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“Rx for a Healthy Church” held at Reinhardt University on Feb. 22, 2011

Ministers and church members of all denominations attended “Rx for a Healthy Church,” a continuing education seminar which explored how to transform churches into vibrant and healthy centers of faith.  The seminar was hosted by the Reinhardt University Ministerial Association on Feb. 22, 2011, on Reinhardt’s Waleska, Ga., campus. 

Jim Jernigan, Reinhardt’s coordinator of ministerial relations, was enthusiastic about the event.  “Every year we look for a current topic that will help pastors.  The seminar leaders -- Dr. Ron Flowers, Rev. Jim Hollis and Rev. Jim Burt -- will bring more than 100 years of effective ministry experience to this event. All have pastored growing churches and have a clear understanding of what it takes for a congregation to get healthy and grow significantly.”

Here are excerpts of the information sent out prior to the event:

Hollis is the founder and executive director of Proactive Ministries, a not-for-profit ministry  organization which has led training with more than 900 congregations across 40 states and 42 Annual Conferences in America.  He sees a critical need for this type of teaching.  “Many of our pastors and congregations are frustrated over an absence of serious growth, both spiritually and numerically.  “Too often churches are not healthy and whole or prepared to grow.  I’ve found that there are ministries, specifically prayer, worship, nominations and leader development, relational initiation of new friendships and strengthening stewardship, which should be major priorities, but in reality they end up as minimal priorities.  We’ll address these five areas as baseline ministry priorities for church health and growth for all congregations.”

Hollis also hopes key church members will get involved.  “Healthy and growing churches have laity and clergy working in harmony to build a foundation of excellent ministry both in the church and in the community.  It would be wonderful to have not only the clergy present but key laity leaders as well.  The priorities that will be shared will impact both the laity and clergy of every congregation.”

Flowers, also Reinhardt’s ministerial association president, is looking forward to dynamic discussion and learning.  “Events like this are important opportunities for clergy continuing education and are a chance for clergy and laity to come together and learn from each other.  This seminar will provide a laboratory for developing practices to strengthen all types of churches."

During the morning session participants will review the five key ministries and how they fit together in a healthy church. After lunch, from 1 to 3 p.m., attendees will choose three ministries to explore in-depth.  From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., an optional bonus – a 30-minute individual consultation session with a seminar leader -- is being offered free of charge for pastors.  The slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis as advanced reservations are received.

Flowers spent 41 years in service in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, including 20 years in campus ministry at Reinhardt, Emory and Georgia State, and 15 years as the minister of program and administration at Northside UMC. 

Hollis is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and has 36 years of ministry experience in the North Georgia Conference. He was a pastor for 18 years before being appointed as a general evangelist of the United Methodist Church and starting his work with Proactive Ministries.

Burt graduated from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana with a Master of Divinity and served as a pastor for 27 years. He started successful new churches in Illinois and Indiana. For the past four years, he has been the director of ministry development for Proactive Ministries.

The event was held in the Falany Performing Arts Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Box lunches and beverages were included in the $35 per person registration fee.  For more information, see www.reinhardt.edu/church_relations or call 770-720-5546.