What is God up to in your congregation?
God has a hope for this world. It is a hope rooted in a vision of reconciliation, wholeness, and loving relationship. And God is on a mission. Since the beginning of time God has been working to reconcile this world, to love this world, and to be in relationship with God’s people that we might know God’s deep and abiding love for us and for all the world.
God is at work. Where? In our congregations, in our individual lives and in our communities. We, as communities of faith are called to participate in God’s work in the world. We are called to be God’s hands, feet, and voices. Proclaiming God’s message of hope, abiding love, and unending grace through word and action. To be Christ’s presence in the lives of our neighbors and our communities. But how do we figure out what it is that God is calling our particular congregation, in our particular place to do?
We have a variety of resources that can assist your congregation in discerning what it is that God is calling you to be about. It all begins with listening. Listening to God, Listening to one another, and listening to our communities. Check out the resources below to learn more about how your congregation might engage the question “What God is up to in our congregation?”
Missional Bible Study
The Missional Bible Study was developed out of a synod wide process involving rostered leaders and members of our congregations. The result of this process yielded a Bible Study focused on the “3 Great Listenings.” Use this study in your congregation to explore how God is calling your congregation to grow in faith and reach out beyond themselves. More. . .
Congregational Renewal Cohort
Congregational Renewal is about transformation. Transformation is first and foremost a spiritual process. It is re-rooting in the Good News of Jesus Christ and getting God’s dream for this ministry in focus. It is not a one-person project. It is God’s project among us. It is not just about this congregation. It is about changing the world. As such, we all have choices to make and commitments to make in living out God’s dream for us. Because change is hard, as transformation begins, it is essential that the partners share clear expectations and that the accountability be strong. Partners in the process include congregation members, congregation leadership, and synod staff.
Being a part of a congregational renewal cohort requires an intentional commitment by the whole congregation to enter into a 2-year process which involves retreats, individual coaching, community conversations and “homework” as the congregation enters into the process of being renewed and transformed by God’s guidance. More . . .
Comprehensive Ministry Review
A Comprehensive Ministry Review is intended to provide congregations with feedback on their ministry from an outside perspective. During this 3-day process, a small team of trained congregation members, clergy, and synod staff, spend time in the congregation meeting with focus groups of members, leadership, and community leaders. Through this intentional listening process, the review team provides the congregation with a report on
To learn more or to schedule a comprehensive ministry review at your congregation, contact Sherie Heine.
Congregational Vitality Survey
Vital congregations exude a certain kind of vibrancy, a friendly welcoming manner, and a tangible sense of God’s presence. Those who attend regularly have a sense of purpose. They support each other by nurturing one another’s faith and helping each other identify their spiritual gifts. They use those gifts in the congregation and the world. They intentionally connect with the wider Christian community and within their local context to share the good news in word and deed by striving to be God’s hands in the world.
While connections with God, each other and the world are key to what it means to be church, it isn’t usually isn’t how we measure vitality. We usually turn to statistics like growth in members, financial stability, how many programs there are, etc. At the same time, in our guts we know that equating numeric growth with vitality falls short. The Congregational Vitality Survey is a simple, statistically reliable tool developed by ELCA Research and Evaluation Department that measuresa congregation’s vitality the three areas of connection – connecting with God, connecting with each other, and connecting with the world. More . . .