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Theology

“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’               Matthew 25:45

 

My approach to ministry is based upon my understanding of the examples Jesus showed which are still revenant today. Jesus showed compassion for the poor and marginalized and forgave those who wronged him. Jesus spoke out against religious and political leaders. Jesus defended the rights of women, children, and foreigners.

Vocational Goals:

  • For all people to know that they matter to God no matter how they have been historically treated

  • To empower all but especially marginalized people to make a difference in the world.

  • To live in a manner that models the love of Jesus and acceptance of all people by showing compassion, empathy, and love

Values:

  • Love for self, God, and one another

  • Compassion for others, especially those who are suffering

  • Forgiveness of others as a true sign of love and compassion, also to release strongholds on one's own mind

  • Acceptance without prejudice

  • Service to others in humility

  • Promote justice in the world by defending the rights of the poor, oppressed, and marginalized

  • Work towards a non-violent society striving to resolve conflict peacefully

Justice Principles:

  • Advocate for the poor and marginalized so that everyone has the opportunity to live a good and dignified life. I am motivated and energized by Dr. Emilie M. Townes' work that focuses on the intersection of race, gender, and class and particularly how Black women are marginalized and oppressed in both religious and secular contexts

  • Advocate equality for all. I am inspired by the works of Saint Augustine of Hippo who was a strong advocate for equality believing that all people are created in the image of God and therefore have inherit dignity and worth

  • Advocate fairness for all with an emphasis on the marginalized seeking the same opportunities as those privileged by wealth, power, or social status. I am directed by the work of Gustavo Gutierrez who was a strong advocate for the poor and oppressed believing that the church should be a force for liberation in the world 

  • Advocate for organizations and candidates that work to make the world a more just place by promoting peace, equality, and human rights. I am confident of this position through the work of James Cone who believed that God is on the side of the oppressed; and that God is not a neutral observer of human suffering

  • Advocate for the responsible and respectful care of the creation God has entrusted to us. He gave us dominion and stewardship over the earth to maintain its sustainability. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote extensively about caring for the creation. He believed that we are stewards of it, and should care for it wisely. I am wholeheartedly anchored by his writings to model and lead the saints and unbelievers in this work 

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Traditional Church Planting Principles

  • Pastor as charismatic leader of the church

  • Goal is to save a multitude of souls

  • Location is where the church meets in a rented space, church building, or home

  • Mission focused on reaching out to those who don't know Jesus

  • Vision/Planning for the kind of church they want to plant and the kind of people they are trying to reach

  • Fill the pews. Evangelize by sharing the Gospel w/others, invite them to follow Jesus

  • Team building, not alone. Should be a team of passionate people who care about the vision and work hard to make it happen 

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Digital Ministry Principles

  • An authentic faith leader should lead the church (people easily detect being fake)

  • Goal is to build relationships with those reached. Get to know them and let them get to know you

  • Location is anywhere one is with a strong wi-fi connection for log in access

  • Intentional focus on church goals

  • Creativity and outside the box thinking to find new ways to reach people. Create engaging content that is visually appealing, informative, and relevant to online audience
  • Be relevant, the digital world constantly changes. Use the latest technology and trends to reach people

  • Partner with other ministries. Cross-promote content to reach more people

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Application to my approach to online church planting

  • A faith-based leader should partner with others utilizing their expertise and resources to integrate the worship experience at different levels towards a common goal 

  • Be intentional about ministry goals, implement a strategic plan for ministry that transforms lives by developing an intimate personal relationship with the Savior

  • Location is anywhere one is able to log onto a viewing platform to engage in online church

  • Use social media to connect to people and build relationships. Share the vision for church plant, promote upcoming events, and connect with people who are interested in learning more about Jesus

  • Create a welcoming and inclusive environment where people feel accepted, regardless of their background or beliefs. All are welcomed

  • Be patient and persistent, don't get discouraged. Church growth may not happen immediately, an online church plant takes time. Patiently keep at it

  • Partner with other churches and ministries that are planting online to help reach more people and expand the reach

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