Three Creative Ideas Worth Sharing

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 Yesterday I met with the AC District Congregational Transformation Team.  During the opening part of the meeting, we took turns sharing different situations where God was at work doing some amazing things.  I’d like to take a break from our series on “Ministry and Facilities” to share with you three of the stories I heard.

David Leonard, the pastor of First Titusville, shared how a member of his congregation came into his office one day raving about the difference Financial Peace University (FPU) had made in her and her husband’s finances.  She asked if she could offer the class at the church and, of course, David was thrilled to have her do so.  Especially at a time when so many people are struggling with their finances, to have people explore what God’s Word says about ordering our economic lives and to receive community support in spending less and getting out of debt, FPU is spot on.  Forty-three persons have signed up for the class and over half of the people are not part of the congregation!  With wide appeal to both churched and unchurched persons struggling with out-of-balance finances, Financial Peace University is part of the wide array of resources offered by Dave Ramsey.  In addition to radio, TV and community event formats, there is a 13-week video series designed for small group use in congregations.  (For more information go to:   Many persons hear their pastor preach about tithing and extravagant generosity, but their finances are so upside down that while motivated, they are actually now unable to do what God wants them to eventually be able to do.  So here is a resource that helps congregations come along side persons (inside the congregation and outside too!) and help people learn to apply God’s Word in this often overlooked area of their lives so that they can become persons capable of extravagant generosity.  Not only are the video components really entertaining, the class can be led by committed laity!

Nate Steury, chair of the district CT team and pastor of St. Marks, Indialantic, shared how their congregation has been having a monthly beach worship service for several years.  Over that time, they have developed an average attendance of about 70 persons.  Starting in March, the congregation has decided to offer a new weekly service that will be held at a beachside park about 15 minutes from their facilities.  In that area, there is no congregation that offers a contemporary worship service.  Nate shared how God has brought together the needed musicians to make the worship gathering a success.  This is a wonderful example of a congregation that is extending the Radical Hospitality of God’s love out into the community in good Wesleyan fashion.  (Remember how John Wesley took up field preaching to people who would otherwise never have darkened the door of a cathedral?)  We look forward to hearing how God uses this congregation’s creative and courageous missional faithfulness to reach new persons for Christ!

Jean Dantilus, a lay person from Port St. Lucie, shared about a number of Haitian lay and clergy who participate in an evening prayer network conference call every evening from 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM.  I spoke with Rev. Thomas Toussaint, of the Berea Haitian congregation in Orlando, this morning about the free prayer network calls.  He said that between 20 and 40 people phone in for prayer, singing and even sometimes preaching.  They call in from not only across the state, but across the country and Canada.  This is a simple way of creating a virtual community which supports people’s ministry and walk with Christ.  Someone else at the district meeting shared that free conference calls are possible through  On the way home from the AC district, I began to wonder about the many other ways this technology might be harnessed for Christ’s Body and Kingdom work.  Particularly where people already know one another conference calls can enable them to “meet” without travel time and expense. 

Well, these are the three ideas I heard at just one district’s congregational transformation team meeting.  If you know of some ways that God is creatively at work through your or someone else’s congregation, please email them to me so that I can share them with our CT Blog audience.

God Bless,

Dr. Jeff Stiggins
Congregational Transformation

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