I once read that the Free Methodist Church in our country had as many churches in 1890 as we have today. Our church family exploded across the country in our first thirty years of existence but in the General Conference gatherings of 1890 and 1984, a decision was made that we were growing too fast and that we should regulate the aggressive evangelism of the church. David McKenna looks back on this moment and writes “Without undue exaggeration, the rest of the history of the Free Methodist Church can be written in the multiplication of strategies and systems to jumpstart aggressive evangelism and get the church going again.”
Just 12 years ago, our own Pearce Memorial Church was bursting at the seams with an average weekend attendance of almost 1,300—including well over 200 children and teens. Our 2017 weekly attendance average was 570. And now we ask ourselves, how we might “jumpstart…and get the church going again.”
I have an article on my desk from the Harvard Business Review, “How the world’s oldest company reinvented itself.” It’s the story of a corporation (Stora Enso), formed in 1288, and its transformational journey in today’s global market. But I’m not drawn to corporate turnaround strategies.
I’m not even drawn to trying to repeat what God is blessing around the corner or around the world. My heart is drawn to ask our God of unfailing love to show us what He is doing on the westside of Rochester and beyond, and then show us ways He can and will use us—His Church here at Pearce—for His glory.
Let’s dare to seek God first. Let’s dare to promise God our full and complete obedience, even before He answers our prayers. Let’s dare to love God and neighbor with such a reckless abandon that His love might be unleashed in hearts and homes all across the westside of Rochester and beyond. Let’s dare to be a church that looks, lives, and loves like Jesus!
Hi Friends—Children’s Sunday School is back starting this Sunday at 10am! It is now called Journey Kids and it will be an amazing hour. I have invited Pastor Kayleigh to use the rest of my blog to share her heart on this exciting relaunch for our children and families! (more…)
When God Left the Building is a documentary about to be released. This is a story of the exodus of America’s faithful and what’s next. Director Thom Schultz set out on a journey to uncover why churches—once the heart and soul of their communities—are now shrinking in both size and influence. Sadly, there are parts of this that strike close to home even for our beloved church here at Pearce. (more…)
Journey! We are all on a journey. Imagine if we all shared the same Journey—a Journey to look, live and love like Jesus! (more…)
Pray First: Each Sunday through the month of January, we are asking our church family to come together in the Family Life Center at 10am for an hour of multi-generational prayer. (more…)
2018 Pre-Flight Check: “2018 Through the Bible in a Year” reading plan (youversion.com)—check. 2018 Prayer Journal set up on Google Drive and shared with Ellen—check. Daily prayer list updated for 2018 on Google Drive—check. Morning alarm set for daily time in Word and prayer—check. (more…)
Christmas—a time of blessing. So much to be grateful for.
Years ago, I was in a Latin American country for ministry meetings. We had a few hours free in the afternoon. I joined a friend for a walk through a local park. Our peaceful stroll was suddenly interrupted by five young men, two with rather imposing machetes. We were robbed, roughed up a bit, with our clothes torn and ripped. Later that night, I was alone in my room in the Catholic retreat center where we were staying. I prayed that God would protect me from nightmares as my body still shook from the trauma. By the way, this is a prayer our God of unfailing love answered, as to this day, I have never had a nightmare about this event. As I was falling asleep, I remembered thinking that I wished my father was with me. Funny, at that time I was a grown man with my own family but I wanted the comforting presence of my father. (more…)
There is much to love about our church. I continue to be blessed as I learn more about the history of Pearce. Our connection to the founding of our family of Free Methodist Churches; B.T. Roberts, whose grave is just steps away, reminding us of the trusting, confident, faith-filled steps of his life. Bishop Pearce, Rev. Parmerter, and so many other gifted, gracious, humble leaders who paved the way are honored throughout our building. (more…)
I’ve been thinking afresh about what it means to look, live, and love like Jesus—every day. How will I know if it has been a “good” day? How can I make it a “good” day in my humble attempts to look, live, and love like Jesus? (more…)