- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
Life is a journey. We who serve in church leadership positions know this to be true. So often, the work to move a church forward seems daunting. Sometimes, we simply need to take the first step.
If you have made it to this page, you have been asked to participate in a “beta test” for a new resources we have been working to create. Before you download it and get to work, let me (Philip) share a few quick thoughts about how and why it was created.
In January of 2009, a group of leaders from across the PCUSA gathered in Louisville, KY on a wintry January week to consider what Congregational Transformation might look like in the PCUSA for years to come. We were lead in a discernment process by George Bullard of The Columbia Partnership. One of the key pieces to come out of the summit was the following list of characteristics that we hope would be reflected in our church in the year 2020 (or before)
Churches in the year 2020 will:
- Have a Strong, Competent, Spiritual Leader
- Be led by Spiritually mature leaders whose role is prayer and discernment for the congregation and will lead the faith community into deeper spiritual practices
- Will be a worshiping congregation that reflects the cultures and ethnicity of the neighborhood
- Will engage in building relationships and share their faith with others
- Will embrace their God Given Missional Challenges with passion and equip people to meet those challenges in adaptive ways
- Be a place where welcoming strangers is the norm
- Will do great things by connecting with partner communities
We hope this resource, when it is fully developed will touch on many of these areas and move your church toward being a 2020 church.
This particular resource will be in three modules that build on one another and then allow for the church to continue to cycle through them on a 2-3 year rotation. We strongly felt that for any process to work, it needed to begin by preparing the Session for the work to be done. So, the “Prepare” module starts with the Session and works to help them transform from a management centered group to a people who pray and discern what God is doing in their community. This, we hope, will help them live into being the spiritual leaders of the church.
In the “Prepare” module, there are 10 sessions that are designed to be used in conjunction with the stated Session meetings of your congregations. Session one should be used in a longer, retreat format and the final session will require the majority of your Session meeting for that month. Sessions 2-9 will ask you to create space in your agenda for 45 minutes to one hour for each session. This doesn’t mean adding an hour on to your Session meeting. We are hoping that for the duration of this process you will see how you can reduce the amount of “business” you do and keep your Session meeting time relatively constant.
Please take time to read the introductions and instructions before you start.
Because you are helping us work through any issues that there may be with this new resource, we need information from you as you use it. Before you download, please fill out the form so we know who has taken the challenge. We will be following up periodically to see how you’re doing. If you come across something that you feel needs explanation or needs our attention, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Module One Beta Testing Registration Form
[contact-form 2 "Module One Beta Testing"]
Thanks again for your willing to take a risk and help us out
Click here to download Module One (.pdf file)