NEO Team Update
Mobilizing All Nazarenes in Unity
I love the “Cycle to Resurgence”. I love the way I see NEO Nazarenes living out the core heart cries of this Vision. It starts with mobilizing all Nazarenes in unity.
1. Equip and send everyday ministers on mission.
The Scriptures are clear when Peter writes, “As each one has received a gift, minister to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10). Each one is gifted to minister to others. Unfortunately, we don’t function like “each one” is essential for the ministry. We function like only a select few are gifted for ministry and the rest are called to support the gifted in their work. We need to reawaken the biblical idea that all of God’s people are called to ministry and are sent on mission, and that their mission field starts where God placed them in their everyday lives.
2. Confront consumerism.
Church is not a place to which I come passively to receive benefits. It is a family in which I have mutual ministry with my brothers and sisters. We need to approach our gatherings in the way David and Karen Mains instructed me as a young pastor – go anticipating and searching for how God will speak to me and through me (they called it “the Sunday search”)!
3. Move from attendance to engagement.
All of God’s people are called to the ministry and all God’s people are sent on mission. What is your system in your church to move people from the sidelines to engaged In ministry?
October is Appreciation Month
Recently I was at Broken Arrow Connect. I was tickled to discover that Children’s Pastor, Stefanie Harris had talked to the kids of the church the previous Wednesday about how to be the church and one of the things she told them was the church is to encourage other believers. Their craft was to write each one of the prime timers a little note or draw them a picture and Stefanie mailed them off on Thursday. I just LOVE this practical way of teaching our kids about the value of expressing appreciation to one another!
I am challenging you to take the month of October to practice the skill of identifying the good in others, including our pastors, and affirming it!
I dare you to intentionally communicate in some way everyday words of blessing and encouragement to another member of the local expression of the body of Christ. Since it is Pastor Appreciation Month, make sure at least one expression of appreciation each week is for the pastor(s). I believe this will make a difference in the unity in your church! That is why the writers of the New Testament place such an emphasis on us encouraging and building up one another.
Following Jesus Together
Part of the Cycle to Resurgence is “Becoming Christlike Disciples”.
To aid that effort we are introducing an 8-week emphasis kicking off 2024 using the book Organic Disciples by Kevin and Sherry Harney.
Church leaders are invited to join us on Saturday, November 18 as Kevin Harney teaches us about the qualities that mark organic disciples and helps us envision what this kind of emphasis could mean for our churches.
Kids Mission Day 2023 is coming up on October 21, 2023.
For Kids Kindergarten – 6th grade
Please pre-register HERE.
Update on Our University – Southern Nazarene University
- We are thrilled to announce the largest incoming class since 2004 in the College of Undergraduate Studies, with more first-time full-time students since the 2001 cohort. The overall incoming class totaled 403 students with the freshman cohort coming in at 356.
- This impressive cohort demonstrates strong academic potential, at a substantial boost to our top 3 academic tiers, an impressive 63% now falling into tiers 1, 2, and 3. The average GPA of the incoming class is 3.61.
- Notably, we’ve seen significant growth in residential students, an increase in our Hispanic population, a slight rise in Nazarene students, and an exceptionally low melt of 5% (enrolled students who decided not to come). We are extremely proud of the admissions team and athletic recruiting coaches. What an outstanding year!
- The SNU Men’s Rugby team defeated DI Iowa State 26-22 in Kansas City this past weekend in what is being dubbed “The I-35 Battle.” Our reserve Men’s Rugby team won, and several students from Mid-America Nazarene University showed up to support us.
- Chick Fil A is in full operation; being enjoyed by students, faculty, staff and the community at large.
- Great start to chapel with some powerful and moving messages from Dr. Keith Newman, Pastor Tavares Johnson, Pastor Gabriela Rodriguez, and Danny Thomason.
- Incredible Grand Opening of The Crimson Corner with an all-school Back to School Bash that had over 550 in attendance!
- Outstanding student engagement at all events so far this year. There is a lot of momentum.
- The PGS 10 Day Census count recorded an all-time high of 1,206 students!
Ministry Team Retreat,
Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, Branson
“God is in this Story”
Thanks for our wonderful churches for sending your pastors to our Annual Ministry Team Retreat. Our special speakers were Rev. Larry and Kristi Morris and our worship leader was Rev. James Peterson, Broken Arrow Connect.
We had 106 participants and it was an enriching time.