It’s been a long time! Thanks to everybody for hanging in there with Next Step during this down time. Actually down time isn’t really the best descriptor because the past months have been incredibly busy & productive. My PhD work continues – I’m at the halfway mark…Hooray! There IS light at the end of the tunnel & the good news is I don’t think it’s an oncoming train.
More important than the PhD work is what God’s been doing behind the scenes at Next Step. That’s the way God seems to work in my life – behind the scenes. Preveniently is how I like to describe it – bringing people & ideas together in an exciting way that I never could have orchestrated on my own.
The most obvious result of all this behind the scenes work is the newly redesigned website. I’m still exploring it myself! And of course it’s a work in progress so it will definitely change & take more shape as we continue to tweak it. Your comments are welcome as we work to make it the best site possible.
Of course the website only reflects all the real life ministry opportunities that have been unfolding during these past few months. I hope you’ll take the time to explore the site & the various new initiatives we’ve launched. To get you started, I want to describe a few of the most exciting things happening at Next Step.
First, we’ve expanded! Kelly Falany Brumbeloe has joined me as an Associate Director. Kelly is a graduate of Asbury Seminary & serves in the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She lives in Marietta, Georgia – gotta love the whole telecommuting thing! Kelly will be blogging & has already begun speaking & teaching. She’s also an integral part of two of the initiatives I’m excited to tell you about. Read on…
Next Step’s mission remains the same – to train, encourage & challenge Christ followers to live more fully as committed disciples of the Jesus way, to share their faith with greater love & boldness, & to impact their world with greater courage and integrity on behalf of Jesus Christ. With that in mind we’ve created the Discipleship Connection Project to provide a point of intersection between theological scholarship & individual Christ followers. We’re going to be partnering with outstanding leaders from universities and seminaries across the world in order to offer online & webcast resources & teaching to deepen & strengthen Christian faith. This is incredibly exciting & I hope you’ll consider participating when we’re up & running. We’ll keep you posted on our progress & the official launch!
The second project I’d like to let you in on is Next Step’s Justice & Mercy Initiative. One of the hallmarks of a Wesleyan approach to Christian faith is the intimate connection between personal & social holiness. John Wesley even asserted that you can’t have one without the other. The Justice & Mercy Initiative will provide hands on teaching & other events so that Christ followers can experience in a dynamic way how these two aspects of the Jesus way come together.
Finally, as you navigate the new site, you’ll notice the opportunity to support Next Step in more deliberate ways. From its beginning, Next Step has been a self-sustaining ministry, existing simply on revenue generated through speaking & teaching. Now God has placed some exciting opportunities before us; but they’ll be impossible without additional support. Many of you have been faithful in your prayers & your spiritual, emotional & intellectual support of Next Step. I hope you’ll consider expanding that support to the financial arena as well. As we finalize the site, you’ll be able to make one time gifts or provide monthly support through our Sustaining Partners program.
These are exciting times for Next Step! Thanks again for sticking it out through all the silent web time – rest assured, it won’t be silent anymore!