Sugar Hill UMC reaches 298 people by profession of faith in 2012
By BILLY BARRETT
Sugar Hill UMC is very intentional about inviting people to make a profession of faith. Most of the churches in our denomination do not receive even one person on POF each year. And most of our UM churches do not even have a plan to do this and equip their members to witness, which is one of the five vows all our members agree to when they join our churches.
Sugar Hill UMC equips and encourages all our members and staff to be intentional in reaching new believers. In 2102, we saw 298 people make a first time profession of faith in Jesus Christ through the varied ministries of this church. These venues of outreach included worship, small groups, recreation, our academy, the Healing Rooms, the Haven of Hope Counseling Center, women’s and men’s ministry, youth and children.
God has given each Christian two vitally important gifts. The first is the gift of faith in Jesus Christ. The second gift is the joy and privilege to share our faith with others.
Through our Recreation Ministry here at SHUMC we use a practice of doing just this very principle. Whether it is an Adult program, our Launch Basketball/Impact Cheer, or even through our Summer Camps, everything we do is centered within the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a structured devotion period at all of our ministry events. When someone makes a commitment to follow Christ, their coach or a mentor then disciples them and directs them into a small group.
In worship, we give an altar call or way to respond to follow Christ at least once a month. These persons are then contacted by a staff member and directed to our Connections Class. In our Academy, we have five worship services a week for the 520 students. Once a week this includes an invitation to make a commitment to Christ. The teachers then disciple these students and direct them into our age level ministries. Dr Hunter preaches for a decision and offers many ways to respond to Christ’s grace. He also speaks in the Academy chapel twice a month.
The church celebrates every baptism and commitment to Christ. The person making this decision is given a certificate celebrating this and a book or Bible to direct them into their next step. We offer 28 Life Groups for adults to grow in discipleship and six adult SS classes. Each group is expected to be the hands and feet of Jesus adopting a mission project to live out their faith decisions.
Our groups in the past year have repaired homes, gathered food for our food pantry, mentored area children, visited the nursing homes, prepared travel packages for transient persons and collected books for a Methodist Orphanage in Kenya. This group collected over 2,200 books and totally resupplied this library.
Billy Barrett is director of outreach at Sugar Hill UMC.