Seminar with Rev. Mike Slaughter Provides Encouragement, Challenges, and Passion for Local Churches



Developing passionate churches of mission in action is a process that requires pushing beyond methodology to realize the theology that is the DNA of the church, explained Rev. Mike Slaughter at the “Leading in a Post-Pandemic Post-Denominational World” March 18 seminar hosted by Edinboro UMC.

Edinboro UMC Pastor Ed Schoeneck and WPAUMC Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization Rob Wilson gave brief opening remarks. Erie-Meadville District Superintendent Rev. Dennis Swineford offered an opening prayer and Edinboro UMC’s Christine Henderson introduced Rev. Slaughter, who opened the seminar with an overview of the UMC’s four areas of focus for ministry.

In 2008, the United Methodist Church lifted up four areas of focus: developing principled Christian leaders; engaging in ministry with the poor; creating new and renewed congregations and; improving global health. Rev. Slaughter talked about how Ginghamsburg Church, where he served for nearly four decades, grew into a multi-million-dollar faith community doing exciting and effective ministry in those four areas of focus.

Developing principled Christian leaders means that pastors must not be fearful and help their congregations to realize their “burning bushes” – their own pastoral gifts -- and become the hands and feet of Christ. “It was the people who made all these great things happen” at Ginghamsburg Church, said Slaughter. “People are looking for meaning, not meeting.”
Slaughter showed videos of several local outreach efforts at Ginghamsburg Church, including a food pantry and car, clothing and furniture ministries, which serve more than 58,000 people annually and are managed and staffed by the church’s principled Christian leaders.

“Look at Jesus’ mission statement in Isaiah 61: ‘because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.’,” Slaughter said when introducing the topic of engaging in ministry with the poor. “If it’s not good news for the poor, it’s not the gospel.” He challenged the audience to look outside of typical, spiritual places to see God and to minister with the poor.

Slaughter’s insights on the four areas of focus provided attendees with effective examples of mission ministry and actionable steps for local churches to create new opportunities outside the church building, creating new and renewed congregations.

Rev. Mike Slaughter is an ordained Elder within the United Methodist Church (UMC) and holds a Doctorate of Ministry. He was named the Foundation for Evangelism’s “Distinguished Evangelist” in 2003 and has twice received the Denman Evangelism Award from the Foundation in recognition of demonstrated leadership in promoting the UMC’s historic commitment to evangelism. For more information or to catch up with Mike, visit his blog at

See below for more photos from the March 18 event.
  Rev. Mike Slaughter Seminar 3-18-23