Question for you, what was it that brought you to Salem? Was it your family? Was it that someone invited you to come visit? Was it the Holy Spirit? Or, was it something else?
I ask these questions because our church is in a time of transition. Even though our church is approaching 200 years of service to the people of Newton and Rockdale communities, the reasons people visit and attend church have changed and are still changing. Most of those reasons are generational.
This past Monday night, I sat through a presentation by our District Superintendent, Dr. Quincy Brown, where he and other presenters explained the various reasons the different generations attend and then stay as members/attendees of church’s today. To help Salem UMC find ways that we can reach into our community to reach these different generations, Dr. Brown is asking all 54 churches of the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford (ADOX) District to begin a process of discernment in how to best reach those generations in our community.
Over the next year, the leadership of Salem will be focusing on how Salem UMC can answer some basic questions about our church. The first set of questions will help discover the church’s values and vision. The questions break down this way:
- Why do we do what we do? . . . our values - How do we accomplish our mission? . . . our strategy - What are we doing? . . . our mission - When will we be successful? . . . our measures of success - Where is God taking us? . . . our vision for the future of Salem
These questions will help our church see how we here at Salem define our church’s culture. Later, we begin to seek our community’s input in what they think about when they hear our church’s name and ask those same people what they believe is our community’s need. This may give us some of the information we need to decide what we need to begin as a new ministry and also see if we need to continue or discontinue some of the ministries we now have in place.
The first step of this discovery process will be taking place soon. On Sunday, September 16, from 3:00 - 5 p.m., here at Salem, leaders of all 54 churches of the ADOX district will be here to learn how they can answer those questions for each of their respective churches.
Dr. Brown is expecting over 250 people in attendance so I am asking for volunteers to help us host that day and share with them the wonderful hospitality of Salem. If you are interested in serving as a host, please let me know at your convenience.