We've been praying as a community, God, we are yours. What do you want to do through us?
Something is emerging that we never saw coming. Pastor Jenny shared the vision in worship on April 15. Watch now.
What is 10 in 30?
The people of Marysville United Methodist Church are making room to birth ten new expressions of church in the next thirty years.
What’s an expression?
There are many ways to be a church community. We’re excited to learn from other church planters who’ve gone before us. A community can meet on different days of the week, in different locations and in different forms. Some expressions may become a standalone, chartered church. Others may become something else. Because we feel called to birth ten expressions, we’re excited to see where the Spirit will lead!
Why can’t people just come here?
Many of us know people who wouldn’t come in the doors of an existing church building like ours, no matter what we did to make it appealing and accessible. The kind of Christianity that makes headlines has left a trail of disillusionment in its’ wake. Much damage has been done. There’s baggage and pain. We now have entire generations of people who feel Christianity doesn’t have anything meaningful to offer the world.
But we believe following Jesus and allowing yourself to become whole is still an incredibly compelling and meaningful way to spend this one life we get.
So these people who feel disconnected or angry? Some of them are your kids, your grandkids, friends, neighbors, colleagues. We want to create new places for people just like them.
There are a lot of churches. Why do we need more?
Marysville is the fastest growing city in the state of Washington right now. Like the rest of the state, 33% of our community are already connected to church in some way. 67% of these people are not. When asked why they’re not, their highest rated answers were: Disillusionment with religion, I don’t trust organized religion or leaders, religion is too focused on money and religious people are too judgmental.
This church has a unique set of values that fit these people surprisingly well. We hear it over and over from brand new people who walk in the door, “I didn’t know a place like this existed.”
Don’t we have things to work on here?
Two things can be true at the same time. We can be the church in a way we understand as we’ve been doing and we can make room for new expressions of faith to rise. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. What if the new thing can learn from us? What if we can learn from the new thing?
What might change? What will stay the same?
We don’t anticipate significant changes in our day to day operations as a faith community. Our pastor will give some of her time to encouraging and meeting with the leaders of these new communities. We’ll make room for these expressions to listen to God and become something new on their own. We’ll celebrate and encourage them as they grow.
Pastor Jenny is still our lead pastor. Our worship gatherings will continue to be vibrant and meaningful. Your small group will continue to gather. We’ll continue to strengthen our existing ministries. We’ll continue to be a light in our community welcoming all kinds of beautiful people. Our work here in this place continues.
How are we paying for this?
A portion of the gifts we give on a Sunday morning go to what’s called apportionments. Each United Methodist Church gives a certain percentage of our giving to the wider church. Some of it is given to a fund to start new faith communities. We’ve been given the opportunity to receive a full time church planter and their salary is paid in full by those funds for five years. The planter is responsible for raising some of their support as well. By the time five years rolls around, the new community can support itself.
It’s a beautiful way to put those funds back to work in communities where healthy churches are ready to make space for something new.
The Pacific Northwest Conference has appointed Kate Kilroy as our first full-time church planter, effective July 1. She will serve full time in the community of Marysville. She will listen, meet new friends and discern what the first community might start to look like.
What’s our responsibility to these new communities?
We’ll discern each of those as we go. But we do know that our job is to encourage the planter and the new community. We’ll pray with them. We’ll connect them to people who might be interested. We’ll share resources. We’ll partner together.
What can I do to help?
A word about soil
There’s a Jesus story where a farmer threw seed on a path, rocky ground and thorns. The seeds did not take root. Then the farmer threw them on healthy soil. The seed bore fruit. The seed produced yields of thirty to one, sixty to one and one hundred to one.
What if we are the healthy soil? We do our work to stay healthy. We gather for worship, study, service and community. We welcome new friends. And we choose to surrender and allow God to use as soil to help birth a miracle!
In 30 years, who will be so deeply thankful that you chose to be soil for a community that would change their life?
On Sunday, April 22, Rev. Dr. Bill Gibson shared a powerful message on what it means to follow Jesus with curious wonder and innovation. Chocolates, play-doh and doubting disciples help us see the truth that following Jesus often means being comfortable with being uncomfortable.