MEET YOUR TEAM: The Innovative Ministries Team

Team Meeting @ Farmhousewritten by: The Innovative Ministries Team

What if we could engage with the wider body of the church in a way that we never thought was possible? What if we, the prophetic people, took advantage of our ability to work with the Spirit, moving forward as a people of faith into the unknown, to face the challenges of our time?

Well, we can!

The Community of Christ is in a unique place right now. Autumn and spring are happening simultaneously. As we speak, the World Church (International Headquarters) is dealing with an issue where our income is not matching our intended mission plan. Consequently, we are bunkering down to weather the storm with cuts to staffing and intentional missional work. However, at the same time, we are seeing God work in amazing ways through new and exciting opportunities. We do not feel that one needs to be fixed before the other taken care of. We believe that spring can happen (and does happen!) whilst parts of the church take care of financial matters.

Traditions, culture, our global nature and ideological differences all lead us to different places. Does this mean change should not occur? No. This just means we need to work harder to ensure we move forward together.

Innovative Ministries Team retreatOver the coming weeks and months, the Innovative Ministries Team (formally the Young Adult Ministries Team) is moving forward in spring. Moving for change. We are working hard to ensure that new and exciting endeavours are seen as ways we can accelerate growth. Growth not only in discipleship and faith, but also in providing further opportunities to give. We know that if young adults are not intentionally engaged, we will not always respond. Our lives are complex and multi-faceted. We need to prioritise more than ever before where our 24hrs in a day goes. Unfortunately, this includes our spiritual lives.

So, what does this mean for us?

We, the Innovative Ministries Team, believe that there is a way to engage the church in missional and relational change that can “move the church forward to a place of significance” (priority) in the lives of young adults. This change requires us to risk. However we believe that inaction (or being focused solely on the autumn stage) is a bigger risk to the life of the church. We want to engage with the wider body! We want to ensure that we do not leave tradition and history behind, rather using it as our platform for faithful action.

Our team has developed a purpose statement that we believe will drive us (and you) towards positive, creative action:

By providing a resource of support and creative thought, we aim to inspire new expressions of meaningful communities.

We create opportunities for positive change that move the church forward to a place of significance while acknowledging our tradition and community identity.

We advocate for young adults and for opportunities that empower their visions and passions, resulting in a broader dialogue between diverse populations and church leadership; critical to the success of the Community of Christ.

With leadership development as a core value, we will provide experiences that develop individuals to serve through skills training and personal growth opportunities.

– Innovative Ministries Team (2014)

This is who we are. This is the change we want to see. This is the spring we are experiencing and the hope for the future, the summer, we are anticipating! We hope this reflects what you want to see in your community, too. We want to do this WITH YOU.

Come with us on this journey.

Follow what we’re up to, share posts, thoughts, comments, and ideas – and most definitely contribute your own.

This is OUR initiative. This is OUR community!


Important Update on the Leader Institute

Leader Institute LOGO -JPEGHi Everyone,

Unfortunately, I am the bearer of bad news.

We are needing to post-pone the Leader Institute program for awhile so will not be taking applications or starting a program in January as we had hoped. This is simply because there is not enough funds in World Church Ministries to run this program at this time. It is a high quality program and so the cost, to offer the program at the calibre necessary, just isn’t possible at this time.

I really hope that this program will be able to continue at some point in the near future. I think it is a great opportunity for emerging leaders of our church to be involved in (and it looks good on a resume too!).

If you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to contact me at We will definitely make you aware when the program is able to run in the future!


needed_map_smIf you want to help our church community be able to continue offering
awesome programs like this: PLEASE GIVE! The Leader Institute is funded out of ministries supported by Develop Disciples to Serve.

The ministries of the church that benefit us, as individuals and as a community; and benefit others in what we can offer to the world – are only possible with the generosity of each of us!

Thank you for your understanding and for any support you can offer OUR church!

With hope,

Young Adult Ministries Specialist
Community of Christ

Mission is … Disruptive


Reblogged from: Missional Conversations

Philip was walking down the road (Acts 8: 26 – 39). David was tending sheep (1 Samuel 16: 5 – 13). Mary, a young teenager, was minding her own business (Luke 1: 26 – 36). Peter and Andrew were fishing (Matthew 4: 18 – 22). In the midst of our lives, we are confronted with the call and invitation of the Holy Spirit. It intrudes upon our routines. It throws off our norms and unsettles our logic. Through the witness of scripture and the ongoing story of the church, we find one example after another, story after story, lives and backgrounds and skills as different as we can imagine, being disrupted by the missio Dei, the mission of God. Engaging in Christ’s mission means opening ourselves up to the probability of change, both within us, and on our plans and actions.

The other day I had raced home to gather some things, grab a bite to eat, and pause for a moment between meetings. As I pulled into the parking lot at my apartment complex, I noticed a guy anxiously looking under the open hood of his car. Since he was on the phone, I justified to myself that he had plenty of help available. I quickly grabbed my things and headed quickly inside. After all, I had important things to do. As the minutes passed, I couldn’t get the words of the Mission Prayer out of my head, the words I had offered to God that morning: “God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.” Was I willing to respond? Was I willing to let God disrupt my life and agenda?

We often get caught up in worthy things. It is too easy for me to become consumed in my To-Do list and to convince myself that my list matter most. But as I read about Mary, as I immerse myself in the story of Andrew and Peter, as I walk the road with Philip, I find God calling me to leave behind my places of comfort and familiarity. I was allowing an adventure with Christ to disrupt me. We don’t plan for mission: we plan to be open to what God is already doing so we might change direction. The expectation of missional ministry is to discern every day, “God, where will your Spirit lead?” I am asked to let God stir up my life so something new can bubble up. The words of Isaiah have God say, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43: 19)

Did God want to do a new thing in my life, and perhaps I didn’t perceive it? The Spirit quickened me. I left my air conditioned apartment. I went down the stairs and into the 90-degree heat and asked if he needed help. Neither Jordan nor I knew much about cars and how to fix them. For 20 minutes, we tossed out some options, read through his manual and shared about his grandmother and our mutual love for working out and how he really didn’t mind the heat because the sun was out, happily assisting his efforts to tan. For 20 minutes, God was doing a new thing. Christ’s mission was disrupting our lives and we were being blessed by the stirring.

I saw Jordan the next morning, back out at his car which we hadn’t been able to fix. But this time, it was him, my neighbor on the second floor, who waved and asked how I was doing. “Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.”

May God disrupt your best-laid plans. May God stir the pot in your congregation to let something new bubble up. May God call you anew from your hillside and road and nets to nudge your heart into the holy adventure of mission. May we stop simply minding our own business to follow Christ out of the comfortable air-conditioning of our buildings to the “Jordans” of the world. May we be confident that in the midst of God’s disruption lies a deep and profound invitation to transformational mission. The eunuch was baptized. The Israelites got a new king. A Son was born. Seekers found One worth following. A neighbor was met. Mission was lived as lives were disrupted. And we have been forever changed.

Financial Stewardship: Rent, Borrow or Barter

by Kat Hnatyshyn, Community of Christ member and author of “Kat’s Money Corner” for the Kansas City Star “Dollars and Sense” blog

Kat Hnatyshyn

Kat Hnatyshyn


The road to financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. Along the way, we pick up a few paces by saving chunks of change wherever possible. They definitely add up, and so do the dollars we don’t spend.

Check out CommunityAmerica Savin’ Maven Kat Hnatyshyn’s most recent post on The Kansas City Star’s Dollars & Sense blog where she shares why some of the easiest purchases to avoid are the one-and-done items – things we may need at the moment but will likely never use again.


Financial Stewardship: Don’t Budget Your Wellbeing Out of the Picture

by Kat Hnatyshyn, Community of Christ member and author of “Kat’s Money Corner” for the Kansas City Star “Dollars and Sense” blog

Kat Hnatyshyn

Kat Hnatyshyn


When money is tight, some of the expenses people cut first are the gym and the spa. It’s understandable. Most of us don’t want to go to the gym anyway, and what good is the pleasure of a massage or pedicure if it’s ridden with guilt?

Pampering and working out are definitely areas to trim some budget fat, but don’t cut them out of the picture altogether.

Check out CommunityAmerica Savin’ Maven Kat Hnatyshyn’s most recent post in The Kansas City Star’s Personal Finance section where she shares inexpensive and free options available to keep you looking and feeling good!


I Support the Church – Because the Church Supports Me

helping-handby Noelle Gaffka, Young Adult Minister, Michigan Mission Centre

Several years ago, a dear friend of mine shared in a conversation, “Your tithing helps me keep my job.”

It had seemed my entire world was changed in that moment. I had never fully understood the concept of being a generous disciple.

I was raised in a family that put an envelope in the passed plate weekly. I had my own youth envelopes and I loved giving to the local campgrounds and to the building fund of my local congregation. My envelopes were “left side heavy”. As I got older I started to add a few cents towards the world church. Mostly it was because I felt guilty I was neglecting that side of the envelope. I never went to World Conference, I didn’t have any experience with the church outside of Michigan. But then, my close friend accepted a position working for the church and it opened my eyes.

I started to embrace the ministries offered (Temple school classes, young adult ministries, Congregational Life Workshop, FOCCUS training, one-on-one time with the area Apostle and Seventies) and marveled at the new recognition of generosity of the church. I watched ministers work endless hours, lose sleep, develop new ministries, teach, preach, travel endlessly for the love of a church, the worldwide church family, and the passion of creating missional communities. And it dawned on me, they could have any good paying job they wanted…but they do this because they love it.

Noelle Gaffka

Noelle Gaffka

Now, I have the great honor to work alongside those I have looked up to for years…and it has only increased my desire to support world church by yearning to be a generous disciple. My training, my mentors, my ability to develop and implement new ideas for young adult ministries all comes from the envelope I place in the plate on Sundays. And when my husband asked, why do I “have” to support my employer when we live paycheck to paycheck? I responded by sharing all of the ministries offered to me and my desire to continue to receive those ministries.

I support world church because they support my family. And you are a part of my family.

So, I will continue to offer my gratitude in monetary form to local and worldwide ministries. I do so not because I have to. I do so because I want to.

For ways you can share your gratitude and contribute to the ministries of the church visit


Photo from this site



Financial Stewardship: Frugal vs. Cheapskate

by Kat Hnatyshyn, Community of Christ member and author of “Kat’s Money Corner” for the Kansas City Star “Dollars and Sense” blog

Kat Hnatyshyn

Kat Hnatyshyn

Have you seen the show Extreme Cheapskates? It’s a showcase of radical penny-pinching like using one light bulb for the entire house or hand-washing your clothes in the bathtub while you are showering. Being frugal simply means getting the most out of whatever money you have. Being cheap is more the fear of spending, which can actually cost you in the long run.

Check out CommunityAmerica Savin’ Maven Kat Hnatyshyn’s most recent post on The Kansas City Star’s Dollars & Sense blog where she offers some reasonable alternatives to these more extreme lengths. Eventually we all get what we pay for.