Equipping local church with leadership development and mission training for sustainable outreach.
Describe the need affecting community
There is a serious need for the local churches to learn real mission and ministry with each other and their neighbors. This requires patient training of leaders, both lay and clergy. The community is experiencing an increase in violence and intolerance so there is a need for our children especially to have a safe place where they can learn to “love one another”. The underprivileged of the community have little or no access to the internet which is so important to the children for homework and adults for greater communication, job skills, etc.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
We have been working in Jamaica for ten years and have a body of learning that enables us greater access to the leadership of the Jamaica Methodist District. Our project also continues to provide VIM teams with their resources to assist with whatever facet is necessary.
Describe the primary goal of the project
Our goal is to help the local church to be the very best witness for Christ that it can be to the local community. In Jamaica, the Methodist Church is in “critical condition”. It is plagued by financial problems, a waning and aging membership and a lack of equipped leadership at the local level. We believe we have resources through our staff and network to come along side the church with encouragement, skills training and assistance with church property repairs. Enabling the church to rise up will not only sustain the Methodist Presence in communities, but help them become effective with both a Spiritual and social witness that changes lives.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
With a more equipped leadership we would expect to see the local church beginning to be more active in ministry to each other and in the community around them. It will not happen over night. There will be resistance among some individuals, but we believe the Holy Spirit is still at work changing lives. With an expanded circle of influence by the local church, we believe there will be an increased interest in the church activities which in turn can translate into attendance and transformed lives.