By Rev. Gary Lindley
Executive Director for Church Growth & Development
For more than 30 years, United Methodists throughout the Central Texas Annual Conference have invested in Church Growth SHARES to start new churches. These investments are paying high dividends in 2010.
In May, Wesley United Methodist Church — Ghanaian Community of Faith — began in Arlington with the help of SHARE funds. The church is primarily serving those who have immigrated here from the West African nation of Ghana. Since May, the average attendance has grown to over 100. Aldersgate United Methodist Church is “parenting” this new congregation
Last fall, St. James United Methodist Church in Temple began parenting a new African American community of faith in Killeen. The St. James church is providing leaders, teachers and a meeting place in Killeen for Bible study.
It is the vision of the St. James church that, in partnership with Church Growth & Development, this community of faith will continue to grow and become a worshipping congregation.
New Day Church in Mansfield moved out of the community center into a beautiful new worship center in an office park. Since moving into this new facility, the average attendance has doubled.
Rockbridge Church in Round Rock is now worshipping over 100 and will be moving out of the school in February into a new facility in an office park. The new facility will provide 7,500 square feet of space for worship, youth, children and adult ministries, and missions.
As we look toward 2011, Church Growth & Development hopes to start two new churches in June. To make this happen, CGD needs more United Methodists investing in growing new churches through SHARES.
The words of Dr. Ed Otwell, the first executive director for Church Growth & Development, still challenge us today: “If you want to start something that will be a spiritual blessing to an increasing number of people for a hundred years or more, start a new church in the right place at the right time.”
Today is the right time and there are right places. Church Growth & Development needs the United Methodists of the Central Texas Annual Conference to purchase SHARES at $60 a year. This is a small investment that pays divine dividends.