Best Practice #3: Create Ownership
When it comes to inspiring and equipping people to live out the values of Christlike behavior, the natural inclination for church leaders is to reach for traditional levers such a volunteer programs, small groups, and training for the lay leaders who lead these programs. Not surprisingly, best-practice churches take advantage of all these levers. However, in the countercultural spirit of Jesus, their goal is not to build up these programs. Their goal is to change behavior.
Empower people to be the church.
This is the priesthood-of-all-believers strategy, aiming to break down the mindset that divides pastors and congregants. Blurring those dividing lines involves assigning high levels of ministry accountability to lay leaders and using creative ways to inspire people to explore with Christ-like behavior in their everyday lives.
Equip people to succeed.
It’s not enough to simply empower people. Establishing high standards for performance and accountability is critical, as is educating and giving congregants the tools they need to meet those standards.
Hold people accountable.
Best-practice churches understand that their attendees need spiritual mirrors, which means safe, relational networks that help them navigate the ups and downs of an expanding journey of faith. Many invest significant time and resources in small-group infrastructures to provide that support.
Introducing RenewalWorks For Me
Contemplative Practice for Just Living
The Center for Spiritual Imagination exists to deepen and enrich human relationships with God, self and neighbor in new and ancient ways. Our work is rooted in a spiritual ecology that has an ancient rhythm, is committed to nurturing commuaity and is focused on doing justice in the world. We are engaging practices that help us embrace our full humanity and express the love of God by living justly.
Our practice exists at the margins of the church (or at its heart) where communion with God and each other eclipses religious affiliations - where the spirituaal needs of seekers, doubters and religious practitioners converge.
Our experiences, programs and services are open to all. We acknowledge particularly the gifts present in those who identify as Spiritual But Not Religious: a dynamic segment of the human community open to practices at the depths of the Christian tradition who often find official aspects of religion averse to spiritual growth. In an age marked by the institutional decline of Christianity in America, we are reimagining how the church will gather and grow now and in the future.
For information and events go here: https://www.incarnationgc.org/about/csi/
Congregational Programs for Revitalization
The Office of Black Ministries’ Congregational Programs for Revitalization (CPR) are designed to equip congregations with tools, training, and coaching to strengthen congregational leadership and ministry.
OBM has identified 12 significant areaas in which congregations of African descent desire support and programming for future relevance, growth, and positioning for 21st-century mission and ministry:
· Healing from Internalized Oppression*
· Basics of Collaborative Leadership and Ministry*
· Professional Coaching for Clergy & Lay Leadership*
· Clergy & Lay Leadership Development Training
· Conflict Management
· Evangelism through Community Engagement and Ministry
· Theology of Stewardship and Planned Giving
· Budget, Finance, and Administration
· Youth & Young Adult Integration
· Building and Property Management
· Tools for Discipleship (SOAP)
· Human Relationship Management
*Curriculum component currently available
For additional information and to participate in CPR, please contact the Rev. Ronald Charles Byrd, Sr., The Episcopal Church Missioner, Black Ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS THE SACRED GROUND RACE DIALOGUE SERIES?
WHAT IS A DIALOGUE CIRCLE?
The invitation is to form a dialogue circle or circles in your congregation that would meet for 10 sessions to engage with the films, videos, written materials, and each other – a study group essentially. Please arrange for a designated facilitator, co-facilitators, or rotating facilitators. When there are distance constraints, you can consider holding virtual circles.
HOW OFTEN DO WE MEET?
The frequency of sessions can be according to your group’s needs. Recommended: Every two or three weeks (weekly would be too dense, monthly might be too infrequent).
WHAT IS IN THE CURRICULUM?
For more information:
Episcopal Church Foundation - Vestry Papers
What is your ministry? What gives you joy in your response to God?
Chances are good other Episcopalians have written about it with encouragement, tips and sound advice.
Read what others have learned, dreamed of and done: https://www.ecfvp.org/vestry-papers
Listening Hearts / Grounded in God