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Goals for churches in 2006

Goals for churches in 2006

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Goals for churches in 2006

Feb. 1, 2006    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando {0434}

NOTE: A headshot of Whitaker is available at

An e-Review Commentary
By Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker**

Last fall I visited the clergy in all nine districts of the Florida Conference to articulate goals for the churches of the Florida Conference in 2006. These goals had been shared with the Board of Lay Ministry, and the district lay leaders are communicating them to the lay leaders of the churches.

I have articulated the goals because I believe all of us in the Florida Conference should be working together to achieve immediate outcomes. Presently, our conference is addressing long-term issues facing the Florida Conference in the agenda of the Conference Table. While we continue to address long-term issues we should also aim to achieve immediate outcomes. It is necessary that we work on short-term results because our record of performance as a team is below what most of us consider acceptable in our common labor for the cause of Christ through The United Methodist Church in Florida.

I have articulated two goals for each of three fundamental areas of ministry: evangelism, worship and outreach of the church in the community and the world. One goal is a measurable goal; the other is an effort goal.

Measurable goal: No barren churches in 2006; that is, every church will report new professions of faith or restorations to membership on profession of faith.
Effort goal: One evangelism event in every church in 2006. The event will involve members of the church making contact with people outside the church to invite them to be part of the community of faith in Jesus Christ.

Measurable goal: A 5 percent increase in average worship attendance in 2006.
Effort goal: An active worship planning team for every Sunday service in 2006. Laity and staff will plan quality worship under the leadership of the pastor to communicate the gospel and enable participants to experience the gospel.

Measurable goal: An increase in the number of members involved in ministries of outreach to the community and the world in 2006 equivalent to 5 percent of the average worship attendance; for example, five more members involved in outreach in a church with an average worship attendance of 100.
Effort goal: Identify a community need and address it.

These goals are designed to enable our whole conference to be more effective as a team in practicing the fundamentals of the mission of the church. While they will be more difficult for some churches to meet, overall they are modest goals. I assume they represent the kind of accomplishment and effort that all of us want as we seek to be faithful and fruitful in serving Jesus Christ.

All of these goals are focused on ministry, inviting others to profess the faith in Jesus Christ, offering quality worship of God to the public, and reaching out in services to others by continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ on earth.

Eternal God, we give thanks for your people in The United Methodist Church in Florida. Send your Holy Spirit to empower us as we work together to advance the cause of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Dedicate us to fulfilling your purposes for your church as we embrace challenges for your glory. Amen.


This article relates to Church Mission.

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Whitaker is bishop of the Florida Conference.