Good News, an orthodox renewal and reform ministry within The United Methodist Church, is expanding its work in the area of church revitalization.
The Rev. Dr. John Southwick has become the new Director of Research, Networking, and Resources for Good News. Dr. Southwick brings with him a background in research and pastoral ministry that will enhance his work in helping to foster renewal in United Methodist congregations.
“We are excited to have John Southwick join our staff at this pivotal moment in our church’s history,” said the Rev. Rob Renfroe, president and publisher of Good News. “His work will enable us to make an even greater positive contribution to the spiritual renewal of our denomination.”
Prior to his joining Good News, Dr. Southwick was the Director of Research at the General Board of Global Ministries for the last 14 years. In that capacity, he analyzed trends in culture, ministry, demographics, and ministry practices to help lead United Methodist churches toward renewal and revitalization. He will continue this work with Good News.
Southwick will make his research services available through monthly reports disseminated broadly to the church. He will also be available to work with individual congregations, districts, and annual conferences that would like to have his analysis applied specifically to their situation.
In addition to regular reports on trends and analysis, Southwick will head up a new Wesley21 web ministry that will serve as a clearinghouse of recommended resources for local church use, such as sermons, books, articles, and programs that are consistent with historic United Methodist doctrine and are proven effective in local church ministry settings.
“We believe most small and middle-sized United Methodist congregations do not have the means to create their own programs like large churches do,” observes the Rev. Thomas A. Lambrecht, vice president of Good News. “They are looking for resources that are effective in helping churches and individuals grow spiritually — resources they can trust. John Southwick’s leadership in this area will help us meet this need.”
The Wesley21 web site is expected to become operational in February.
Southwick is a graduate of Iliff School of Theology and received his doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Seminary. He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference. Prior to joining the General Board of Global Ministries, he served for ten years in full-time pastoral ministry. Southwick continues to pastor part-time at a small congregation near his home near Spokane, Washington. John and his wife, Patricia, are the parents of three grown children and two grandchildren.
Since 1967, Good News has been the leading advocate for biblical orthodoxy and evangelical faith within The United Methodist Church. Its mission is to lead all people within The United Methodist Church to the faithful and vibrant practice of orthodox Wesleyan Christianity. Good News’ office is located in The Woodlands, Texas.