Discipleship Resources- Philippines interviews Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations author Robert Schnase about his book and his coming to the Philippines. Check out how excited he is in his first visit to the country to answer our questions on his books and ministries.
Serving as bishop of the Missouri Area of the United Methodist Church, Robert Schnase (photo below) is a leader of around 900 congregations with 175,000 members across the state, “offering ministry through local churches, colleges, campus ministries, social services and mission projects throughout the world.”
Schnase is the main speaker for the Workers Convocations of both Manila Episcopal Area and Baguio Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church- Philippines Central Conference on October 9-13, 2012 at Venus Parkview Hotel, Baguio City.
He’s the author of several books published by Abingdon Press, including Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations (2007), Five Practices of Fruitful Living (2010), Ambition in Ministry (1993), and Testing and Reclaiming Your Call to Ministry (1991). He has also written several daily devotional books for congregations, including Practicing Extravagant Generosity (2011), Forty Days of Fruitful Living (2010), The Balancing Act (2009), and Cultivating Fruitfulness (2008). He worked as editorial consultant to the New Interpreters Bible, and has contributed chapters to The Future of the United Methodist Church (2008) and to Weaver and Stapleton’s Reflections on Marriage and Spiritual Growth and Grand-Parenting and the Spiritual Journey. (www.FivePractices.org)*
About coming to the Philippines
DR-P: When you were invited to visit and speak in the Philippines, what was your impression about the country?
Schnase: I’ve heard great things about the United Methodist Church in the Philippines. The church has provided a powerful witness that reaches people of all generations, and I look forward to learning more about how the Philippine United Methodist Church fulfills its mission, starts and supports congregations, and develops clergy and lay leadership. I’m delighted by this opportunity to be with you.
DR-P: Is this your first out-of-the US conference with your book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations? If yes, is this your first time to come to the Philippines? What do you expect to see or hear from the ministries here in the Philippines?
Schnase: The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations have been widely received across many cultures and languages, and I’ve been surprised and humbled by how useful the language and concepts have been for pastors and laity around the world. I’ve been invited to teach the Five Practices in Germany, Italy, Hungary, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Canada as well as dozens of conferences in the U.S. The book has been translated into German, Spanish, Korean, Russian, and Hungarian.
About the book
DR-P: What inspired you to write Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations? How is it different from your previous books?
Schnase: The book focuses on the essential work of congregations since we fulfill our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ primarily through faith communities that reach out, invite, and welcome people. Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity—these are the most important practices for congregations to develop, improve, and expand. The purpose of the book is to draw the attention of church leaders and pastors to the most essential work for fulfilling our mission in Christ.
DR-P: What needs do you want to address in our churches worldwide? And in the Philippines?
Schnase: I want to remind laity and clergy of how important our work is to lead healthy, vital, fruitful congregations. The essential life-changing mission of Christ does not happen through meetings, conferences, budgets, and programs if we neglect the health and fruitfulness of our congregations and faith communities. This is true for the United Methodist Church throughout our global connection. Giving sustained focus to increasing the number of vital, fruitful congregations is among our most important tasks.
DR-P: What is your message to the church leaders (lay and clergy) in the Philippines?
Schnase: I’m looking forward to our time together, and I pray that we learn a great deal from each other and inspire one another to greater fruitfulness for the purposes of Christ. I hope pastors and laity will gather with me with open hearts and minds, and with a desire and willingness to recommit ourselves to the mission of Christ.
DR-P is giving a 20% discount for every Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations book, purchased at the event. Plus a Book Signing Session with the author during the two Convocations!
*To know more about Robert Schnase and his books, visit www.FivePractices.org
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations and other DR-P titles are available at BCEC, DR-P distribution centers, and all PCBS stores nationwide. Please go to our Contact Us page for orders and other information.