Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: New Faith Community movement gaining momentum in North Alabama
Last week I had the privilege of attending a portion of an excellent 2-day training event entitled, “New Places for New People.” Sponsored by North Alabama’s New Church team and hosted by Christ Church United Methodist in Birmingham, this event was specifically designed for clergy and teams involved in planting brand new congregations or launching new worship services and ministries in their existing congregations. It was truly a quality and inspiring time of teaching, worship and fellowship for the 95 persons present.
I left the event encouraged by the traction that the new faith community movement in North Alabama continues to gain. In addition to those who are leading and participating in “new places” in our Conference, many of us have joined the movement by:
- Praying daily for new faith communities and leaders;
- Discovering those called by God to lead a new ministry, service or church;
- Supporting new ministries and worship services that emerge in our local churches;
- Giving financially to new church efforts;
- and/or more.
The new faith community movement in North Alabama is exciting for many reasons, including its alignment with the mission of the United Methodist Church of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20) Typically new churches, worship services and ministries are especially effective in reaching new persons for Christ. Thus, developing “new places to reach new people” is a good way to introduce new people to Jesus Christ.
Yes, I was inspired by last week’s training event. More than that, I am encouraged by the way the North Alabama Conference is embracing the new faith community movement. I invite each of us to pray for, give to, participate in and/or lead a new faith community in North Alabama. As more and more of us engage in this work, many additional new places will spring up to reach new people.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference