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Local Church Experimentation

September 6, 2017

“If you have something new you want to try,” says Pam Kranzler, the pastor at the Wapello United Methodist Church, “find two or three other people and let’s talk.”

That’s the spirit of experimentation that attracted the attention of the Southeast District Operational Team recently when they visited with leaders on a Sunday afternoon in August. Wapello8.27.17The SLI team, a part of the Healthy Conference Initiative in Iowa, is learning about ways our churches can develop new ministries to reach new people for Christ.

Soul Sisters is a group of working women who began meeting out of a need for fellowship. They couldn’t meet during the day with other groups, said Crystal Wiley, so they started meeting on Monday evenings for about an hour to “chat about life.”

The group’s ministry to each other has grown to include a shared devotional life together and community service projects. This experiment in ministry has blossomed. “We’ve become a tight-knit group,” said Katie Walker.

During the congregation’s Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) consultation in 2015, their pastor’s leadership was identified as a strength for cultivating new forms of outreach. Her “gifts for building relationships both within the church and in the community,” the report noted, “have helped the congregation cultivate a new appreciation for the church’s ministry potential into the future.”

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