The digital age has made it possible for churches to have access to a huge variety of ministry resources. No matter what you are looking for, there’s no shortage of books, websites, videos, and downloadables floating around on the internet. Add to that the collective ideas of local, regional, and national networks of practitioners; more formal opportunities to explore topics via coaches, institutions, and other experts; and even things as simple as what the church down the street or across the classis is doing and you can see just how much ministry help is available out there.
However, wading through the lists of recommendations, blog posts, and catalogs while keeping up on the latest opportunities, releases, and updates can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. And how do you know when something will work in your particular setting or if your congregation is ready to move from simply exploring a book or blog to engaging in a coaching relationship or joining with other churches to examine a particular ministry topic or issue?
For the next two and a half years, ministry leaders in three regions of the CRC will be helping congregational leaders explore new ways to connect with resources for ministry as part of the CRC’s Connections Project. Thanks to a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., congregations in twelve classes in Southern California, Southern Ontario, and the US Midwest now have teams of local leaders trained and equipped to help them connect with resources for any area of ministry.
Connections Project teams will be reaching out and working with congregations in four main ways:
- Conversations: Connections Project team members are available for conversations about what resources are available and what’s working in other places.
- Creating Space: Connections Project teams will host annual learning events for congregational leaders to explore whatever issues they are currently facing.
- Cohorts: Connections Project teams will help organize and equip groups of congregational leaders who come together on regular basis to learn about and connect with resources about a specific ministry topic.
- Coaching: Connections Project coaches are available to walk alongside congregational leaders and help them dive deeper into what resources are available about a particular ministry opportunity or challenge.
So, if your congregation is in a participating region, the next time you have a question about where to begin or the next step to take, consider reaching out the Connections Project team in your area. Information about how to connect with a regional team can be found here.
Not in one of our initial three Connections Project regions? We’re working behind the scenes with denominational leaders from the various ministries and agencies to try to make it easier for you to connect with the best resources for ministry. Keep an eye on us here at The Network or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.
In the meantime, we’d love to know what some of your favorite resources are. Do you have any go-to publishers, series, websites, or groups that have proven to be solid providers of tools for ministry? Is there one project, program, or conversation space you’d go out of your way to recommend to other ministry leaders? We’d love if you shared a little about your context and what you love about the resource in the comment section below.