Rogersville UMC's new vision gives birth to a fresh expression of ministry

7/2/2018

Rogersville United Methodist Church is making changes and starting new ministries this summer to help make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

This past year the church organized the “Dream Team,” a group open to any member of the congregation to set their sights on a vision for the church. The team has brainstormed on many topics including a new vision statement. Many hours of conversation, debates, ideas and actions have led to the new vision statement: “Changing the World by Reaching, Teaching and Loving.”

The congregation’s new vision and logo were launched on Sunday, June 17, 2018. With this change Rogersville UMC hopes to not just relay the works and teachings of Christ but to empower its congregation to take personal responsibility for helping to bring new disciples to Christ

Each Sunday, Senior Pastor Rev. Robert Lancaster now asks three questions to lead the congregation down this path of change. He asks, “Who did you pray for this week? Who did you love on this week? and finally, Who did you invite to church this week?”

One way the congregation’s new vision is being lived out is through a new fresh expression of ministry on the Tennessee River. On June 3, at 7 p.m. “Living Waters” set sail on its maiden voyage by taking the Gospel to the people instead of waiting for the people to come to the church. Rev. Lancaster and the Living Waters Praise Band launched this new ministry inspired by a desire to live out a new way of “reaching, teaching and loving” God’s children. Approximately 75 people attended the first service of Living Waters held at the Floating Gazebo located beside the Joe Wheeler State Park Lodge.

Rev. Lancaster says, “It was an amazing celebration of Christ through praise music and a message of inspiration. Joe Wheeler Lake offers a beautiful back drop and brings God’s presence right to you as you can’t help but smile a little bigger knowing that God has his hands in everything you see around you.”

On June 17, Living Waters went live on Facebook and had six online attenders for the service. By that Tuesday evening the video had been viewed 233 times.

The series will continue each Sunday evening through August 26 with contingency plans for inclement weather. Rev. Lancaster, the praise band and other speakers, each with his or her own experiences and passion for Christ, seek to offer Christ and His grace in the beauty of His creation.

Lancaster adds, “If you find yourself looking for something to do on Sunday evenings or you are in need of prayer, support, direction or just need to be inspired, pack a lawn chair, drive your boat in or walk on down to the Floating Gazeebo at Joe Wheeler State Park and enjoy the Praise Band and hear His word and let it be your compass.”

As it continues to live out its new visions, Rogersville UMC also asks, “Who did you pray for? Who did you love on? and Who will you invite?”


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