Make Plans to Attend Pioneer Retreat in February
Program designed to help launch New Spaces
Do you have an idea to gather new faces and form disciples? We invite you to join other like-minded folks Feb. 8-9 at Prothro Center for the inaugural North Texas Conference Pioneer Retreat.
The target audience for the Pioneer Retreat is small teams of people (clergy and lay) from congregations who come with an idea for a New Space (the germ of an idea or a fairly well-developed plan). From Friday evening after dinner to Saturday evening before dinner, we will do a quick overview of the essential underpinnings of New Spaces and then help teams clarify their Vision for the New Space, learn skills for listening to the mission field and gathering people, and develop contextual discipleship systems that fit the people you are called to reach.
If you are getting ready to launch a New Space, we believe that this experience could be invaluable for you and your team. Even if you've already launched, we believe there would be great value in learning about and thinking about these aspects of New Spaces with your team.
Space is limited, so gather a team and sign up. Also, be sure to complete an application for grant funding prior to attending Pioneer Retreat.
Reminder: here are four key criteria of New Spaces:
- Gathers new faces: A new space does not merely bring together already “churched” people in a new way. By design, it aims to give unchurched and dechurched people a fresh experience of Christian community. Without new faces, it’s not a new space.
- Meets regularly: Regularly could be weekly. It could be monthly. It could be something in between. A new space could “meet” regularly online. A one-time outreach event, however, is not a new space. Without regular meetings, it’s not a new space.
- Relates to a UMC entity: Most new spaces will break the mold of typical forms of church. But, a new space is still a part of the Body of Christ. So, every new space will have a supportive connection to a local church, a campus ministry, or some other United Methodist entity. The point of this connection is not to funnel new members to the local church and feed the institution; it’s for the institution to support the new space.
- Forms disciples: There are lots of ways to define a disciple. The definition we’re using is a disciple is a person who follows in the Way of Jesus. So, a new space should help people follow in the Way of Jesus. Some new spaces will do that by focusing on Bible study; some won’t. Some will have a strong element of service; some won’t. Still others will utilize music and liturgy; some won’t. The way disciples are formed will vary based on the context. But, without discipleship, it’s not a new space.
Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2019