Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century is a program designed to assist United Methodist churches with predominantly Black congregations become effective in mission and ministry. It does this by linking successful congregational resource centers with congregations that are in search of new ideas and revitalization.
It is our hope that Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century can leave a legacy of spiritual vitality and evangelistic growth and transformation, and thus, can find more creative ways to empower churches to do ministry.
The Black churches in The United Methodist Church today are compelled to mission and ministry by the same biblical and theological foundations that undergird the mission and ministry of the whole church. The call to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded…" (Matthew 28:19-20) is widely embraced as the cornerstone for the mission of the church.
In the Black church community, an equally important mandate for mission is the first public pronouncement of Jesus: "The Spirit of the Lord hath anointed me to bring good news to the poor… proclaim release to the captives… recovery of sight to the blind… to let the oppressed go free… Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:18-22).
Through the words of Christ, SBC21 Academy of Interns will offer a transformational learning model designed to select, deploy and expose rising clergy to a full complement of experiences that will provide them with the skills and competencies needed to transform, establish or revitalize a vital congregation. This vocation is a partnership in God's mission in the world. Interns will experience andragogy that involves inward growth and renewal and participate in a movement outward to others and forward in the future of God's redemptive activity.
For additional information, visit www.sbc21.org
To help support, SBC21, donate here.
Dr. Fred A. Allen,
Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century
Toll Free Number: 1-877-899-2780, ext. 1721