The United Methodist Church in Casey began a new midweek contemporary worship service in September called “The Compass.” Nearly forty people came to the first event, and regular participation now is reaching towards fifty persons. More than half of attendees either had no religious affiliation before or drifted away from previous participation in the church.
Melissa Drake, the Field Outreach Minister for the Southwest District, facilitated conversations with the congregation through the Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) that led to this new ministry. “They felt God’s direct call for them to start a Wednesday night contemporary worship service,” she reported. Leaders were inspired by a similar, Friday-night service that the United Methodist Church in Manning had started—also through their involvement with HCI.
The new service is led by Jenny Knutter, a lay woman from the church, who serves as their primary preacher and evangelist each week. Melodee Carstens, the pastor at Casey, said, “Jenny and I were certain of the pushes and nudges and whispers of the Holy Spirit.” Already, The Compass has exceeded their wildest dreams.
The Iowa Conference invests a total of $24,000 for twenty local churches to enter the coaching phase of HCI to support new ministry development like The Compass. These funds are made possible through the apportionment gifts of United Methodist churches across the state.