A backpack ministry that started out as “a small mission project” for the Mineral Wells UMC has transformed into something so much bigger. Not only do they regularly provide nutritious food for more than 10 percent of the students in their community (a number that has exploded to more than 30 ...
As we continue to engage in effective ministry during and after COVID-19, Bishop Lowry and the Cabinet are convinced that churches hoping to return to “the way things were” are not going to emerge from this season as healthy as those who are willing to embrace a “new day” for their church. In his ...
To say that the current coronavirus crisis has put our economic situation in a bit of a bind would be more than a slight understatement. And even as our state slowly and cautiously begins to reopen, the truth is that the financial realities of this situation may not be totally evident for many ...
Following the April 27 announcement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott regarding new executive orders on "Reopening Texas" in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop Lowry released the following video with guidance to the local churches of the Central Texas Conference on how they are to respond. ...
In his latest video update to the Central Texas Conference, Bishop Lowry addresses several topics related to the ministries and business of the CTC - chief among them being what does the reported “reopening of Texas” plans mean for our local churches? Other topics touched on by Bishop Lowry include ...
Our current COVID-19 reality has seen a lot of innovation and new ideas tried by local churches in order stay connected to and worship with their congregation and community. While the modern streaming and teleconferencing tools available today have been a successful resource for many, for some it ...
This past Easter Sunday was like no other. Still, while radically different from what any of us could have imagined earlier this year, the Easter Celebrations of the Central Texas Conference churches were triumphantly expressed. We were separated but not alone. Join Bishop Lowry as he reflects on ...
Creativity is a vital component of a successful children’s ministry under the most “normal” of circumstances. It is exponentially so during these COVID-19 times as churches look for ways to keep our youngest disciples engaged and experiencing the love of their church family. While there are many ...
Bishop Lowry shares a very familiar message of hope and peace during a very unfamiliar and unsettled COVID-19 world. He IS Risen. He IS Risen Indeed!
As we continue our Holy Week journey to and through the cross on our way to the joy of Easter morning, we are quickly reminded that this is a very different Holy Week. This is NOT the Holy Week any of us could have ever anticipated. Yet here we are, and Easter IS Coming. Please join Bishop Lowry as ...
A phrase often associated with Palm Sunday is “the triumphal entry.” For many Central Texas Conference churches, this past Palm Sunday was a triumph of overcoming the uncertain and finding unique and love-filled ways to commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11, Mark ...
Even in this time of uncertainty and disruption of our “normal” routines and ministries due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Holy Spirit IS moving among us. As such, it is critical that we continue to act as, what Bishop Lowry terms “a people guided by faith, not driven by fear.” All across the ...
While the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 crisis has caused the temporary suspension of in-person worship services and ministries, it has also caused the postponement of many events in the church – such as General Conference 2020. Bishop Lowry briefly addresses this issue and how the crisis might ...
During uncertain times such as these, there are a few certainties that do remain like the human need to eat and the church’s need to serve and minister to their community. How a church or ministry goes about meeting the need to serve and remain faithful to our call to be good citizens and do all we ...
Mission work - going out into our communities and helping those in need and doing good work is a good thing. But what separates the mission work done by our local churches from other wonderful altruistic organizations? (Here’s a hint – it’s the church, the answer is usually “Jesus.”) When churches ...
Like many of the local churches in the Central Texas Conference, Couts Memorial UMC offers an after school program for the children and youth of their community. Recently, they added something new that has seen participation in their Wednesday gatherings skyrocket. What is this new, secret ...
A Confirmation Class is an important part of a person’s faith journey. It a time where confirmands learn who Jesus is, what the United Methodist Church believes about Him and how He calls us to be His followers. First United Methodist Church Eastland’s confirmation class traveled to the Conference ...
Going to church on the first day of Lent to have the sign of the cross placed on your forehead or hand with ashes is not unusual in the Methodist faith tradition. However, it is a tad uncommon to be able to receive ashes and prayer through your car window. Sometimes doing ordinary things in ...
CTC churches grew their average worship attendance just under 1 percent in 2019 according to data provided via the EZRA checkout reports. While the rate of growth slowed from 2018’s blistering pace of 4 percent, more churches reported year-over-year growth than in 2018 – 47 percent of churches in 2019 vs 2018’s 44 percent. Churches with New Faith Communities again proved to be a primary driver of the growth in average worship attendance, again reinforcing the idea that creating new places for new people is vital to achieving our mission. The EZRA “checkout” report also identified a significant area of focus going forward in that the data showed that Professions of Faith were down in 2019, indicating a need to continue and even increase our conference-wide emphasis on professions of faith in 2020 and beyond.
A primary and vital role of a leader is to articulate a vision of a preferred future, then engage other people in actioning that vision. Lay and Clergy leaders in The United Methodist Church are called to engage others in our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the ...
Amazing things happen in the life of a local church when leadership comes together and prayerfully considers “What is God calling us to do?” Amazing things can happen even faster when that local church also engages with its local community and employs some of the modern tools available today like ...
Rev. Mike Love and Epworth United Methodist Church were about to start a new sermon series on Mr. Rogers, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." As a part of this series, Pastor Mike invited Arlington Life Shelter to come to Epworth United Methodist Church to see their facilities. Arlington Life ...
Christ UMC in Fort Worth has a new cultural approach to ministry centered around the “Ballet Folklorico” – highly choreographed, traditional Mexican dances that emphasize local folk culture with ballet characteristics such as pointed toes and exaggerated movements. The Folklorico ministry was ...
Last Friday (Dec. 6), the Central Texas Conference Service Center Team had the opportunity to join their Project Transformation colleagues serve as the hands and feet volunteers at a neighboring elementary school. This was not an event planner, organized and/or promoted by the conference. Rather, ...
Meeting people where they are and offering them the love of Jesus Christ is not a new concept. Nor is our mission as stated in the CTC’s Wildly Important Goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. It is the same mission that Jesus gave us in His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
On this week of Thanksgiving, we pause to give thanks for all that God has done for us and we reflect on the great ministries that God is doing in us, through us, and even in spite of us in the Central Texas Conference! We have been able to reach many people through our Wildly Important Goal of Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.
St. Barnabas UMC’s New Faith Community “On Tap” brings the Bible and some good old-fashioned fellowship out into the Arlington/Pantego community, and, when combined with craft beer and live music – the love of Jesus sometimes spills out in wonderfully unexpected ways. On Tap is a come as you are, ...
The pattern of growth in the local churches of the Central Texas Conference continues! For those keeping score at home, that's the 21st consecutive month of reported growth in the Central Texas Conference! Overall, average worship attendance grew 1 percent; however, churches with a New Faith Community that began with the help of a New Faith Community Grant grew at a 1 percent clip! We now have 50 NFC grants!
At the core of what the clergy, laity and churches of the Central Texas Conference do lies our Wildly Important Goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our mission involves many ministries and many pathways into relationships with our local communities – and it’s the relationship with and in the local community that Central UMC has embraced with its Jesus Table ministry.
At the core of everything we do in the Central Texas Conference is our Wildly Important Goal of Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World. While that Wildly Important Goal has led many to down obvious, straight and narrow paths toward introducing Christ to our communities and the world, sometimes it causes us to get “messy” - especially when it comes to disciple-making mission work.
This week, we decided to take a risk and turn the camera on ourselves and give you a quick behind the scenes peek at what goes on when we pack up, head to your church/faith community and begin to tell your story .
After having discussions with church members and staff, as well as folks in the community, First United Methodist Church in Burleson, TX, realized that there was an opportunity to introduce a new way of worship to better meet the needs and comfort levels of folks who were not yet part of a faith ...
The Central Texas Conference's Wildly Important Goal (or WIG) is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of the most effective and exciting ways we do this by launching New Places for New People to get to meet and know God through Jesus Christ - something the ...
First UMC Waxahachie is all about mission, community outreach and disciple-making. That’s especially evident around this time each year as the church takes the lead in coordinating WOW (Worship Outside the Walls). While an event like WOW may or may not bring new people to worship on Sundays, being a church known for outreach and an active part of the community certainly does bolster FUMC Waxahachie’s WIG efforts to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
New Faith Communities (NFC): new places, new ways to reach new people – are vital and exciting ways that the churches of the Central Texas Conference are activating our Wildly Important Goal (WIG) to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Every size church, in every ...
The Central Texas Conference's Wildly Important Goal (or WIG) is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of the most effective and exciting ways we do this by launching New Places for New People to get to meet and know God through His son Jesus Christ – aka. New ...
The Central Texas Conference's Wildly Important Goal (or WIG) is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of the most effective and exciting ways we do this by launching New Places for New People to get to meet and know God through His son Jesus Christ. Something the CTC calls New Faith Communities. A few months ago, First United Methodist Church in Crowley, TX started one of these New Faith Community to reach out to its community in a new way called "Messy Church."
The Central Texas Conference's Wildly Important Goal (or WIG) is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of the most successful ways for churches to activate the WIG and grow their church, make disciples and become a vital part of their community is by launching ...
When asked “Why the Wesley?” a student at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX stated, "The one thing that the Wesley has done for me that I simply can't find anywhere else is the way that Jesus is so accessible to these people (college students)." Through worship nights, free lunches, popsicles and popcorn, bible studies and much more, these vital campus ministries are actively growing the next generation of leaders in the church and are enthusiastically living into our Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
A new WIG video narrative highlights one of the many way CTCYM brings more than 1,400 youth and adults together to put Christian faith into action.
The laity of Eastland UMC wanted to revive their Wednesday night gatherings to better reach out to their community and revitalize the church in general. After much prayer, a few brainstorm meetings and a willingness to take a leap of faith, Reflect and Reconnect was born.
Sharing God’s love in a tangible way is at the heart of a movement that’s reached far beyond the walls of First United Methodist Church of Hico. You might call it a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) set by the United Methodist Women in 2006 – years before the phrase was coined and became our focus ...
The pattern of growth in the local churches of the CTC continued in May 2019. Avg worship attendance is up 2% and 3% for NFCs.
The Central Texas Conference's Wildly Important Goal (or WIG) is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of the most successful ways that churches are activating the WIG and growing their church in size and importance to their community is by launching New Places ...
Harker Heights UMC broke with its traditional VBS model and went outside the walls of the church and into the community to "reach families who were not already be reached" and introduce them to Jesus.
The pattern of growth in the local churches of the CTC continued in May 2019. Avg worship attendance is up 2% and 5% for NFCs.
A (very) small group of two men getting together to shoot hoops and study the Bible at St. Stephen UMC has grown to 12 strong in just six weeks - only three of which were members of the church when B-Ball and Bible began.
St. Barnabas launches a New Faith Community designed to meet people where they are and get to know them while sharing the Bible and a beer.
First UMC Corsicana’s 12 Holy Week services draw more than 1,000 worshippers – a first for the 168-year-old church - including Professions of Faith and baptisms.
How does the death of a beloved church member turn into 20,000 meals? Maybe not how you'd expect. Sometimes, gifts and graces come from unexpected places.
From drive-through ashes to three-days-a-week drive-through prayers to and Outdoor Worship New Faith Community, Ovilla UMC is taking Christ to the people of Ovilla and the surrounding area..
Mike Ramsdell shares his insights and comments on a new book focused on the things all rapidly growing churches do and do well.
A simple idea about how to better engage children and youth has transformed Lorena UMC’s discipleship outlook and effectiveness and is producing results in worship/small group attendance, volunteers, giving and more.
Happy Hour Faith Talks gather young parents together each week as part of Groesbeck FUMC’s intentional efforts to “keep church relevant” to its families.
Since 2012, volunteers from Hewitt FUMC have transformed the lives of the needy in its community by providing food, Jesus' love and eager offers fellowship and worship.
The CTC experienced unprecedented growth in average worship attendance in 2018 and is currently on a 13-month growth streak thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a focus on the WIG.
What can happen when you open the doors of your church to a bunch of neighborhood kids to just come and play? Disciples can begin to be made, that's what.
FUMC Round Rock is employing advanced mathematics and "passionate" laity as it prepares to launch as many as 13 New Faith Communities (or LifeGroups) on March 31 as part of “Vision 2025.”
St. Barnabas ‘bigs’ and ‘littles’ worship together at a church without walls as part of their discipleship journey by Susan Craig / photos courtesy of Lavell McCollum & St. Barnabas UMC Youth from St. Barnabas United Methodist Church made their customary, annual trip south on a recent Sunday ...
Earlier this month, White's Chapel welcomed 110 new members via its 2019 Confirmation Class - a class that was special to co-pastor John McKellar in a couple of profound ways.
FUMC Clifton is reaching out to the folks in their community who don't have a church home via Dinner Church, with a focus of food, fellowship and learning about Jesus.
PT Central Texas still has a few openings left for Summer 2019 interns with a love of learning, serving and ready to be transformed.
First Joshua is always on the lookout for ways to connect with and welcome the unchurched. So, they are asking folks to make reservations for Easter?
A focus on encouraging the laity to try new things in their efforts to make disciples of Jesus Christ is at the heart of the revitalization underway at First Watauga.
The God Squad at Moody First is a labor of love, the result of prayer and hard work - hard work that is paying good disciple making dividends.
Anna Breck - a TCU Junior - noticed that the TCU Wesley wasn't retaining freshmen by the spring semester. So she did something about it and now disciples are being made!
The concept of being “equally yoked” in ministry is at the heart of a Lay Leadership Initiative which is transforming lives at Smithfield United Methodist Church in North Richland Hills.
Earlier this year, a West District Mission team's discipleship grew along with that of local Maua-area villagers as water began to flow from the ground.
UCF Wesley students recently took a Civil Rights Pilgrimage - a discipleship journey designed to help students become active Christians and leaders.
Teens from all over the CTC gathered for Mid-Winter 2019 last weekend. The annual event is led the young disciples of CCYM.
Nearly 150 member of Trinity Arlington UMC responded to Jesus' call to his disciples to "'feed my lambs" by packing more than 2000 meals to help people in need all around the world.
Upwards of 94,000 to 102,000 cookies were delivered shortly before Christmas to Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo
Fear of failure? Avoid these 12 common mistakes when planning your Easter services
What can a small local church accomplish with little more than an idea and prayer? How about feeding the community and boosting professions of faith in the process.
Churches who have received a NFC grant have 4.4 percent growth in Average Worship Attendance for the last 12 months - more than double the total Conference growth. Is your church ready to get your grant?
How did a chance Christmas encounter at a Wal-Mart, a love of baking and a girl's desire to serve transform into a thriving discipleship ministry?
Ovilla UMC's Drive-Thru prayer ministry is inspiring the church to reach out and make disciples in new and unconventional ways.
Volunteers of all ages spent part of their Saturday being disciples (and growing a few) packing 20,000 jambalaya lentil soup kits at Arlington Heights UMC (Fort Worth).
25 people said yes to being called to serve as ERTs and began the training process on Jan. That’s two to three times the number of folks in a typical training session.
Average weekly worship attendance & professions of faith have increased for 11 consecutive months – a trend that’s expected to continue into 2019.
FUMC Alvarado is activating the WIG and making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by engaging in Disciple Making Missions across its community and around the world.
Troy UMC is gearing up for the projected population boom by accelerating the planned opening of its Ministry Activity Center dedicated to missions and ministry, children and youth, and the community.
Bishop Mike Lowry held a series of Episcopal Teaching sessions / conversations on the three plans put forth by the Commission on A Way Forward (COWF) and other matters related to the 2019 Called Special General Conference in St. Louis (Feb. 23-26). These times of sharing took place in each of the ...
The following are some “quick hit” summaries of how the local churches across the Central Texas Conference have been trying new ways to reach new people in response to our WIG mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. If you have a quick tale to tell of how you, ...
The mission of Project Transformation (PT) is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support children in holistic development and connect churches with communities. For the past two summers, local churches of the Central Texas Conference have actively lived out The WIG and ...
Almost any clergy person will tell you that your first year at a new appointment is about three things: learning, observing and loving. It is vital to a new ministry setting to learn all you can about the ministry/ministries of your new faith community, to observe every aspect of the life of the ...