Yes our classis has taken a bold step to actively engage and support church renewal … one church at a time.
This decision was born out of dialog about who is helping congregations and how it’s going. There are some good resources, but much more to do. So classis rallied to initiate with some aggressive support to help one church a year.
Some assessments have already been going on. We have also been providing coaching and follow-up for those. There are several coaches involved and we are developing more. One congregation is already interested in the classis plan – it’s a congregation whose pastor is already getting coaching. Another church that was coached through a re-birth just launched their 1st weekly service on Easter w/ good fruit showing.
One of the key things we’re finding is that the momentum for such movements comes when the Spirit moves among leaders who’ve teamed together (our LEAD Teams meet monthly) and they begin to corporately see congregational needs to address. Additionally, we’ve discovered that the more local the resourcing the tighter the support connection relationally. This has been the focus for almost seven years now and it’s bearing fruit.
We’ve also seen that when Classis & Home Mission regional team focus on resourcing the local church, better partnerships develop that support each other in the goal. It avoids both the competition to see who gets to help AND the resignation to someone else to do it. We are on a learning curve and it’s exciting. We are developing an application process with guidelines that will give direction & encourage churches to engage in this process. This commitment is very significant coming from a rather small classis with a heart for helping each other in concrete ways.
Rev. Carl Leep, Classis Columbia.