Michael Beck

Early in my ministry as the pastor of Wildwood United Methodist Church, one of my “-isms” manifested in a death-dealing way. Caught up in a workaholic drive to grow the church, I neglected my wife, children and my relationship with Jesus (yes, it is possible to work for God and not walk with God). During […]

READ MORE
Shannon Kiser

Many churches in North America are completely disconnected from the people around them. They are waiting for people to come to their church, and less and less people are finding their way to their doors. If this describes your church, then you may be unaware of some of the barriers that exist between you and […]

READ MORE
Chris Backert

Before we create new models and solutions, we need to understand the situation better, taking a closer look at the external factors that are facing the church in our current age. This will allow for a more effective synthesis of the key points of contrast between traditional church structures and contemporary environmental forces. From this, […]

READ MORE
Shannon Kiser

One of the principles behind fresh expressions of church is “bringing the church that Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves.” In other words, it is a form of church that emerges out of the context where people are.  It is about being in relationship with people, loving, serving, building community, all done in […]

READ MORE
Michael Beck

We know Fresh Expressions can catalyze the renewal of existing congregations, but can this approach bring revitalization to an entire district? The North Central District of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church is about to find out! I was inspired when our new district superintendent, Rev. June Edwards, preached in her inaugural address […]

READ MORE
Verlon Fosner

The Reformation Era has left us in an interesting place. Exactly 500 years ago Martin Luther posted his 95 “protests” on the Wittenberg door, and with that the “protestant” movement was birthed. Here we are five centuries later, and we have been in protest for so long we no longer know what we were protesting. […]

READ MORE
churches blenders michael beck
Michael Beck

One of my friends, a health nut who loves Jesus, has the same smoothie for lunch every day. It’s a mixture of spinach, fruits, and yogurt. While I admire her discipline and dedication, I sometimes wonder how she can drink the same thing for lunch seven days a week. Doing that would drive me crazy! […]

READ MORE
church baggage sarah keasler
Sarah Keasler

It’s not always easy being a Christian, especially when the Church can be the best at turning people away from Christ rather than demonstrating the love of Christ. My Story My own church baggage began accumulating a long time ago. My parents were founding members of a South Florida church, the denomination of which started in India and was […]

READ MORE
God with us
Michael Beck

“And they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). ~Matthew 1:23 Most churches decline and even die because the “us” of their “God with us” is too small. I believe fresh expressions catalyze revitalizations in existing congregations because they expand the “withness” and the “us-ness” of those congregations, which is profoundly illustrated by […]

READ MORE
laity
Matt Hill

Are the laity of our churches ready to be released for Kingdom work? The other day I was interacting with a number of other “professional” clergy, and as we talked, we eventually made it around to the topic of outreach, or Kingdom extension ministry. After a few good insights and stories, the group landed on […]

READ MORE