John Wesley once said that, “It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people.” Thus, DEA will enjoin church-related schools to allot scholarships for needy children. Remember that our schools are outreach ministries of our churches. We also hope to offer literacy programs for adults in our communities. For the rest of the quadrennium, DEA shall further consolidate and, at the same time, expand efforts on discipleship ministries in order for the Area to more effectively and efficiently contribute to achieving the Four Areas of Focus set for the global church.
Three (3) major strategies will be pursued.
(A) Consolidation and streamlining of all major discipleship learning modules in order to align and effect interconnectivity between and among the different training activities for clergy and laity, starting from the children until they become adults. An area-wide mechanism shall be implemented to effect a cost-efficient, but nevertheless effective, review of existing discipleship curricular materials within DEA, followed by analysis into learning gaps and how to “bridge” these either thru streamlining learning objectives, creating “bridging courses”, participation during convocations, congresses, cross-posting or exposure to vital congregations, etc.
(B) Establishment of an effective and efficient publication support infrastructure to provide for sufficient materials support for DEA’s discipleship ministries. The recent roll-out of a publication printer acquisition project supported by the UM Publishing House is part of this strategy.
(C) Training program for church treasurers, CFA chairs, and church secretaries. The training module is currently under development. It is our goal to install a common financial system for all local churches that utilizes the same basic outline, adheres to a unified set of best practices and guidelines for transparency and accountability, and follows generally accepted standards of accountancy and financial management. On the other hand, our goal for church recording is one that uses unified and prescribed formats and templates, will contribute to the resolution of questions related to church statistics, and will promote and advance the significance of maintaining proper church records and database. Among the many concerns raised during the Inter-Agency Summit were the need to educate our congregations on tithing, family-oriented ministries, “Bright Spots”, “Covenant Discipleship Group”, “UMC DOC”, etc.