The life of a CRM brings a diversity of work, relationships

Photo courtesy Patti Agnew/posted on Facebook
Rev. Patti Agnew takes a selfie with members of the Big Horn UMW on Sept. 21 as they have their Fall Retreat at Pine Creek UMC, Montana.
October 07, 2019

The life of a Congregational Resource Minister (CRM) brings different work each day. I seek to focus on coming alongside pastors and churches to resource, train, and encourage so that we can all grow in vitality. There is a great diversity of ways to accomplish that.

In August, I traveled with Mina Nau, Isaac Dunn, Charlotte Carr and Deb Christine to Pennsylvania for Navigate 2019. It was a motivating conference about developing vitality in our churches. I have been sharing what I learned with my congregations, the pastors in our district, and our pastors planting churches in the Mountain Sky Area.

A few weeks ago, I joined the United Methodist Women of the Big Horn District for their Fall Gathering in Pine Creek, Montana. We had a lively day connecting with one another, learning together, eating yummy food, and worshipping. Diane Martin led a program challenging us to expand our concept of mission and what we can do in Montana and beyond. United Methodist Women have and will continue to change the world!

At the end of September a Montana blizzard hit, but I braved the snowy roads traveling to Judith Gap in central Montana to meet the faithful United Methodists there for worship. Vicki Waddington is serving four churches in that area (Hobson, Moore, Harlowton, and Judith Gap). We had a wonderful service with special music by Vicki and her husband. Then we enjoyed a potluck luncheon while talking about the realities of ministry in our communities. We dare to hope that God will surprise us with grace every single day.

Did you know there are 25 pastors in Montana alone who are serving multiple point charges? We have begun gathering together via Zoom to discuss the unique dynamics we face. I’m excited about the possibilities as we explore and strategize together.

It is a challenging time for pastors and churches as we navigate great cultural and denominational shifts. I hold on to hope because our God is in the business of creating new life out of chaos. May we be bold and courageous as we share the grace of Jesus Christ with the world.