One of the great parts of being a United Methodist pastor is that when I move to a new community I know where I’m going to church on Sunday. This is not something that I have ever had to think about–until now. As a District Superintendent the answer is not so obvious. I do, however, have a plan.
My plan is to rotate among the churches of our South District. I want to experience–and get to know–your worshiping communities. This first year in particular I want to limit the number of preaching opportunities that I accept. It’s important for me to hear our South District pastors preaching. This is also a chance for me to get to know church families outside of charge conferences (Yes, charge conferences are coming up fast!).
There is a part of my plan that might be controversial. It is not my intention to give advance notice that I’m coming. I don’t want anything to be done differently just because the D.S. is coming. Also know that I am not coming as a “secret shopper”. Feel free to announce that I am in the congregation.
The way that I’m picking what church that I’m attending next is through prayer. Each week I’m asking God where I need to go next. After I get an answer, I’m looking at your church’s web-site to see how easy or hard it is to find necessary information–like the time of your service(s). This should all be information that is easy find. I strongly encourage you to keep your web-sites updated!
If your church would like me to attend a special Sunday–like an anniversary–do not hesitate to invite me. The more advance notice that you can give me, though, the better. Sometimes there will be conflicts, but I will come when I can. The same applies when you are having special events during the week.
I want to know your church, and to be known to them. I consider it to be a blessing to be in ministry with each of you!
Your brother in Christ, Mark