Saving a slowly dying church
By Susan Cooper, Kansas communications associate director
The scenario at Epworth United Methodist Church in southeast Wichita was a familiar one to many mainline denominations — an aging, dwindling congregation in a changing neighborhood. Churches in this situation generally have two choices. They can change, or they can die.
More than two years ago, their pastor, Rev. Jimmy Taylor, knew the church had to change. He encouraged the congregation to engage the people in the neighborhood....
5 essential behaviors for vitality
By Lisa Diehl, Kansas communications director
Vital congregations, whether large or small, share five congregational behaviors, according to Rev. Jorge Acevedo.
Acevedo is the senior pastor at Grace Church in Fort Meyers, Fla. The church has four campuses—the main campus where 2,000 people worship each weekend, two smaller congregations and a community center.
Rev. Jorge Acevedo shares five congregational...
Holton Evangel lives up to 'good news' name
By Barbara Nissen, special contributor
Evangel United Methodist Church in Holton had been in decline for 25 years, until five years ago when the congregation decided to choose life over death.
The church’s remarkable turnaround is one of 15 similarly amazing stories featured in a newly released book, “We Refused To Lead a Dying Church,” by Paul Nixon.
Evangel United Methodist Church in Holton (file photo)
Small church achieves big goals with military mindset
Not many churches can say their success stems from military experience, but, in the case of Crossroads United Methodist Church in Lansing, it’s true.
Because of their proximity to Fort Leavenworth, Rev. Lucinda Holmes said the congregation consists of many retired military personnel.
The mindset these members bring with them is one of goal-setting, trial and evaluation. Most important is their use of after-action reports, a military analytical tool that allows the congregation to...
Community benefits from Americus UMC's participation in leadership programs
It would be hard to ignore the enthusiasm in Pastor Gina Gile’s voice as she talks about the spirit of her congregation today. However, this wasn’t necessarily the case a few years ago.
“At one point we asked ourselves, ‘If we closed our doors, would anybody miss us?’” Gile said. “Sadly, we knew what the answer might be — and that hurt.”
Youth plant hostas at the...
Roeland Park UMC works to attract young families
By Lisa Diehl, Kansas Area Communications director
The size of the congregation and average age of the members of Roeland Park United Methodist Church isn’t keeping the congregation from making strides in attracting young families to the congregation.
Rev. Tim Hutabarat, retired elder, is the pastor.
“We are not doing that great yet, but I have some plans to move forward,” Hutabarat, who serves the congregation part time, said. “My goal is to help the church grow...
Stull UMC helps kids in need go back to school
By Susan Cooper, Communications associate director
Stull United Methodist Church hosted a back-to-school day to help provide clothing and school supplies to families in need. The event provided clothing for 60 children.
Stull UMC member Rita Lesser hugs a woman getting clothing for her children at the church’s back-to-school event. (photo by Randy Kern)
Families were able to choose from new and used...