Dear Friends in Christ at SOTV UMC,

Here’s a brief summary of the notes from our last LIFT gathering, held on February 1st  

Psalm 90 – Meditation by Pastor Bill  –  “Teach us, O Lord, to number our days…”


  • Heather Leon presented a “Big 5” Re-cap – – which you all know very well – – Right?

    She highlighted the practice of Accountability

    Priority Commitment – 150 Minutes / week (75 minutes Worship / 75 Minutes Cluster Group)

    Fits us as disciples who live in this world

    Shared her witness to the value of her small group

    Gives us more time to spend with God


  • Pastor Bill – – John Wesley, Class Meeting Development

    Captain Foy inquired after the state of their lives that kept them from participating in the support of the Bristol House building. “Looking after one another in love” is the heart of the class meeting.

    No church grows by starting small groups, but churches who have love found that they grew.

    God’s love is inexhaustible


  • Review of Class Meeting Leader and Host pages

    Goal of Class Leader/Meetings – to make sure people are making progress in their journey with Christ

    Groups never “divide – but Multiply”


  • Life Cycle of a Group:





    Groups are not just for us…but serve as a way to integrate newcomers


  • Newcomer’s Fellowship

    For those at Shepherd of the Valley 2 years or less

    A little “Methodist 101”

    Spend a year in fellowship with us…God will show you the next steps of your journey

    Spend your time in Worship and Class Meeting – first 2 years


  • Homework – What will you do as a church? Don’t focus on what you cannot do.


Blessings!!    We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, March 8, @ 2pm


And here are some notes from what was covered in our January 4 LIFT Conference…

Happy New Year from LIFT Ministries! January marked our 7th gathering with SOTV.

Pastor Bill offered a meditation on Hebrews 11:21-31, emphasizing the role of Faith in our lives and shared ministry.

  • We reviewed what we have covered thus far in our LIFT Conferences and the Core Concepts:

  • The Big 5; PJ’S (Prevenient, Sustaining, and Justifying Grace); and the Characteristics of Vital Congregations. The “bottom line”, up to this point, is for each of us to be engaging our SOTV congregation in “God Talk” and pathways to discipleship to Jesus Christ.

  • 75%-80% of our church members have their “Primary Mission” off campus. We all have a story – those things we are proud of. These are our victory stories, and they tell God’s story in our lives.

  • The number of persons making the decisions is inversely related to the importance of them decision. There are “A-, B-, C-, D-level” decisions. Important to determine the things which will determine our spiritual future.

  • A church can make one “A-Level” initiative every 18-24 months; Everyone is a stakeholder at an “A-level” decision. The whole church needs to be on board.

  • Motivation vs. Persuasion –

  • Motivation is affective—speaks to what is already inside a person, can be accessed quickly, and has a short ‘shelf-life’.

  • Persuasion is cognitive—it takes time, puts a new paradigm in place, asks folks to change, and it takes energy.

  • For each “Big Event”, the following is needed to be addressed:

Continuation – January Lift Conference notes

  • Vision-casting

  • Prepare

  • Thoroughly execute

  • Evaluate

  • Celebrate / Rest

  • Pastor Lynn shared the upcoming Denise Rosier concert, first Saturday of February at SOTV.

  • Gathered group was asked to brain-storm how they might prepare and promote this event, the following was suggested:

  • Flyers, Banners, Social Media, Pictures of church activities in Narthex church’s story

  • Preview music in worship, Print media

  • Personally, contact every member

  • Hospitality Team. 10-15 people;

  • Prayer Team

  • Co-Captains needed

  • Vision for the Handoff; Identify the “Next Event”- Easter? Have info ready to share with attendees

  • Pastor Bill reminded the group that the notebooks of preparation materials LIFT provided for the SOTV Renewal Weekend are to be used for every event – just change the name of the event and the dates.





We, the people of Shepherd of the Valley United Methodist Church believe our mission is to share the love of Jesus Christ with all our neighbors in the Coachella Valley.

We see the needs of our neighbors: their hunger for food; their need for affordable housing; their need for access to health care; and their need to feel safe. We envision the children of our community becoming self-sufficient, caring, and responsible adults. We are committed to reaching out in love and making our corner of the world a better place.

As a church we are committed to introducing our neighbors to Jesus Christ so that each may experience the fullness of God’s love and enjoy the power of God’s transforming grace. We want our neighbors to know that God loves them and we are communicating this message through all our words and deeds.


Called to Witness as You Go, Lift Renewal Ministries

Jackie Phillips


Think of giving a person eternity CPR. Witnessing is not optional. It is a commandment. Matthew 28:19-20




Called to witness? Where are you now? Rate yourself on the following items:

5 is always: 1 is never. 2, 3, and 4 are somewhere in between.


5    4….3….2….1              I make a point to be out in the world and saying hi to people.


5    4….3….2….1              As I am out and about, I say hi to everyone in eye contact, and give them a warm smile


5    4….3….2….1              I believe that every person I know would be better off living God’s way.


5    4….3….2….1              I live my life in such a way that others around me know I believe this.  


5    4….3….2….1              I want to become more of a walk across the room man or woman who jumps all over evangelistic opportunities God lays in my path.


5    4….3….2….1              I am willing to let go of other passions so that God’s people Can take top priority


There is no 1 approach to witnessing.  People on a continuum of minus _10__ to plus _10__.


C __Cultivates_____________




R___Reaps the Harvest_____________



4 Steps


  1. Take the __intiatiative____________.


  1. Walk in ___faith____________.


  1. In the power of the __Holy________      ____Spirit________.


  1. Leave the __results_________ to God.



Hybel’s Prayer, “My life is in your hands, God.  Use me to point someone toward you today.  I promise to cooperate in any way I can.  If you want me to say a word for you today, I will do that. If you want me to keep quiet but demonstrate love and servant hood, by your Spirit’s power I will.  I am fully available to you today, so guide me by your spirit.”



To be good at evangelism, we don’t need anything special. We only need


  1. _________________


  1. _________________


Where can we find people?







Which of the conversational openers best suits you?





Evangelistic Styles

  1. Confrontational _____________________________________________________

  2. Intellectual _________________________________________________________

  3. Interpersonal_____________________________________________________

  4. Invitational _________________________________________________________

  5. Serving ___________________________________________________________

  6. Testimonial ________________________________________________________

  7. Other _____________________________________________________________

What is your story? Matching

_____ Man born with a disability                     A. Walked in shame, but now in Grace.

_____Zacchaeus, a wealthy tax                     B.  Devoted to killing followers but now a

         Collector                                                      devoted one.

_____The apostle Paul                                   C.  Gripped by greed, but now gripped by

                                                                              The needs of the poor.

_____ Woman caught in adultery                      D.   I was blind, but now I see.



Your Before                                                Your After



Which one best summarizes your before state?                                                                                                                                   _


Your encounter with Christ




Circumstances that led you to submit your life to Christ                                                                                                                                      _


Your after Since inviting Christ into my life, I’ve become                                                                                                                _


Know the Gospel


  1. God the creator Genesis 1:1,


  1. People the sinners – Romans 3:23


  1. Jesus is the only way – John 14:6


  1. Our response in faith and repentance – Romans 10:9


Example of Sinner’s prayer.

“Dear Lord Jesus,

I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead.  I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will.

In your name, amen.” Taken from



Witnessing Resources


Books and Pamphlets

Abraham, Ken, Armed and Dangerous, Ephesians 6:11 Straight answers from the Bible

Barnes, Mike, Which Way is the Ocean?o

Feldmeir, Mark, You Need to Get Out More, Four Practices for Hospitable Living

Gilbert, Greg, What Is the Gospel?

Hybels, Bill and Mittelberg, Mark Becoming a Contagious Christian,

Hybels, Bill, A Walk Across the Room, Zondervan

Ingrim, Chip, Share the Love (Audio book)

Pippert, Rebecca Manley, Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World., Intervarsity Press

Galan, Benjamin, The Plan of Salvation







Compiled by Jackie Phillips,


Gospel Conversations


God the creator – write down your unique and wonderful story – share these thoughts in 30-60 seconds

Man the sinner
• ROMANS 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short

• CROMANS 5:8 but god demonstrates his love for us in this – while we were sinners Christ died for us

• Can’t get to heaven on good works
• Can’t get to heaven by church attendance
• Need to be honest with God. Admit your sin.

Jesus is the only way

• JOHN 14:6 I am the way the truth and the life no one come to the father except through me

Our Response in Faith and Repentance

• ROMANS 10:9 for if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be save


• How was your weekend? Mine was good as well. My pastor shared something in his sermon that really made a difference to me – Our words are an overflow of our hearts.

• I love to know what is important to people – What are five things most important to you?

• How do you spend most of your free time away from work – we normally spend our free time doing things we love the most?

• Who do you turn to when your world is turned upside down? What do you do when bad news comes your way?

• When your life is over what do you hope people say about you? What will people say was most important in your life?

• If you could have a do-over in life what would you do differently?

• What is your prayer for your kids? What is your hope for them in this life?

• So, what do you think happens when this life is over?

Once you have these in mind it is easy to take any conversation and move it to a conversation that can change a person’s life.

How many of your conversations are life changing?

You need a plan if you want to lead someone to Christ!

PDF from Tom Lance, Senior Pastor, Grove Community Church, Riverside, CA



1) Personal Discipleship  God’s grace covers every human life from cradle to grave (whether people are aware of it or are ready to receive it.  There is a ministry of the church for people at every stage    of the discipleship journey  Rather that provide them with “right answers”, individuals are best served when we discern their faith path and meet them where they are.  “Conversion” (or new birth) is not a culminating event, but    a beginning point for growth in Christ.  Every disciple is expected to grow throughout his or her life.

2) Congregational Life  “We are what we measure.”  What does SOTV UMC currently measure?  What should SOTV UMC be measuring?  LIFT shared 4 Factors of Congregational Health/Vitality  Justice – Knowing and engaging our surrounding community and the world with mutuality and grace. Bringing shalom to our world.  Compassion – Having a heart for the Mission of Christ  Worship – An attitude, both public and private leading to an Aldersgate Street experience  Piety – Disciplines and practices which foster healthy Community/Congregational life


There is positive movement at SOTV UMC, momentum is tracking in encouraging directions  There are, nevertheless, a number of areas for improvement in SOTV UMC’s congregational practices. There is a high   ceiling with room for growth.  LIFT heard a real desire to go and meet the community and get to know them in specific ways.  LIFT heard a desire to see a greater congregational engagement in future gatherings (LIFT events)


 To spend some time at every gathering, class, and meeting brainstorming potential programs / ministries which will   improve the congregation’s JUSTICE Factor.  Select representatives from SOTV UMC will meet with     community leaders* to discuss this question : “What can SOTV UMC be doing in Indio that would be most helpful to you?”

*City Council members, Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, School Principals, Merchants, etc.”


Back on March 17th, Shepherd of the Valley and LIFT Renewal Ministries became covenant partners. This covenant with LIFT gives us a team of specially trained clergy and laity who will help us be the church God is calling us to be. Without question, the key component of the work that is ahead of us is a commitment to discipleship.
The Lift team will help us to be the best disciples of Jesus Christ we can be by focusing on our membership vows and the challenges of discipleship. When we are loving one another and serving Christ faithfully, we will be guided by the Holy Spirit to accomplish our mission of “making disciples for the transformation of the world.”