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The Spirit and SBC 21

I see the Spirit of the Lord moving among us as we struggle to engage the church we love in transformation.  Over and over again, the call of a new day in the Lord beckons us into the future.  Recently this conviction has come to me through a variety of events.  Allow me to explain.  One of the Four Focus Areas of the United Methodist Church is the development of new places for new people (new church development) and the transformation of existing congregations.  (An important aside:  I vastly prefer the term transformation over revitalization or renewal.  We don’t need to, and in fact can’t, go back to the past – which the “re” language suggests.  We need to be transformed under the Lordship of Christ as the church of the 21st century.)  Thursday, September 30th, our area (and I personally) was blessed by Dr. Fred Allen, Executive Director of SBC 21, guidance and leadership in transformation.  SBC-21 is Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century.  It is one of a crucial transformational partners as we move through this wilderness way.  The Core of the SBC 21 plan of action is:  1)      Selection of 25 vital congregations to serve as Congregation Resource Centers (CRCs). 2)      Teams of lay and clergy from CRCs to serve as a resource with partner congregations (PCs). 3)      Utilize geographic and needs-specific models to meet rural, urban and suburban church needs. 4)      A strong intentional focus on the laity. We have a long way to go, but the Spirit is blowing among us with fresh ways of thinking and acting.