Visioning Retreat at Black River Falls UMC

How, as a church, do we re-invent ourselves for the future? 

The Visioning Retreat was held at BRFUMC on Feb. 24 – 25th. Rev. Scott Carlson, Director of Congregational Development, led a workshop presenting insights and instruction for a relaunch. We were re-introduced to an age old concept of moving outside of our church buildings to create new relationships for the purpose of sharing the message of Jesus Christ.

Scott introduced us to the concept of “Splash Events” to let people know the church is here. Examples of this type of ministry included Vacation Bible School in an apartment complex, meeting unchurched children and parents on their turf rather than in the church building where basically kids from other churches go from one VBS to another throughout the summer.

After the Splash Event, a series of preplanned follow-up events are done to further relationships. With this example, a series of parents’ nights out was done. Of the 20 parents that came to the Splash event, 15 eventually joined the church! Another example of a Splash Event was a car show, followed by monthly free oil changes on the church grounds. The purpose is to get to know people, the 80% unchurched, and show them that the church is relational and relevant.

Scott emphasized the need for developing prayer teams and opportunities for prayer and discernment for the direction God wants our church to go. Scott helped us to see a new new/old way of discipling and gave us hope.  We are an excited group! Praise God!