Churches and organizations are invited to submit their own stories. Entries are due by May 1, 2015. Grants totaling $5,000 will be given to the top stories, and these will be celebrated at the Biennial Mission Summit in Kansas City in June 2015. The stories may be shared in either video or written (with photos) formats. A Transformed by the Spirit Ministry Story Opportunity booth will be set up as part of these events, and other forms of recognition and celebration of the stories will be shared at this booth and within conference communications.
A selection process that leads to the top five videos and the top two written stories will culminate in the granting of monies to those ministries that are selected. Videos and stories may be submitted by local churches, regions, or entities within ABCUSA.
The Ministry Story Opportunity will encompass stories from Transformed by the Spirit initiatives and any other ministry initiatives that emphasize innovative approaches to doing ministry (This is a way to highlight ministry projects involved with “Adaptive Challenge Teams,” “Action Learning Teams,” “Joining God in the Neighborhood,” and the “Missional Church Learning Experience”). Additionally, churches/ministries that have taken their own steps to innovative ministry are also invited to share their stories. The following suggested guidelines are to be used in preparing and evaluating stories as American Baptists ”Share the Journey” with others:
- Creative ministry that is using new approaches to doing ministry in your context.
- Highlights the process of action-learning and provides realistic perspectives toward success and failure.
- Addresses challenges that involve tools and approaches from the Transformed by the Spirit initiative.
- Submissions of videos should be up to three minutes in length. Submissions of written works should be up to two pages in length, and can include up to five photos in addition to the written work.
Video submissions may be shared by YouTube/Facebook/Vimeo/other video sharing link. Written Ministry Stories should be submitted to AmericanBaptist@gmail.com and will be posted on ABCUSA website through a page put together specifically for the Ministry Story Opportunities. Email AmericanBaptist@gmail.com with additional questions. Churches, regions and denominational ministries are encouraged to begin to prepare and then share their experiences and experiments in creative visual or written mediums.
The goals of the Ministry Story Opportunity shall be to:
1. Initiate dynamic story-sharing as a catalyst for action-learning that leads to the Biennial Mission Summit.
2. Increase interest and the development of ministry experiments/experiences using Transformed by the Spirit.
3. Celebrate the work of Christ’s Church and the leading of God’s Holy Spirit in the midst of changing times.
4. Develop a vibrant community of learning among churches and leaders in the American Baptist Churches.
5. Highlight the real challenges facing the Church today and give positive incentives to boost creative initiatives.
“Likes” and positive comments on YouTube and Facebook will be taken into account as submissions are evaluated. Voting for the top videos and written stories will continue until the middle of the Biennial Mission Summit when the top-voted video and written stories from the finalists are to be announced. The finalists will be highlighted at the Biennial Mission Summit and voting will culminate in final grant awards to the top-voted ministry stories. This is just the beginning of sharing stories of God’s Kingdom work and real ventures to be Transformed by the Spirit.