Church planting, leadership training, youth events part of SDC vision
by Tim Sullivan
The recent adoption of what has been called The Future Story by the U.S. Conference delegates at our national convention in Denver, Colo., this summer has sparked a great deal of interest and enthusiasm for the vision of our national conference to “help empower each local MB church to reach its full, God-given ministry potential within the framework of their evangelical and Anabaptist distinctives.” We also affirmed three core commitments: church multiciplation and evangelism, discipleship and leadership development. Some of the ways that the Southern District Conference (SDC) has been working to achieve these three strategic commitments are as follows.
Lighthouse Church, Lakewood, Colo.
This recent church plant on the west side of Denver is a partnership between the U.S. Conference, SDC and Mountain View Community Church in Clovis, Calif. Lighthouse Church re-launched in September 2016 and is living to be a blessing to their community.
Avenue Church, Aurora, Colo.
Avenue Church is another SDC church plant. Led by Pastor David Yirdaw, Avenue Church will launch public services in February 2017. There is already a group of 60 to 70 young adults who are excited about creating a multi-cultural community of faith, birthed out of Ethiopian Evangelical Church of Denver.
City Church, Pueblo Colo.
This most recent church plant has a vision for changing the community of Pueblo from the businesses to the streets. Through a loan guarantee from the SDC Stewardship Commission, City Church was able to purchase a building to use as a ministry center in the heart of Pueblo’s renovated downtown district. Recently, Valleyview Bible Church in Cimarron, Kan., partnered with City Church to help provide a limited part-time salary for their new pastoral intern, Mario Trujillo, who has been serving without compensation while working full time at Cracker Barrel in Pueblo.
2020 Movement Vision Summit
The MB Mission mobilization team that serves the SDC is partnering with churches and leaders to do leadership development through the 2020 Movement’s Vision Summits, a series of gatherings which focus on helping college age and older men and women discern what God is calling them to next. The Vision Summit is a weekend conference designed to build upon the dreams, spiritual gifts and passions God has already placed in his people and equip them for the mission he has for them, whether locally, nationally and/or globally.
Southern District Youth Conference and Camps
Four hundred-plus youth from SDC churches gather annually in various locations throughout the district for inspiration, encouragement and challenge. This is the largest annual gathering of Mennonite Brethren in the U.S. and is a primary place of helping youth groups create space for life change. Each summer, Southern District Youth and Kids Camps are considered top-notch events and are well attended.
These are only a few examples of how we have been networking to help churches reach their full potential. What is it that your church dreams to do? Check with your district minister to see how you can network with other churches to make that dream come true!
Tim Sullivan has served as the Southern District Conference district minister since 2004. He is married to Donna who is the U.S. Conference administrative secretary and bookkeeper. They live in Wichita, Kan., and have three married children and seven grandchildren. Sullivan enjoys hunting, fishing, riding bicycle and showing his grandchildren the wonders of God’s creation.
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