Our participation in the Whole Church Initiative prompted us to examine who we are as a church. The congregational survey helped us assess: Are we the disciples Jesus intends us to be? We started an intentional process of forming disciples in 2015, small groups for discipleship. As of January 2016, 20% of our worshiping community have participated in this first phase of discipling. The Holy Spirit has helped us focus on making disciples and deepening discipleship, one person at a time.
Worland UMC entered into the WCI process at a time when the spirit of the church was sinking. They were without an assigned pastor, their numbers were dwindling and it was increasingly difficult to motivate people to action. I (as Pastor) arrived just as the team had begun their sessions. Over the course of our WCI participation, we have started a free store, a bus ministry for handicapped and elderly, prayer circles, a small group bible study, and a community Faith Network Facebook page. All of these outreach ministries are doing well and the congregation is excited and supportive of them. New ideas continue to come also. This Advent we had a “longest night” candle and anointing service for folks who suffer with sadness at Christmas. WCI was a spark for Worland UMC. I’m thankful the congregation has taken that spark and is now in the process of building a fire.