What “causes” churches to grow is a different but related question. For the moment, I’m wondering about what else is true concurrently with church growth. Here’s a partial list that comes to mind. What would you add?
- When they are brand new, and the leadership is focused almost exclusively on reaching new people and inviting them to walk together in life transforming faith.
- When they become “the popular thing”
- When they have enough name or brand recognition that people are drawn there
- When the participants are enthusiastic and motivated to invite neighbors and friends
- When the participants have a desire and motivation to see people come to renewing faith in Jesus
- When there is a major crisis in the community or world and people “need” church
- When God’s Holy Spirit does something in a community, a church, or its leaders.
- When they are responding to people’s felt needs. This is initially neutral. Could be need for divorce or grief recovery. Could be need for entertainment and distraction and confirming my biases and prejudices. Either way, it works, at least initially.
- When they engage people in ways that help them find deep meaning, purpose and healing.
- When they are able to engage newcomers into relationship (individually AND in groups) that help them experience hospitality, friendship, service and spiritual growth.
Come away and rest awhile.
Be renewed in Body, Mind and Spirit.
Lent and Easter are a busy time in the life of a congregation, and most especially for clergy and other ministry leaders. Now that your planning is done (or nearly so) take a day for yourself. Get some rest. Visit with colleagues. Pray.
You are encouraged to come and stay for the entire day, but you are certainly free to come or as much or little as you are able. See the schedule below.
This day is being offered as a gift to you, so that you might be more ready to serve those Christ has given you to accompany into this coming season.
Please RSVP so that we can plan accordingly.
214-526-7291 or info@iVitalMinistry.org
- 8:30am – Building opens – coffee and conversation
- 9am – Gather for introductions and morning prayer
- 10 am – Tai Chi, or individual / group prayer and conversation
- 11am – Sharing our hopes for the Lenten Journey
- Noon – Lunch
- 1pm – Silent meditation or small group discussion
- 2:30 – Prayer Exercises
- 3:30 – Closing
Lunch and snacks will be provided during the day.
You are encouraged to bring friends and colleagues, from your own congregation or other settings.
Posted in formation, renewal
Tagged associate minister, clergy, communion, congregation, lent, minister, music director, pastor, prayer, renewal, rest, retreat, spiritual direction, spiritual formation
Trying to form a theologically diverse community – harder than I thought…
Posted in Uncategorized, Videos
Tagged church, conservative, disciples of christ, diversity, jesus, leadership, leadership development, liberal, ministry, pastoral, theology, unity
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We would like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet, it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability –
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually – let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time,
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ:
This is from the wonderful little prayer book titled Hearts on Fire: Praying with the Jesuits. It’s a great book – highly recommended.
Posted in resources, Uncategorized
Tagged call, chardin, creation, discovery, ignatius, jesuits, journey, patience, prayer, spiritual exercises, transformation, unfolding, vocation