BY JEFF FINLEY
Bishops Matthew Thomas, David Kendall and David Roller shared an updated mission and vision of the Free Methodist Church – USA during a live Vision Cast on Aug. 26.
The Web page for the Vision Cast — fmcusa.org/live — was accessed nearly 1,900 times the day of the event during which Thomas shared the Free Methodist Church’s mission “to love God, love people and make disciples.”
Kendall shared the vision of the Free Methodist Church “to bring wholeness to the world through healthy biblical communities of holy people multiplying disciples, leaders, groups and churches.”
The bishops have formulated nine strategies local Free Methodist congregations can use to implement the church’s mission and vision.
“It doesn’t do enough just to be able to recite a mission or a vision statement,” Roller said. “These [strategies] are fundamental to us because they drive us to action.”
The Aug. 26 Vision Cast focused on three of the strategies:
· Increase church planting and ministries in the urban centers.
· Improve our reach to the poor and disenfranchised and create multicultural fruitfulness in every church.
· Make discipleship and serving as key to our measure of success as our services of worship.
Future Vision Casts will explore additional strategies.
Unlike past online town hall meetings with the bishops, this Vision Cast included video segments in which Free Methodist pastors provided their perspectives.
Pastor George King discussed how his Free Methodist congregation — The Foundry in Escondido, Calif. — has learned to see the church as a body rather than a building.
Pastor Samuel Lopez shared how First FMC of Minneapolis views all people as created in the image of God.
Patrick McNeal — the pastor of Living Grace Community Fellowship in Flint, Mich.,
and the founder of My Brother’s Keeper of Genesee County — said ministry requires having “thick skin and short memory, because if you don’t, you’ll get caught up in it, and you’ll forget to do the good that God requires.”
The pastors’ videos can be viewed individually at fmcusa.org/visioncastresources.
Jason Archer, the executive director of the denomination’s Light & Life Communications (LLCOMM), expressed deep appreciation for the time viewers invested in the Vision Cast despite an interruption in the video stream lasting several minutes.
“The delays were in part caused by a server crash due to record attendance numbers. The LLCOMM team is working to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future,” Archer said.
“As we’re already evaluating and preparing for the Feb. 10 event, we will endeavor to ensure this is something you can trust enough to promote,” he added.
A complete copy of the Vision Cast is posted on this page for repeat viewing or for anyone who missed all or parts of the live event.
“The vision of our bishops is more than compelling,” Archer said. “It’s critical for the movement of our denomination.”
At facebook.com/fmcusa and on the Vision Cast’s chat window, Free Methodists expressed gratitude for what they heard from the bishops and the desire to view the complete Vision Cast.
“Despite the technical problems, well done my brothers. Thank you,” said David Carey of Maple Valley, Wash. “Now, let us all go out and live the life of love He has called us to.”
“We loved hearing from our bishops,” the online viewers from the Alexandria (Minn.) First FMC commented. “We’re taking ‘love God, love people, make disciples’ seriously in our community. Our emphasis is on discipleship, not just conversions. Real, life transforming change is the beginning, and we seek to come alongside of those who are seeking more to move them towards discipleship.”