Your District Board has spent considerable time looking at our purpose for ministry during 2014. We've asked ourselves, "What is the purpose of the District?" and "Why does it matter?" We see ourselves as one large church that meets in more than 50 different locations. We believe we exist to help each of them effectively continue the work of Jesus--peacefully, simply, together.
Following are the four areas that we feel are most important to strenghten as we assist each of our congregations become healthy, vital influence in their communities.
Many of our congregations in Southern Ohio and Kentucky are sensing a new call sense of purpose as they seek God’s mission for them in their respective communities. One such congregation happens to be the oldest congregation in our district, Lower Miami. Located in a neighborhood with a shrinking and aging population, they felt for years that missional ministry was impossible. However, in recent months, God has begun to reveal His purpose for their small congregation. They are sensing a call to serve their community by providing not only a free meal once a month, but also friendship to a community that desperately needs acceptance. As they have assessed what might be needed to offer this service, they’ve come to the realization that first they must upgrade their facility so that it will be a safe place for folks to meet. As a district, we dream of being able to offer financial assistance to congregations with a vision for missional ministry.
Empowering Congregations . . .
Participating with God’s mission in communities.
The District is also privileged to come alongside our local congregations during a pastoral transition. Our District Executive spends many hours in prayer, researching profiles, visiting with congregational leadership during these times. A member of a church who recently experienced a change in leadership shares, “Dave led a team of very diverse people through a very tough regimen of interviews, adding his expertise and guidance whenever it was appropriate. People of all ages seem to relate very easily to Dave because of his willingness to recognize and understand them for who they were by being inclusive and easily starting the conversation. Our Search Team was indeed blessed to have Dave as part of our team.”
Empowering Leadership . . .
Supporting lifelong learning for effective leadership
Great leadership requires continuous learning. The way you do it this year may need to change next year. Even the most experienced leaders can improve by exposing themselves to new ideas, confronting new challenges, and rethinking their leadership style. As John F. Kennedy wrote in a speech he was to give the day he was assassinated, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
When asked how his participation in continuing education events is beneficial to his ministry, Pastor Tony Price of our Cedar Grove congregation recently shared, “I enjoy being around other people who are fresh, and excited about ministry and who want to learn and grow. Its good to network with others and be able to continue the conversation going forward. I’m challenged and refreshed by the new concepts, but also by returning home and figuring out how to apply them in my ministry setting.”
Many of our pastors are part time and/or bi-vocational. It becomes a financial burden for them to obtain even their required CEUs. One of our dreams as a District is to establish a fund which can be drawn upon to provide grant money for our pastor’s continuing education and leadership development.
“Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Empowering Emerging Ministries . . .
New and vibrant ministries powerfully done together
The needs of our congregations are always changing as they seek to meet the changing needs of our communities, necessitating creation of new ministries from time to time.
We dream of ministering to our neighboring Hispanic population, reaching out to them in new and different ways. Of starting new churches that will reach out to the marginalized in new communities. Of providing tools for congregations to enable them to better serve their communities and much more.
Empowering Existing Ministries . . .
Together we are better than the sum of our parts.
The following commissions perform the ministry and work of the District.
Gifts Discernment Commission--Calling forth leadership
- New Church Development Commission--Sharing the Good News of Jesus by establishing and supporting congregations in new communities.
- Shared Ministries Commission-- sponsor new and vibrant, cutting edge ministries powerfully done together.
-- Youth Ministry
-- Brethren Helping Hands
- Missional Renewal Commission--encourage congregations to be aware of and meet needs in our respective communities
- Ministry Commission--calling, supporting, and encouraging folks in set apart ministry
- Resource Development Commission-- effective us and management of God-given resources.