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Get ready for REACH!

By: Rev. Ben Ingebretson is director of new church development for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist 

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New passion…new places…new people. Are you ready to pursue the evangelistic task with new energy?
 
The first-of-its-kind REACH! conference is three days away in Sioux Falls Oct. 5-6. There is still time to register! Here are five ways to prepare for this area-wide gathering:

1. Check out the updated REACH! website: Go here. We have added three new pre-conference workshops Friday afternoon in response to demand—one on revitalizing the rural church, another calling attention to resources to minimize the weekly grind of preaching, and one about how to move a first-time guest toward ongoing participation. A promotional video is also on the home page and available for you to share with your congregation and on social media.

2. Don’t come alone. Reach is about turning your congregation outward in mission. You will almost certainly better communicate to your congregation the value in doing so if you have more representatives learning about the “hows” and “whys.”  

3. Pray publicly for those attending. Creating a readiness to receive what others have learned often begins with prayer.  Bishop Ough has written a Breakthrough Prayer for REACH! Check it out here.

4. Get the right people on the bus. Who from your church should be going who is not yet registered? Leaders who are struggling with their role may find this event has principles that open thinking for new possibilities. Personally invite these key individuals, and encourage them to attend.

5. Take another look at your ’hood. Thirty-seven percent of people who do not worship regularly say that’s because they have not found a church they like, according to a recent Pew study. REACH! may help you take a step closer to their receptivity.   

REACH! features five keynote speakers from across the nation (including our own Bishop Ough), nine breakout sessions with follow-up tracks, and seven pre-conference workshops! I’ll see you in Sioux Falls!

Rev. Ben Ingebretson is director of new church development for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist