This is My Story!
By Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries
In preparing to write this column, my favorite hymn, Blessed Assurance” came to mind. At the age of 3, I knew every word of this classic hymn and would sing (loud and proud), “Blessed insurance - Jesus is mine!”
You know the chorus: This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long! Then, following my chain of thought, the hymn “We’ve a Story To Tell To the Nations” came to mind. We all have a story, and even though we may debate theology or argue over interpretation of scripture, no one can argue with your story. The story of how God loves you, forgives you, blesses you. What an impact the good news of Jesus Christ and your story can have on others – that is, if you share it!
The Conference Witness Team will soon unveil some unique ways for all of us to partner in telling these stories to inspire others, plant seeds and ideas for ministries, resource our local churches and build one another up in ministry. Individuals have stories to share, churches have stories to share, and our Conferences have stories to share. The culture of our connection as The United Methodist Church is designed to foster this sharing and celebration of fruitful ministries not just within our walls but, literally, all over the world.
You have heard the cliché, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Pinterest has rapidly become a great and fun (albeit addictive) way to share ideas in ministry. A virtual bulletin board and a social bookmarking site where users collect and share photos of their favorite events, interests and hobbies, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing online social networks, third behind only Facebook and Twitter.
If you are not already “pinning,” start now by joining Pinterest (it’s free) and following South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. There you’ll find boards for children’s ministry, good reads, special needs ministry, family ministry, UMC concerns and words, which highlights scriptures and quotes. New pins are always being added. You’ll find ways to share everything from Bible study tools, crafts, games, decorating theme ideas, recipes for church potluck dinners and much more. Happy Pinning!
One of my favorite workshops, which I’ve taught at Pathways, has been the children’s ministry “think tank.” Participants spent time together sharing ideas on different aspects of ministry. It was always so exciting to hear what others were doing in ministry and share success stories. Everyone was fast and furiously taking notes and sometimes I would think to myself, “I wish I had thought of that!” or “I could do that!”
Our Conference website, www.sgaumc.org, will offer a way to share your stories through a page titled, “It Worked for Us!” Everyone will have the opportunity to submit and share their ideas for ministry, missions and programming, which can be used to bear fruit in churches throughout our Conference.
In addition to these new ways to partner and share in ministry, this year the Witness Team also will focus on hospitality and equipping local churches in welcoming others into our congregations and church families. Look for “Words of Witness” columns in upcoming editions of The Advocate for tips and ideas on how to make first and lasting impressions that help set the stage for evangelism to take root as we equip our members to go and make disciples.
On behalf of The South Georgia Conference Witness Team, Meredyth Earnest (chair), Rev. Adam Ricker, Dr. Drew Young and Jared Middleton, we look forward to serving you and helping you share your story!