Vibrant, life-giving, transformative worship.
Worship is central to a church community. Here, we enter a community gathered with the intention to praise God. Here we bring our whole selves: our bodies - engaging all of our senses, our mind - challenging our thinking, our emotions - opening to our fear, our hurts, our held resentments, as well as our joy and our hopes. Here we seek a genuine encounter with the Mystery that we call God, that which is beyond, among, between, and among us.
Worship is participatory practice of a particular community.
Here are some resources churches find useful in exploring ways to make worship more vibrant, live-giving, participatory, joyful, and adapted to the community gathered.
Who is our neighbor? How are we called to be Christ in the World?
Opening to the people around a congregation, discovering both the gifts and the needs in our neighborhood, discerning how a church is called to live our faith walk in the world — that is a challenge that calls forth the creativity, the innovation, the hope for Christians today.
Faith development from birth to the end of life
Dialogue about the issues of our day
Some churches choose to become a place for challenging conversations. Topics often connect to the work of peace and justice. Sometimes, the difficult conversations need to happen within the church itself and sometimes, it expands to work on restorative justice.
Invite, Welcome, Build Relationships, Empower, and Incorporate new people
This is an area that some people call evangelism. It begins by getting to know people and inviting them to join you in some activity that fits their needs and interests. Worship is not necessarily the entry way. Welcome is far more than the initial hello. It has to do with seeing from another person’s point of view, paying attention, providing information that is obvious to insiders, being friendly. This is not just the first couple of times, the path of inclusion takes many years. A thoughtful plan is helpful to congregations and some changes in behavior is often needed for well established congregations.
Build a healthy church organization
Churches and their leaders need to be equipped to be resilient, wise, and creative in times of change. Organizations need to be responsive to evolving needs and circumstances.