Ten of us (from our ―little church), went to the ―OUTBOUND — Day of Evangelism workshops at Bethany UMC in Wayne. This day was sponsored by our Annual Conference. After the Praise Band, guest speaker Paul Nixon gave us a brief description of how hu-mans developed into society, how those societies have evolved and how the church has evolved with them. He said that there is no future for the church in America. There are many futures, a huge variety. First individuals created tribes for order and protection. In search of meaning they had Shamans. Jesus was born into exploitive power driven socie-ties with elite pharoses. John Wesley was part of the search for a universal reality with a broader range of authority.

There was a traditional under-standing of the Bible. Then sci-ence really progresses and thereby challenges this under-standing. Social networks began to emerge and society was more people driven, less power and authority in the hands of a few. As people began to be disillusioned with this authoritative hierarchy they began to leave the church. They searched for spiri-tual understanding on their own in other areas. People have be-come less swayed by any one particular denomination and less likely to ―join up.

So as we look to keep up with the changes in society, the way we ―do church must continue to evolve. Praise bands, flexible buildings, meeting in coffee shops, restaurants… Barb went to a workshop called ―”Fresh Expressions”. This spoke about meeting people in their surroundings, meaning where ever we go — dog park, play-ground, line at the grocery store — there is an opportunity to have a conversation, listen, share and explore discipleship with others. We have the opportunity to answer their questions. Con-gregations need to be wiling to reach people in their place, not just ours.

Liz went to ―”Flipping Church”. She was reminded of the scrip-ture ―Behold I make all things new. She was encouraged that changing is easier than starting a new church! The community is where we have to be involved and show our hospitality! Jan and Andrea went to the workshop on Social Media and its roll in in the church‘s future. Society today meets and shares and debates, talks, researches all on the net. So to reach out we have to be where they are, but they want face to face community too. Social Media is a great way to make first connections, have a discussion and invite today‘s people to church.

Pastor Pak wanted us to attend so that we would see what others are doing at their churches. He hoped we would see how we are evolving and to be encourage to take another step. It worked Pastor Pak!!

Submitted by Andrea M