75 People Join Launchpad Training
By Paul Nixon
This past July and August, seventy-five people participated in Launchpad Church Planter Training led by Paul Nixon and Patricia Pena of the Path 1 team. This special Launchpad training focused on groups that are forming and launching new ministry in the wake of church disaffiliations around the United States. Twenty-seven teams, a few of which were connectional leaders, participated. Most were people active in various communities, who are committed to offering a fresh United Methodist ministry presence in their areas. Northwest Texas Conference led the way with seven teams registered! This was the largest Launchpad training that we have offered to date.
The week after the training ended, Paul Nixon visited with the Rev. David Teel of the North Alabama Conference. Teel has been appointed to plant a new United Methodist congregation in Trussville, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. He was just full of God stories. His church meets at 1:00 p.m. at an Episcopal church facility, and the congregation plans to move to two services soon. One Sunday during the training, this emerging North Alabama church set a goal of having one hundred attendees – and 137 showed up! Teel's church (yet unnamed) is just one example of the Spirit-energy we see across the UMC connection as we rebuild United Methodist ministry and presence in areas of high church disaffiliation.
In the training, most participants saw their projects to be in the “Gathering” season, when people collecting is critical. Most were new to ministry start up and came from churches that were plateaued or declining. Shifting into high gear around building new relationships with neighbors, they discovered that new practices and habits must form.
Because of continued interest, we plan to offer Launchpad again in 2024. If you would like to put your name on the list so that we can get you information about that training once dates are firm, please share your name, your community, and your annual conference with Paige Ross at Path 1: [email protected]. Ross will be sure to get back to you, so that you and your team won’t miss the next training. Launchpad’s online version is a five-week-experience with 2.5-hour sessions offered weekly, late afternoon or early evening to make lay participation possible.
If your annual conference (or a group of annual conferences) would like to have a Path 1 team to come to your area to offer Launchpad training live, please reach out to Paul Nixon, [email protected].