Will focus on developing leaders, growing disciples, engaging communities and measuring current realities/missional possibilities
By Jessica Brodie
Conference Connectional Ministries has approved a four-pronged focus for their work that they hope will benefit every local church, district or team in the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.
In an online meeting Feb. 20—their first since the pandemic—members of Conference Connectional Ministries approved their “Four Priorities” for the quadrennium, which are 1) developing leaders; 2) growing disciples; 3) engaging our communities; and 4) measuring current realities/evaluating missional possibilities.
They also approved their ministry budget for the year for the Advocacy, Lay Leadership, Discipleship and Outreach ministry areas, learned more about Forward Focus and the conference’s new “Our Response to Racism” resource and heard an update about the scope and completion of much work in the area of disaster recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and other storms. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, teams completed 237 projects across five counties, and they hope to complete 75 more.
All four of the ministry areas also had an opportunity to meet in separate Zoom breakout rooms to discuss the priorities, budget needs and more before returning as a full body to approve the budget and four priorities.
Well-known church consultant Gil Rendle helped the leadership team discern the four quadrennial priorities, which were reviewed and fully developed by the team with input from Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, the Cabinet, the ministry advisory team and the congregational specialists.
Among other things, Priority 1, Developing Leaders, addresses clergy, lay and lay-clergy partnerships; Priority 2, Engaging our Community, addresses resources to reach neighbors, building relationships and ministry connects; Priority 3, Growing Disciples, addresses stages of discipleship development, including tasks; and Priority 4, Measuring/Evaluating Realities and Possibilities, addresses questions such as who are we, who is our neighbor, what are we here for and what are we going to do about it.
In a letter to members of CCM, Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Millie Nelson Smith said she is thankful to be in ministry with their team
“I believe that God has us here at this point in time in history for a purpose,” Nelson Smith said. “Let us be in prayer together that God will use us to be a model of Jesus Christ in the world to all who may see us. Let us pray that we will be the frontline of enthusiasm and energy for the possibilities of ministry that are yet to come through our work. Let us pray that God will provide all that is needed to do the work that is required to get the work done with much left over to help others.”