News Bulletin - March 20, 2019
Strategic Growth Initiative
The General Board is moving forward with the Strategic Growth Initiative. Each district is developing plans for growth, and to date, 40 districts have submitted their plans. The chair of the Strategic Growth Committee is Jack Cunningham, and the secretary is Ken Gurley. At the recent General Board meeting, the committee presented a template for district plans to address four areas:
- New Ministers
- New Works (preaching points, daughter works, churches)
- Helping Local Church to Grow
- Helping At-Risk Churches (closing the back door)
In addition, the committee recommended several district strategies: (1) Day of Pentecost rallies in 2020 to establish new works. (2) Emphasis on ministerial ethics. (3) Outreach to independent churches and former UPCI churches who maintain Apostolic identity. If such churches remain isolated, they are at high risk of losing Apostolic identity over time especially during pastoral transitions, but if they can become connected they can increase our base for world missions.
During the General Board meeting, the Holy Spirit moved in a special way during a time of spontaneous prayer and worship. The Lord confirmed His Word to us through Revelation 3:8: “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
Strategies for Growth
The Strategic Growth Committee recommended that we provide a digital booklet to all ministers and especially district leaders titled Strategies for Growth. It contains the following chapters:
- Leading Districts and Ministries
- Growing a District 1: Making the Case for Growth
- Growing a District 2: Developing a Culture of Growth
- Ministerial Ethics and Transfer of Members
- Growing a Church
- Attracting, Winning, and Retaining People
This booklet is available as a PDF file at https://www.upci.org/file/121/Strategies_for_Growth_2019.pdf.
Spanish Evangelism Ministries
The complete ministerial reading curriculum for each level of credentials is now available in Spanish at MinistryCentral.com. It includes 10 books at each of the three levels with two hours of instruction for each topic, for a total of 60 hours. We now have several Spanish-speaking employees at World Headquarters. They can assist with ministerial credentials, book orders, and other needs.
- Global Missions. The I Am Global offerings at General Conference and Because of the Times enabled us to shorten the travel of 16 deputizing missionary families on the 2018 I Am Global list, sending them back to their fields. Deputational travel is now an average of 6.6 months instead of one to two years. For the first time, no missionary accounts are in deficit.
- North American Missions. The General Conference offering of $1 million enabled us to send three new metro missionary families to their fields and possibly a fourth this summer. The Christmas For Christ offering has experienced seven years of annual growth. This year it increased by $448,000 to a record $4.82 million. A total of 65 couples participated in the recent weeklong Launch training for church planters.
- Youth Ministries. To date, 34,500 have registered for North American Youth Congress, July 31-August 2, St. Louis.
- Children’s Ministries. To date, 213 have received the Holy Ghost in Save Our Children Rallies and Junior Bible Quizzing Extravaganzas, and 350 teachers have been trained in Central America.
- Ministers Retirement Fund. This fund now has over $80 million with participation of World Headquarters employees, Global Missionaries, Tupelo Children’s Mansion, Urshan College, Urshan Graduate School of Theology, and 571 churches. These funds are not held by the UPCI but are overseen by the MRF Board with assistance from an investment firm and a third-party administrator. For information go to mrfupci.org or call 855-673-8724 (MRF-UPCI) to speak to a representative who works exclusively with the UPCI.
- The UPCI Loan Fund now exceeds $50 million and has helped about 160 churches to acquire and expand buildings.
Plans for the Future
- Center for Apostolic Counseling. The Office of Education and Endorsement and the General Board are recommending this new ministry for endorsement by the General Conference.
- Apostolic Chamber of Commerce. The Office of Education and Endorsement and the General Board are recommending this new ministry for endorsement by the General Conference.
- District Constitution. As part of the ongoing, multiyear effort to update the UPCI Manual, the General Board has approved a revised District Constitution to present to the General Conference.
- Diversity Training. Multicultural Ministries is developing a curriculum for districts and churches. Two preliminary video resources are now available: (1) testimony of Alonzo Terry, an African American leader in the UPCI at https://youtu.be/mHMogom5hiA (2) advice from Alonzo Terry on multiracial ministry at https://ministrycentral.com/course/index.php?categoryid=88.
- New Converts Course. The Division of Publications is developing a new curriculum for discipleship of new converts.
- Christian Ministry License. The Division of Publications is enhancing a training track on MinistryCentral.com for ministers commissioned by the local church.
- Ministers in Development. UPCI Youth Ministries is partnering with the Division of Publications to develop an introductory track for prospective ministers on MinistryCentral.com.
Flooding in the Midwest
Several of our churches and ministers in Nebraska and Iowa have been affected by recent flooding. Reach Out America is helping with assistance. If you would like to contribute go to reachoutamerica.org.
General Conference, “I AM”
Indianapolis, IN, September 24-27, 2019. There is no registration fee. Hotel reservations open at noon (CST) on April 2. For the schedule, go to upcigc.net. Evening Speakers are as follows:
- Tuesday PM: North American Missions, District Superintendent Wayne Huntley
- Wednesday PM: Global Missions, To Be Announced
- Thursday PM: General Superintendent David K. Bernard
- Friday PM: Evangelist Victor Jackson
Sincerely in Christ,
David K. Bernard
Church & Ministry Locator
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