Director of Congregational Development Enrique Gonzalez lifted up 9 new church starts in Wisconsin on Sunday, and asked attendees to consider where the future of The United Methodist Church lies. “Where are you going to be in 30 years?” Gonzalez asked. “The future of our Church belongs to our children.”

Gonzalez introduced “one of the most exciting church planters in our state,” Juan Garay, pastor at Urban Poeima. The Milwaukee church opened its doors in April 2015 and has grown tremendously by being “willing to go places no one is going in order to reach people no one is reaching. We knew our church was different when we decided to meet at a bar,” Garay said. The church is fully bilingual, 90% of the membership is made up of millennials, and they recently reached 120 people in worship attendance. “But none of this means anything unless lives are being transformed in the spirit of God,” he said. “That’s the part I enjoy the most – seeing people who have never stepped inside a church and seeing them transformed by the power of God.

Finally, Jennifer Huffman introduced the 26 graduates of the Institute of Congregational Development, a program designed to train pastors and leaders in church development and start the process of permeating the entire Wisconsin Conference with a culture of permanent growth. “God has powerfully blessed us in this land through these people,” Bishop Jung said. “100 new churches in Wisconsin - that’s God’s dream for us. They are the ones that say yes, we will do this. Let’s walk with them on this journey.”

Click here to see Power Point slides from this presentation.