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In 2019, our Free Methodist Church, USA family will have a historic election. We’ll be electing three bishops at the same time. The election is also major because we demonstrate our values by who we select.
For years, FMC has proclaimed freedom for all. Freedom for the poor to be empowered. Freedom for women to lead at all levels of ministry. And freedom from classism and racism.
Yet, we have only elected to the bishopric Caucasian males – for like 150 years. We’ve had many gifted bishops that have lead us well. But certainly, we have a female or someone of color qualified and gifted to lead us as a bishop. Such a leader should be one of our new bishops, least we run the risk of losing our credibility in an increasingly diverse and cynical society.
I urge our delegates nationwide to send as a candidate for bishop a qualified and gifted female or person of color.
We all want our churches to grow – I hope!
I’m thankful to God that Chapel of Change has grown and is still growing.
Our vision is to reach 1000 in Sunday worship and currently we average about 750.
We have a ways to go but we’re going.
Here are some tips I have learned that will help you break the 200 mark.
1. Pray to get a vision to break 200
You need to want to break 200 first.
It’s not going to just happen.
Believe it or not, there are some pastors that don’t want to do it.
They may say they want to, but their actions prove otherise.
2. Start a Second Service
A second service gives people options.
If you just have a 10am service, you will be cutting out a lot of people who may need to go at 12 noon.
And don’t wait until your first service is totally full.
We didn’t start our second service because our first one was full.
We started it to help us break the 200 mark.
3. Launch a Great Children’s Ministry
In a church plant, you count everyone who moves.
Therefore, in that 200 should be about 60 or so children.
That means you need to invest in a Children’s Ministry Leader.
And you need equip your children’s ministry.
Now get to work and break that 200 mark.
Let me know if these tips helped you.
Cheering for you.
In His Grip,
Pastor Brian Warth
Today I celebrate our ethnic diversity.
No matter who you are, if you walk into Chapel of Change, chances are you will see someone who looks like you.
This reality didn’t happen by accident.
And it didn’t happen by prayer only. Did that shock you?
Your church or ministry can also be multi-ethnic.
In our age, I would dare say it should be.
Here are some tips to help move your church or ministry to become more diverse.
1. Befriend someone who looks different than you.
This should not be hard in the day we live in.
If all your friends look just like you, you’re not loving like you should.
2. Pray that your church starts looking your local high school.
If people from different backgrounds are driving to your local school,
they can also drive to your church.
3. Disciple someone who doesn’t look like you.
This is the best way to raise up future leaders.
4. Look to hire someone who doesn’t look like you.
I get irked when I see pastors always hiring someone that looks like them.
And then they have the nerve to say they’re praying that their church becomes more diverse.
This is probably the best way to diversify your congregation.
5. Keep praying.
But pray more that you have the courage to take these steps.
It’s critcal that our churches start to become more diverse.
The mono-ethnic church will soon loose its credibility in a multi-ethnic world.
In His grip
Brian V. Warth
May 4, 2015
To understand why Chapel of Change does what we do, one must understand our core values.
That’s true for individuals too.
Our values determine our behavior.
Here goes our 7 core values.
1. CELEBRATION: We love to celebrate God’s work in our lives.
We believe the church should lead the way in celebration in this world.
If we do, we will win more people for Christ.
Psalms 100: 1-4 says, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs…enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanls to him and praise His name.”
2. PASSION: We want to fall madly in love with Jesus.
We want to give our all to Jesus.
We want to serve the Lord out of love and appreciation, not religious obligation.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your strength.”
The only way we will be able to do that is to fall madly in love with Jesus!
3. TRANSFORMATION: We want to be more like Christ.
God tells us over and over, “Be holy, because I am holy” (1Pet. 1:16).
Our motivation for holiness is to be more like Christ.
We believe Christians should be different and distinct from the world.
We believe Christians should say “no” to sin and “yes” to Jesus.
4. CONNECTION: We want to do life together.
The early church met in two places: the large gathering in the temple courts and the small gathering in homes (Acts 2:46).
Church life is more than just Sundays.
It’s more than just ushering in and out of Sunday celebrations.
We believe life is better together.
We all need Christians who are tracking through life with us.
5. CITY-FOCUSED: We want to impact our city for the good.
We believe in BEING the church more than just COMING to church.
We believe the city should be a better place because a gospel-centered church in planted there.
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may SEE your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
Our church paints bridges, cleans schools, mows lawns and invests resources and people power into our city.
6. DIVERSITY: We want to be a picture of Heaven on Earth.
In Heaven there is no White church, Brown church, Black church or Yellow church (Rev. 7:9).
Everyone in Heaven is together worshipping the Lord.
We want that now!
Therefore, we value diversity in our church.
We celebrate one another, not just tolerate one another.
Our staff is diverse. Our leaders are diverse. Our platform is diverse and our pews are diverse.
The true Gospel unifies people not separates them.
7. GENEROSITY: We want to be a church of radical givers.
We believe it’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
Jesus calls us to live lives that are astonishingly generous.
We are generous not just for the sake of doing good but to make visible the generosity of God.
There you have it.
These are what makes Chapel of Change different.
These are what pumps through our blood.
Come check out what God is doing in us on Sundays.
In His grip,
Pastor Brian Warth
January 20, 2015
4 Top Ministry Lessons of 2014
2014 went like a whirlwind.
Our baby church experienced major growth pains.
In 2013 we had one Sunday Celebration; 2014 we grew to four.
In 2013 we had one campus; 2014 we grew to two.
In 2013 we had no permanent facility; 2014 we purchased a 400 seat church on 2.3 acres.
Needless to say, I have learned a lot in a little time.
1. I really need to pray more.
This is more of a confession than a lesson, but it’s true.
I need to pray more and then I need to pray even more than that.
My strength is my weakness.
I have a tendency of moving forward in the strength of my gifts more than the strength of my prayer.
Thank God for my wife who helps to keep me on my knees.
2. Sheep bite really hard.
I read this somewhere but I really learned it in 2014.
Some say I am a glutton for punishment but it’s really just my shepherd’s heart.
I really believe in people and love giving chances.
But sometimes my compassion blows up in my face.
I accepted the nature of urban ministry, which will break my heart at times.
3. I go further with a team.
Ministry people say all the time, “You must be really swamped with all that is happening!”
The truth is I am not.
Not because I am this spiritual Hulk Hogan, but because we have a great team.
This happened in part because of the selflessness of our mother church Light & Life NLB.
But I also worked hard at recruiting people to partner with me in our mission.
I’m not trying to do everything, nor am I trying to be the Lone Ranger.
4. Facebook is a cool ministry partner.
If you follow me at all, you’ll soon see I post a lot on Facebook.
I mainly post about the life of our church.
We love to tell the story of what God is doing in and through us.
And we love to celebrate every inch we take for the Kingdom.
It has paid off hugely because there is power in storytelling.
People have been drawn into our story and now it’s their story!
Check out our 2014 ReCAP video here.
In His grip,
Pastor Brian Warth
January 8, 2015