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Becoming the Vital Churches and Disciples that Tomorrow Requires David Schoen Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Local Church Ministries United Church.

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Becoming the Vital Churches and Disciples that Tomorrow Requires David Schoen Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Local Church Ministries United Church.

Becoming the Vital Churches and Disciples that Tomorrow Requires David Schoen Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Local Church Ministries United Church.

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Presentation on theme: "Becoming the Vital Churches and Disciples that Tomorrow Requires David Schoen Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Local Church Ministries United Church."— Presentation transcript:

1 Becoming the Vital Churches and Disciples that Tomorrow Requires David Schoen Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Local Church Ministries United Church of Christ

2 Vital churches in the 21st Century Missional, Relational & Conversational Missional in purpose Relational in outreach Conversational in witness

3 Vital Churches in 21 st Century Local Churches are Missional Communities, –moving from membership based social organizations to –discipleship forming missional communities. Our mission focus is transforming lives, by transforming both individuals and wider social culture.

4 Missional in Purpose Vital congregations –clear sense of purpose Vital congregations –are sent churches Vital congregations –reach out beyond themselves Vital congregations –reproduce and plant new congregations

5 Missional Church The Church exists to serve Gods Mission Mission as Missio Dei, UCC Committee on Structure, 1992 The church of Jesus Christ is the instrument and sign of Gods mission and realm. Gods mission is calling and sending us, the church of Jesus Christ, to be a missionary church in our own societies, in the cultures in which we find ourselves.

6 Identity and Mission Reverend Otis Moss III from Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago speaks on Church Vitality and Discipleship grow/video/otis-moss.htmlwww.ucc.org/vitality/ready-set- grow/video/otis-moss.html

7 Vital congregations discern Gods call and mission The greatest characteristic of a vital congregation is the ability to articulate and live Gods purpose. What is God calling this church to be and do at this time, in this place, with the gifts we have on this corner of Gods realm that we are placed?

8 Missional in Purpose What is Your Mission Statement? Mission Statement should be: –7 – 9 words or less –Engaging –Compelling –Visionary –True

9 Missional Purpose Cathedral of Hope UCC –The Mission of the Cathedral of Hope is to reclaim Christianity as a faith of extravagant grace, radical inclusion and relentless compassion. We are a people of compassion We are a people of inclusion We are a people of liberation We are a people of hope We are a people of Jesus

10 Missional Statement First Grace UCC, Akron OH –First grace…..then faith and works! First Congregtional UCC Santa Rosa –Making Gods love visible Others –Strangers no more… –Jesus loves you…this we know! –In the Heart of the City with the City in our Heart –A Church Just for You, A Just Church for You.

11 Vital churches are vital in community where they are located No congregation can afford to ignore its context or those in the surrounding community. Congregations that live only for themselves are starting a trip toward extinction. Herb Miller, How to Build a Magnetic Church Vital congregations are vital on the corner of Gods realm where they are planted. Gil Rendle

12 Missional Church outreach to community and neighborhood God is still speaking to us in culture and community. Gods purpose is that our communities are not forsaken or the land desolate. Church no longer center of community, but it can be good neighbor. Church can accompany community to be all that Gods realm would want the community to be.

13 Location, Location, Location? Congregational Life Survey points to the relative unimportance of location in predicting either congregational strength or numerical growth. –Congregational location plays a minimal role in the numerical growth that congregations experience. –Few measures of location had an impact on strength or growth. –Vital growing congregations, as well as non-vital declining congregations can be found in any location. Places of Promise: Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location: US Congregation Survey 2008

14 The One important factor The one location factor that does play a role in congregational vitality is the match between a congregations worshipers and the people in the community who are between 18 and 44 years of age. This critical age group must be recruited and openly welcomed in our congregations and we need to ensure our worship and activities meet their needs.

15 Community Involvement = Growth? Involvement or focus on the community does not necessarily lead to growth Congregations scoring high on focusing on the community place considerable emphasis on serving the needs of those outside the congregation. They may de-emphasize or overlook the importance of inviting people to become part of the congregation and welcoming them warmly when they visit. Focusing on the community must be one of the other aspects of vitality, including welcoming new people, meaningful worship, caring for children and youth, engagement in the congregation and a sense of belonging. Places of Promise

16 Places of Promise Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location Traditionally we think about context as location. In this view: Community context determines who we were, what we are, and what our future holds. Congregations are passivelocation has the upper hand! Leaders use contractual language about locationour location is a piece of real estate with a specific land value, appraised as a retail outlet might appraise a location. Its a commodity.

17 Places of Promise Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location InsteadThink about context as place. Location is Gods gift to us. The congregation is in this place at this time for a reasonGods reason. Congregations can achieve strength and effectiveness in their present location. God claimed this place for us; the place claims us as people of faith. We have inherited this place from those who first worshiped here, and we have an obligation to use it wisely and care for it.

18 Places of Promise Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location Questions to be asked: –How did our congregation come to be in this location? What is our birth story? –Why has God planted us here? –What significant things have happened in this location that continue to shape our ministry? –What do we believe are the strengths of our location? –What steps can we take to build on the strengths of our location? Who is in our community that we can reach out to?

19 Know your neighborhood Know your mission field Demographic Information –Percept –Mission Insite Using Demographic Information –Community knowledge –Missional outreach and program

20 Resources for Vital Congregations Ready, Set, Grow Resources –Vital-o-Meter –Discovering your Congregations Strengths –Discerning your Congregations Mission –Vitality Interviews –www.ucc.org/vitalitywww.ucc.org/vitality Demographic Information –Percept –Mission Insite

21 True Life Story of Vital Church Involved in Community

22 Missional in Purpose Relational in Outreach Ministry in 21 st Century is Relational Build community with those outside the church Get to know the unchurched people and culture

23 the world has changed 60 – 80 % unchurched 80 % of baby boomers left 80 % of youth have negative view of church Culture does not support church

24 Relational in Outreach Bridge the gap by building relationships The days of waiting for people to come to church to welcome them are over. Instead of waiting inside, we go outside

25 Relational in Outreach What do you think when you hear the word…. – EVANGELISM ?

26 Celtic Evangelism In The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West... Again, George Hunter writes about the difference between what he describes as the evangelism approach in Roman and Celtic Christianity.

27 Celtic Evangelism Roman Model Celtic Model Presentation Fellowship Decision Ministry and Conversation Fellowship Belief, Invitation to Commitment

28 Belonging and Believing Christianity is more caught than taught! As Professor Robin Gill observes, belonging comes before believing. For this reason, evangelism is now about helping people to belong so that they can believe.

29 Missional Outreach Go to where the unchurched are: Starbucks, Borders Parks, Gymns I stopped wondering about how to draw younger folks into my church and started focusing on how to draw my congregation out of its building and into relationship with the world outside its doors.

30 Go Forth…. Into the Virtual World. In Asia, Europe and North Americaan entire generation has experienced the Internet as a means for maintaining relationships with family and friends. The Internet is a lifeline for users whose mobility is limited by disability, chronic illness or advanced age. The Internet is where we can find and engage seekers.

31 The socialization of the web... is now forcing a renaissance that is transforming information distribution, human interaction and everything that orbits this nascent ecosystem. Brian Solis, PR2.0, Unveiling New Influencers 6/29/2009 The socialization of the web... is now forcing a renaissance that is transforming information distribution, human interaction and everything that orbits this nascent ecosystem. Brian Solis, PR2.0, Unveiling New Influencers 6/29/2009 The Socialization of the Web You Now Control the Message!

32 The Churchs message never changed but its methods must change Craig Groeschel, LifeChurch.tv

33 Modern day example

34 What are the excuses? Its too expensive Our congregation is older Our congregation is on dial-up Ministry doesnt happen online Our membership is too small We like things the way they are We havent had a new visitor in 10 years We dont have enough staff

35 Costs are nominal or FREE!

36 Sweat Equity & Passion to Share Christs Message Sweat Equity & Passion to Share Christs Message

37 Missional in Purpose Relational in Outreach Ministry in 21 st Century is Relational Build community with those outside the church Get to know the unchurched people and culture

38 Resources for Vital Congregations Ready, Set, Grow Resources – Its a Whole New World –Knowing Your Neighborhood –Web University and online resources –www.ucc.org/vitalitywww.ucc.org/vitality

39 Relational in Outreach Conversational in Witness Conversational ministry is central to the future of the church in 21 st Century Count conversations, not conversions –Brian McLaren, More Ready than You Think

40 Conversational in Witness Buzz Marketing Evangelism One beggar telling another where there is food Come and See!

41 Conversational Ministry The postmodern world calls for disciples who reach out to a world that is hungering for good conversation about faith, values, hope, meaning, purpose, goodness, beauty, truth, life after death, life before death and God. Engaging in everyday faith conversations will not only help others become Christians, it will help us become better Christians, who know and love the still speaking God more than ever.

42 Conversational Ministry A world of spiritual seekers wants to talk. We are the ones who are not talking! An unchurched world doesnt know why we do what we do. Vital churches are communities in which the pastor and members have invited 5 to 15 new folks to their community of faith in the past six months.

43 Witness and Invitation UCC-Style V I T A L I T Y Tricking the church into Evangelism – Taking it back! What do you say when someone asks you about your comma? For us it means Gods not stuck. God still has more light and truth for us today. My church believes that God is still speaking to us today. It means that no matter how bad things are in my life or in the world, God is in the midst of it.

44 Are you Ready to Talk? Tricking the church into Evangelism – Taking it back!

45 Are You Ready to Talk? Why do you love your church? What impact has believing in God and following Jesus made in your life? What Bible text has made a difference in your life?

46 God is still speaking, Through you and me!

47 Welcome and Hospitality Hospitality is an act of worship Greeting the Divine Shekinah

48 Becoming a Welcoming Church You wont magically turn your church into a welcoming church overnight. However, with organization and planning you can make it feel that way to visitors and seekers. What you are planting today will eventually transform your congregation into a welcoming place... expect it to take time.

49 Becoming a Welcoming Church Does your church actively invite others into its worship and ministry? Do visiting guests feel welcome in your church? Avoid the perfection trap, often a mask for fear. Are there things you can do better to be a visible witness and active presence of Gods radical and all-inclusive welcome? Tracking progress

50 Where will we be in 2020….? The still speaking God –calls us to become Churches that the Future Requires –Missional in purpose –Relational in outreach –Conversational in witness

51 And in Conclusion…… Seven Missional Lessons God is calling the Church to be a missional community in an unchurched world. Missional congregation is to be a sign and instrument of Gods realm in its community. Missional congregation listens for and seeks out the still speaking God in culture and its community. Missional congregation finds transformation and vitality in its location.

52 Missional congregation is driven to discern, articulate and live Gods calling and purpose for church and community. Missional congregation is relational and conversational in outreach. Missional congregation engages cultures tools, especially the web to reach out to world of seekers. And in Conclusion…… Seven Missional Lessons

53 Step 1: Select a team Step 2: Articulate your mission Step 3: Know your missionfield Step 4: Know your strengths Step 5: Plan for desired & measurable outcome In Five Parts

54 Two questions Where are the signs of vitality in your congregation this spring? What are you going to do from todays presentation to increase vitality in your congregation?

55 Resources for Vital Congregations Vitality Powerpoint - Retreat Resources GrowtheUCC.org Events and Webinars –www.GrowtheUCC.orgwww.GrowtheUCC.org Churches Birthing Churches Redeveloper Leadership Institute Web University Evangelism and Leadership Webinars myUCC –Congregational Vitality – Ready, Set, Grow Group Congregational Vitality – Ready, Set, Grow Group

56 Thank You! Thank you for your Vital Leadership Thank you for Your Support of –Changing Lives: Thats Our Churches Wider Mission Thank you for Spreading the Love –Strengthen the Church Offering –www.ucc.org/stcwww.ucc.org/stc

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