FUMC New Albany | 207 East Bankhead | New Albany, MS 38652 | (662) 534-2206

Pastor’s Pen

Nearly two years ago, a group of leaders in our church began the LMI journey together. For those of you who do not know this already, LMI stands for Lay Mobilization Institute and is a comprehensive program designed to help churches transition from a “pastor” led congregation to a “lay servant” led congregation.

After two years together sorting through the stuff of how to make this transition happen, our LMI team is done with its work and will now split to form two teams to continue on in the work that LMI started. The first of these is our “Joel Team”, which I will let Pastor Tim write you about at another time; and the second of these is our “Discipleship Team”. Our Discipleship Team will begin the work of crafting vision, creating language, and facilitating alignment, all of which will give clarity and purpose to how we do discipleship ministry; in the attitude of Dick Wills book “Waking to God’s Dream” we will busy ourselves with the task of new wine and new wineskins.

It has been a joy for me to begin this process in helping our church potentially live into a new idea for how we go about making disciples. There will be many resources that influence the end result of our work together; none, perhaps, more important than “The Class Meeting” by Kevin M. Watson. This book connects us to the deep and rich history of the original class meetings formed by John Wesley in the early years of the Methodist movement. For John Wesley, Small Group life together was primary and essential. As we work together we will seek to capture, or re-capture rather, the heart of this idea as we begin to lay the groundwork for discipleship ministry here at FUMC New Albany. It is our hope that you will see the first-fruits of our work in early February 2017…

And so with this, I want to introduce you to our team: Mike Alef, Jennifer Beam, Teresa Campbell, David Chapin, Callie Creekmore, Amy Livingston, Pam McGill, Ren Nelson, Jill Shaw, and Jane Wiegartner. Please pray for each of us as we begin this work of building a discipleship culture.

I can’t express how excited I am that I get to work with these amazing folks. They love Jesus and they love this church and they all seek what I seek…a deep and transformational discipleship ministry that reaches across all ages in the life of our church, and by extension our community. So pray for us as we begin this awesome and mighty work in the life of our church…

May the grace of God be with us all as we go and grow together…

Rev. Gregory Smith