CliffsNotes – January 4, 2022

FMCiC’s First 2022 Priority Part 1:
Prayer-Worship-Evangelism-Discipleship

A new friend told me about her Church in a European country. Her Church is relatively large and she spoke quite enthusiastically about it. She highlighted their focus on evangelism. She herself is a part of a group that weekly goes downtown to engage people in spiritual conversations.
 
She admitted that though she has been involved for a few years, still she becomes nervous on her way. She does not have the gift that involves the ability to speak easily with strangers.
 
Once downtown, they set up 2 boxes. One is a disposal box, where a passerby is invited to write out what they would like to “get rid of in their life”. The passerby is offered a piece of paper and pen and invited to write down something they would like to “get out of their life”. Most ask if these pages will be read by anyone, and the team reassures them that “no, all these pages will be destroyed”. Some ask for extra pages! Next, once they deposit the paper in the “get rid of” box, the passerby is invited to take “something good” out of the other box. These are Bible verses.
 
My friend then asks the passerby if, what is on the Bible verse is at all related to what was written on the page they just “got rid of”. She said that it was miraculous that time after time, the Bible verse is absolutely related to the “get rid of” page! Participants are “stunned”. For instance, one person was “amazed” that her “get rid of” note was about “fear in her life”, and the Bible verse was a “do not fear” Bible verse. This person allowed my friend to pray with them because obviously something special and supernatural had happened.
 
Of course, some people walk by rudely, or suspiciously, but most are polite, and best of all, some receive Scripture, invite a prayer, and even end up in Church the following week. For my new friend, seeing someone she prayed with on the street, come to Church, choose baptism, and begin to become involved in ministry, is very “exciting”.
 
Why would I choose this inspiring story to start our year FMCiC? I am not trying to be prescriptive, that your Church should be doing street ministry, and use the 2 boxes as conversation starters. But I would like this story to inspire you and your local Church (see “FMCiC Ministry Plan” evangelism initiative below).
 
A. You might ask, “Isn’t 2-boxes gimmicky?” It is contextual for sure, as it effective in this European country, and might work in your town. “Gimmicky” can be Christian code (or excuse) for “it makes me uncomfortable, and my need not to offend is greater than my heart for the lost”. What is your heart for the lost? Does your heart for those Jesus loves motivate you to find ways to tell people about Jesus (read Luke 15 about Jesus and “lost”)?
 
B. Ok so street ministry may not work in your community, so if not downtown, and 2-boxes then what and how in your community?
 
C. My friend’s group looked forward to asking if the Bible verse that the passerby chose was directly related to the note they put in the disposal box. They fully anticipated God to speak to the passerby. The Church group did not have to convince, argue, or anything like that. They simply started the conversation and lead them to Scripture. God spoke. How will you lead people to this type of supernatural experience? Maybe an important question to begin with is, do you experience God speaking to you?
 
D. In the event that someone does want to understand your faith, or that you have to explain what the Gospel is, would you know how, or feel comfortable in doing so? Are you confident that your Church family is comfortable in doing so? What steps will you take this year to prepare for these types of conversations (2 Timothy 4:2)?
E. Would you feel comfortable praying with someone like my new friend does with strangers? Would you have faith enough to trust that the Holy Spirit would be in that prayer moment?
F.  Finally, do you trust Scripture to speak?
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.

 

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From the “FMCiC Ministry Plan 2021-2024”:
a) Evangelism: Though evangelism is certainly a part of discipleship, it is important for our mission to speak of evangelism separately from discipleship. The questions that we need to ask is “how are we to evangelize in this current climate?” and “What does it mean to be a missionary and evangelist in this season?”
  • We have introduced the idea of “distributed church”;
  • We continue to benefit from New Leaf workshops, etc, regarding evangelism;
  • We are also pursuing the idea of a leaders’ forum to discuss culturally relevant creative / entrepreneurial initiatives;
  • We are encouraging all churches to appoint a champion or small team to champion evangelism in their local church. The evangelism team is not responsible to create evangelistic campaigns, but is responsible to meet with all ministries and members of the church regularly in order to discuss, and inspire evangelism. This team will prayerfully consider evangelism training, and opportunities, in order to encourage their local church. The goal is that each ministry in the church (i.e. Children’s ministry, Worship ministry, Sports ministry, will consider how to be evangelistic).

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN

Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
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/518725147
Coffee with Jared: https://vimeo.com/533730644
Mystery Beverage with Marc: https://vimeo.com/504427854


ANNOUNCEMENTS
None this week

ORDINATION SERVICES
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

FOUNDATIONAL COURSES  http://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
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*

Wesleyan Theology:
June 4-6 2022 location TBA*

Also available:

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!)

SCHOLARSHIPS

2022 APPLICATIONS   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.”


SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS:
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 deadline to 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/introduction-to-continuing-education/
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.

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CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Interviewing
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)

Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC [full-time] (Jan 11)

Preparing Profiles
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
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC (Rev. David Griggs-Interim Pastor)
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)


EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Associate Pastor – The Open Door
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