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Explore together how congregations can change to become more fruitful for the purposes of Christ. Remember the Future: Praying for the Church and Change prepares leaders of congregations and conferences for courageous new conversations with readings that draw us toward renewed vision, cultivate hope and keep us attentive to the mission of Christ. Read together as leadership teams, boards and covenant groups to understand more clearly the “why” of congregational ministry and the internal resistances and external challenges to the mission of the church.
"While Bishop Schnase honors the past, he writes for the future. God keeps doing new things, and our Wesleyan ancestors knew well that new occasions require new responses. Remembering the Future envisions a future worthy of our past."
Lovett H. Weems, Jr., Wesley Theological Seminary
Author of Focus: The Real Challenges That Face The United Methodist Church
"Discerning God's dream for us requires remembering who we are and where we come from. we need help staying connected with God's purpose while working. Here is help."
Gil Rendle, Texas Methodist Foundation Senior Consultant
Author of Journey in the Wilderness and Back to Zero.
"Bishop Schnase helps us to embrace change with faith, vision, hope, and grace. I intend to make wide use of this book in my ministry with congregation leaders."
Gregory V. Palmer Resident Bishop, Illinois Episcopal Area - The United Methodist Church
Illinois Great Rivers Conference
"The biggest issue facing local churches, annual conferences and the national church is whether we love Jesus enough to change. We must remember the changes our ancestors made and make similar changes to remain faithful in the future. Robert Schnase has given us significant help on that journey."
Scott Jones, Resident Bishop, Kansas Episcopal Area – The United Methodist Church
Every cabinet, conference and congregation in your care will be encouraged, inspired and energized by using and experiencing the compelling truthfulness, faithfulness and integrity found in Robert Schnase's Remember the Future: Praying for the Church and Change.
Bishop Rueben P. Job, author of Three Simple Rules and Three Simple Questions
From “Somewhere Out There”, Reading 28
When United Methodists work toward starting congregations and strengthening congregations and leading congregations, these are not merely attempts at institutional survival. Learning to deepen our life in Christ through congregations and to extend the outreach of Christ through faith communities are not merely submitting to worldly, corporate models of growth and success. Forming congregations are a means by which we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in fulfilling the purposes of Christ. Through people changed by belonging to the body of Christ, God transforms the world. God uses congregations to fulfill the mission revealed to us in Christ; increasing the number of vital congregations deserves our best and highest insights, efforts, resources, and attention
Somewhere out there, somewhere in Texas or California or New Jersey or Norway or Mozambique, somewhere in a town like yours or a neighborhood near you is a person who has no idea of the change that is coming his way or the grace that will transform her life, a person unknowingly prepared by the Spirit of God to receive the embrace of Christ that people will offer when they come alive with purpose and fulfill the mission of Christ. Somewhere out there is a person God plans to use you to reach. Somewhere out there is a person God will use to change your life as you reach them. Somewhere out there is a person for whom Christ died, and for whom your church was built, and for whom God has uniquely prepared you to reach.
Who are the “somewhere out there” people you and your congregation are reaching?
Has your congregation ever helped start a congregation?
How do you, your church, and your conference work to strengthen the ministry of Christ through congregations?
Who are you uniquely qualified and perfectly situated to touch with the grace and ministry of Christ whom no one else can possibly reach?
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Robert Schnase is bishop of the Rio Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Schnase is the author of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, a best-selling book on congregational ministry that has ignited a common interest among churches and their leaders around its themes of radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity. Five Practices has reached a global community with translations in Korean, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, and German. Robert is also the author of Just Say Yes!, Receiving God's Love, Remember the Future, Five Practices of Fruitful Living, and others.
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