A congregation of generous, warm, and loving folks sits in a neighborhood that has changed around it. In decades past many of the congregation’s active participants lived within walking distance, but over time the community transitioned, and now most of the folks in the pews come in from other parts of town. The congregation is also aging, and the members and staff are trying to figure out how to connect with their new neighbors. They say to themselves:
“We don’t know where we fit in the world anymore.”
(To tell the truth, many also don’t make meaningful faith connections with the people in the communities where they now live either. Is that the same problem, or a different but related one?)This congregation has read books and some of the folks have even attended conferences and workshops. They hear lots of great ideas, and get inspired to do amazing things for God. But somehow, when they get back home, they struggle to connect the ideas with where and how they really live. And all that energy and enthusiasm they felt with the hundreds of others who gathered for training – somehow they can’t manage to keep up that level of passion. They feel that they are letting down each other, their neighbors, and God. The questions come:
- How do we connect with our community?
- How do we get to know them?
- Who do they need us to be here?
- What is God calling us to do here?
- What should we do next?
The Institute for Vital Ministry exists to partner with the staff AND participants of this congregation – those who are asking these questions, but don’t know where to turn, and may even be afraid of the answers they might find.
We bring together agencies, institutes, organizations and practitioners to form collaborative partnerships that facilitate contextual learning in a trusted community of companion travelers on the journey of discovery and transformation.
iVM will help you engage, equip, and extend your ever deepening faith out into the community and world around you. Get in touch and let’s learn together.