Church and Community Development for Evangelism, Social Justice & Sustainability

In the past many North American churches did not worry about how to grow their churches because it was almost assumed that everyone went to or would be going to church. But things have dramatically changed.

In our Post-Christian, Post-Church world, many churches are finding themselves with aging congregations, buildings and limited resources. Furthermore, what used to work both in terms of evangelism and reaching out to the community no longer do. Agencies, activists, individuals, “flash-mob” groups and Go-Fund Me pages now do the social justice work that used to define the ministry of the church. In addition, at the time when most churches seemingly have lost their ability to evangelize beyond “family and friends,” research suggests that their is a loneliness epidemic raging throughout the U.S.

Based on research which found that there are a vast majority of people who define themselves as “spiritual, but not religious” are looking for opportunities to link their spirituality to the work of social justice and that many people are looking for opportunities to develop meaningful connection, these series of workshops and personalized leadership and congregational coaching and consulting can provide the foundation to move in a new direction.

Please note the following are key workshops of the program. Click below for more information or for customized workshops, coaching and/or consulting programs.

 
 
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Discipleship, Evangelism and Social Justice: Start With the Pew*

Contrary to popular belief, evangelism and social justice are not the sole work of the pastor or a few select committees — they are the work of mature disciples — not in terms of age, but spiritual growth and maturity. Because many churches assume membership equals discipleship and that “members”will get it, they have limited programs for spiritual formation or discipleship-making.

Through this highly interactive workshop, participants will:

  • Assess current status of spiritual formation and disciple-making within their own congregations;

  • Outline a plan for creating an intentional discipleship making/spiritual formation program which goes beyond Sunday School;

  • Learn faith-based community and economic development techniques and how to apply them for church and community vitality; and

  • Based on their congregational and community assessment, highlight 2 - 3 opportunities for evangelism or social justice by ministering to those in the pew and their families.


Adapt and Thrive: Transitioning Existing Congregations to New Ministry Paradigms

“It’s not the changes that do you in, it's the transitions. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.” William Bridges, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes

If change is hard for individuals, it is much harder for organizations, especially churches. As congregations find themselves in a postmodern, post-Christian, post-church, diverse world, it is hard to know what changes to make and why. Harder still is to allow time for “experiments” to take hold before giving up too soon and going back to how “things have always been done.”

Through this highly interactive workshop, participants will:

  • Learn strategies to help them and their congregations cope with the uneasiness of transitions; and

  • Build their own spiritual and “transitional” muscle for being able to withstand the internal and external challenges to their leadership during times of change and transition.

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Taking It To The Streets: Linking Worship, Evangelism and Social Justice

Many congregations separate worship from evangelism and social justice when in fact these are linked with one another and vital spiritual formation that makes mature disciples.

Through this highly interactive workshop, participants will:

  • Learn how worship, evangelism and social justice have been linked historically and how to help their congregation understand these links;

  • Practice techniques of faith-based church and community economic development to create simple plans for church and community vitality and growth; and

  • Develop plans for 1 - 2 core activities that allow the congregation to learn and experience how worship, evangelisma and social justice are vital as a cohesive whole to their spiritual growth.


Skin In The Game: Equipping Congregations to Become More Multicultural

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Over 50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed that 11:00 a.m. on Sunday was still the most segregated hour in the U.S. Nothing much has changed. Nearly all U.S. churches have only 90% of one race and language group.  While many existing congregations say they want to be diverse, many simply do not understand the racial, ethnic and cultural opportunities and challlenges to becoming a truly diverse congregation in which no culture has the predominance over the worship, administrative or ministry life of the congregation. In an era in which many millenials and not too few boomers are looking for more diverse worship experiences and more sensitive than their parents’ with regard to racial issues, the inability to be diverse can be the deathnell to many a church.

In this highly interactive workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the differences between inviting and radically welcoming churches;

  • Identify the systemic racial practices that hinder others from coming to the church; and

  • Develop plans to educate their congregation and to implement change/transition to be a radically welcoming, multicultural faith community in which no culture takes predominance over the worship, administrative or ministry life of the congregation.