the educational requirements for credentialed ministry, or for members of conference pursuing continuing education.
February 15 is the deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2022. The 2022 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above. Please use the application forms marked “rev 2022.”
The Special Scholarships provide financial assistance to those who are members of a Free Methodist church pursuing post-secondary education to grow in their Christian faith, to those who are pursuing credentialed ministry, and to members of conference pursuing continuing education.
October 15 is the deadlineto apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during the 2022 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above. Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://www.fmcic.ca/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year. Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note: For those who attend the fall Minister’s Conferences or the spring Regional Gatherings, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Prince Albert, SK – Cornerstone FMC
Saskatoon, SK – Lakeview FMC
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 416-240-7845 (deadline to apply in brackets)
Harrowsmith, ON – Harrowsmith FMC [full-time] (Feb 15)
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC [full-time] (Feb 15)
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC [full-time] (Jan 11)
If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FMC, (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Hamilton, ON – Rymal Road Community Church
New Westminster, BC – First FMC
Oshawa, ON – The Corner Church (Free Methodist /Church of the Nazarene) (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)