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Moving From “Have-Do-Be” to “Be-Do-Have”

As our Indiana Conference leadership teams have worked with the consultants from Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (SLI), one of the most profound principles we have learned is the need for all of us to move from the "Have-Do-Be" secular approach to life to the "Be-Do-Have" spiritual approach taught by Jesus and our Christian forerunners. Let me explain.

If we listen to the secular world, especially to the many ads and commercials which bombard us constantly, we can tend to believe that the meaning of life is to HAVE. We are told that we must have a whole variety of products, technologies, toys, and trinkets. The message is that we must have a bigger one, a better one, a newer one, a nicer one, and then we will be happy.

Likewise our culture says to us that life is all about what we DO, and the more busy our calendar, the more frantic and hurried our lifestyle, the better. Even in the life of the church, we strive to be busy, to be doing good things, and to have no extra time for anything - not even enough time to pray or listen to God. If you ask most people, "Tell me about yourself," their response is to tell you what they DO for a living.

Apparently the hope of our secular culture (which creeps into the church) is that if we HAVE and DO then we will BE happy and fulfilled.

Our SLI consultants have reminded us of the Biblical truth that life is about a different formula: BEING leads to DOING which helps us to be satisfied with what we HAVE. We are invited by Jesus to trust God, to focus upon our relationship with God and others, and then we will discover God leading us to live our lives in a way which provides fulfillment, meaning, and purpose. We should focus upon BEING a beloved child of God, who wants to DO the Godly things in life that make a true difference, and then everyone will HAVE what they need.

So our Indiana Conference leadership teams are spending up to 1/3 of our meeting times on BEING in relationship with God through times of worship, prayer, silence, and deep sharing. We then move to asking, "God, help us to prioritize what we DO around our mission and Your purposes." Then we begin to discover that we already HAVE the gifts of God in abundance if we live according to God's designs.

This shift from HAVE-DO-BE to BE-DO-HAVE is making a huge difference in our individual lives and our life together as Conference leaders.

UMC Bishop Mike Coyner in his E-pistle - 10/29/13

Opening Our Doors


ABIDE inspires Oakland UMC to reach out


By Barbara Nissen, special contributor
Oakland United Methodist Church in Topeka found a way to put its experience with the ABIDE program to work in the community. They started with children.

Oakland UMC in Topeka

ABIDE is a several-month process to help small-membership churches rediscover what it means to be abiding with Christ.

“Part of the ABIDE process is to get to know and engage with our neighbors,” Pastor Georgia Hale said. “We decided to start with the children. So many of them are hungry.”

The 125-year-old church with an average attendance of 49 is located in a working class neighborhood that was once its own community called Oakland. The neighborhood now is populated with younger people, single parents, immigrants and lots of rental properties. Nearly 85 percent of school-age children receive free lunches. So, that’s where the Oakland ABIDE team turned its attention.

In addition to supporting the BackPack program, which provides food for 1,000 area children at risk for going hungry over the weekend, Oakland tried a new thing. They offered Vacation Bible School every Saturday afternoon during Lent for children in the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »

A Different VBS

Cokesbury United Methodist Church provided an opportunity for children and youth to participate in a different type of Vacation Bible School Saturday at Fox Pond Park.

“We are taking the vacation out of Vacation Bible School,” Rev. Dennis Peay said. “It’s an effort to practice what we preach.”

Children came to the park and practiced giving back to the community and environment by cleaning up trash, raking and creating a more beautiful surrounding for people to enjoy. They also had fun and fellowship through music, singing, a prayer walk, games and a picnic lunch.

“When we clean up we’re helping the earth,” said Ellie Atkinson, who starts third grade next month. “I saw a bottle when we were driving in and I can’t wait to go pick it up.”

The message of this particular Vacation Bible School program coincides with a sermon series Peay has introduced to his congregation. The series includes a message that emphasizes what it means to be a disciple.

Cokesburry United Methodist is a 227-year-old church which began seeing worship attendance dwindle two years ago.

“There was not a lot of direction on what the vision of our church was,” Peay said. “I was introduced to a program called ‘Abide’ through denomination leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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