Fayette County United Methodist churches seek more vitality in offering Christ to hurting world


The Fayette County, Tennessee United Methodist Community in Missions’ churches are seeking more vitality in offering Christ to a hurting world.
The churches have hired Dr. Victor Dingus of Next Step Ministry NOW (NSMN) of Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, to lead them in a process that began in July and will continue through at least July 2018 – longer, if needed.
Dingus has led workshops in United Methodist annual conferences and has worked directly with congregations in helping them become more vital in local communities, according to Rev. Jim Graham, pastor of Moscow and Willison United Methodist Churches in the Metro District, two of the participating Fayette County churches.
The process, Graham explained, includes four basic questions upon which churches are asked to reflect:

  • Who are we? (identity) 
  • Why do we exist? (purpose) 
  • Who are our neighbors? (location)
  • What is God’s will for us? (next right step)
“These four basic questions are answered through gathering information, sharing stories, reviewing geographic and demographic data, and networking within the community,” said Graham.
The questions generate reflection and discernment, which then leads to planning.
“This is likened to a pilgrimage for these leaders and for the at-large congregation. The pilgrimage is a leadership process and gets people to a place they would not get to on their own,” said Graham.