Dear colleague in the ministry
As a pastor, I was always looking for new ideas that could benefit my church and its members. I wanted a program that:
Had a quality with which I would be pleased.
Could be introduced with modest effort on my part.
Was affordable either to the church or its members.
Would help address the challenges of my members.
Would help empower us as a church.
With Year A of the lectionary focusing on Matthew, I’ve developed a book and an online course on Matthew that could be used by individuals, congregations, and groups of clergy to reflect on how Matthew addresses some of the major divisions that have created so much anxiety in our society.
I invite you to read the attachment and see if this resource might be helpful to you in your ministry.
C R E A T I N G A G O S P E L
B U Z Z
Your congregation will be hearing from Matthew in your sermons and liturgy throughout 2017.
IMAGINE MATTHEW AS A FOCUS OF CONVERSATION
CHECKING THE QUALITY
As a pastor myself, I know that you don’t want to simply recommend something without checking it out ahead of time. Here are some possibilities for both resources.
- Go to Amazon and look for the book Good News for a Fractured Society amzn.to/1ch7KCx and make use of the “look inside” feature to examine the content for free.
- Go to the dashboard where the course is offered online and listen to the introduction and opening chapter at no cost to evaluate it good-news-online.thinkific.com
- Ask a member to try the course personally and evaluate it for you.
- Buy an eBook or paperback as resource for future sermons.
After you have checked out the quality here are some ways that you might encourage people to consider Matthew as their resource for hope and encouragement.
- You can find sermon starters for how Matthew speaks to societal divisions of power, wealth, gender, and religious pluralism.
- You can invite your educator or Christian Education Committee to have an existing adult class or a newly formed class to use the online course for discussion.
- Each lesson is about 20 minutes long plus some discussion assignments.
- A leader can buy the book for extra details (eBook $3.99 or paperback $11.39) and project the online course on a screen.
- Or ask all class members to study the course at home and use class time for discussion. good-news-online.thinkific.com
- You can publicize the available course in your church newsletter and encourage either personal study or small home study groups.
CREATING THE BUZZ
Once Matthew is being studied in various formats, occasionally mention the emphasis in worship and your church newsletter so that even those who are not part of the process are aware of what is happening.
Encourage several pastors to share the resource with their congregation.
- You can meet weekly for coffee and discussion that would feed your theological imagination.
- You can have some joint congregational potlucks in which you design ways to celebrate your common study.
- You can invite a special speaker to a church dinner to expand on the study.
Feel free to contact me, Steve McCutchan at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions or feedback that will help improve the resources for your church.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a significant part of the Body of Christ would find new hope and encouragement by a deeper reflection on the Gospel of Matthew?
YOU COULD BE PART OF HELPING THAT TO HAPPEN.