NEO Team Update 6-18-20
NEO Report for 2019-20 – Part 3
What One Thing Needs the Greatest Attention as a District?
That question consumed your District Advisory Council for over an hour on Monday, June 1. Eight thoughtful ideas were proposed, including “Helping our pastors and leaders discover a God-ordained dream for their local church”, “Evangelism, Outreach and Church Planting” and “Progress in the Use of Digital Technology”.
The idea drawing the greatest support was “Repentance, Individually and Corporately”. In what way do you believe God is calling his people to repent? We discussed repenting for what we have allowed the church to become, for not keeping our focus on Jesus, for being more political than biblical at times, for settling for crumbs of God’s Word when a feast is available and for racism that persists within the church. We discussed the need to hunger for intimacy with God, to eliminate what we have been doing in the past that we don’t need to do anymore as we move forward to a new normal. We acknowledged that it begins with us as leaders in the District, and hopefully will spread faster than Covid-19 to impact every pastor and member of NEO.
This call to repentance brings to mind the familiar scripture (2 Chronicles 7:14) that says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We value your input:
What do you think God is saying to the Church?
For what do we need to repent to bring forgiveness and healing to our land?
What tools or practices can help us get there?
Five Practices for Every Pastor/Church in 2020-21
As your Advisory Council heard reports and discussed our current reality as a District, the following practices emerged as ones we believe would benefit every church:
- Practice personal and corporate repentance as we focus on Jesus.
- Develop ways to help our people read, meditate on, study, and memorize God’s word.
- Infuse evangelistic passion within our local church. As a part of this, every mission area can develop a strategy for a new work.
- Have a missionary speak at our church. Hearing how God is at work will help us know how to pray, give and go.
- Every pastor be a part of a peer learning group.
Scripture Memorization Challenge from District Superintendent Dave McKellips
When I was in college, I went to work as a summer intern at a church in Trenton, New Jersey. After arriving, I found out that a man had offered to give the church $100 for everyone that memorized, word for word, 55 passages of scripture. I decided that is something I would do in my 8 or so weeks while there. I did so, and for the next 44 years, these scriptures have been brought to my mind by the Holy Spirit when needed!
So I would like to pay it forward. I still have the list of scriptures I used back in 1976. Marla has typed them up on sheets where they can be cut out and carried around to memorize them. For every person who memorizes these scriptures this year, I will give $200 (inflation) to the local church’s children’s ministry, youth ministry or outreach ministry. The award will be given next Assembly. But the reward will last a lifetime as the Holy Spirit uses these scriptures, planted in our minds, to correct, encourage and train in righteousness.
NEO Student Recipient of LiveLast Scholarship at SNU
SNU President, Dr. Keith Newman shared this week: “One of the many joys of the presidency comes from spending time with students. Last week I connected with a couple of our brightest students via Zoom. The purpose of the meeting was to share with them the news of their selection as LiveLast scholarship winners for 2020-21. This endowed scholarship honors the memory of Ed and Eva Pope. Ana Victoria Ruiz Bautista and Noah Pelletier are the recipients. Since they have been away from campus for several months I was interested to hear how they are doing. Ana is tutoring a 3rd grader in English and studying for the medical school entrance exam while Noah is delivering pizzas and taking some online calculus classes. Ana and Noah are two of our most gifted and servant-hearted students. Ana volunteers at a free clinic here in Oklahoma City and Noah volunteers at the Children’s Center across the street from SNU where he works with severely handicapped children. How I wish you could have heard them share their stories of how God led them to SNU, how they are being shaped, and how they plan to pursue God’s calling on their lives. You would be so encouraged!” We are proud of you, Ana Victoria! (Ana is a member of Tulsa Regency Park Church)
District Calendar Updates
Due to COVID-19, we regret to inform you that NEO Youth Camp and NEO Kids Camp have been canceled for summer 2020. Both groups are tentatively planning Fall events.
Ministers and Mates Retreat is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25–27 with a final decision planned by August 1.