Faith Fitness (December 3)

Our discussion this past Tuesday continued the theme of how churches can be as healthy as possible. The article we circulated about church restructuring, renewal and re-engineering helped us sort out both problems and solutions. We know that many congregations are attempting to tap the creative energies of their people and do what they can to grow both spiritually and numerically.

One growth option involves nurturing a new ministry within the existing church. The analogy is that of giving birth, wherein the mother church helps create life in the form of a new ministry. The gist is that the parent church recruits a team of enthusiastic, vision-driven members who then begin the work of researching, planning and leading a creative, contemporary worship experience.

Many churches that have grown into thriving ministries started with such an approach outlined above. Often, any new ministry is not intended to replace the parent ministry as much as it is designed to supplement it. We referred to this philosophy as the “Both And” approach as opposed to the “Either Or” situation where one ministry replaces another. The beauty of the Both And method is that two separate and very different styles of worship can co-exist within the same building (or off-campus) such that the outreach of the church becomes highly diversified and effectively ministers to both traditional and contemporary-oriented worshipers.

What is supposed to happen is that the new ministry will eventually become self-supporting. As a fledgling, the new ministry will at first require much support, similar to the situation wherein a parent must care for a totally dependent child. Eventually, if enough things go right, the child grows and becomes a productive, independent member of society. Similarly, any new ministry we create will, with God’s help, mature and extend the ministry of the parent church into a sustainable direction.

Won’t you join us? It’s not about taking away or denying your current church experience. We want to meet the challenge of attracting a new generation of Christians who will become tomorrow’s leaders. Your role will be akin to that of a trustee, someone who is concerned about helping the church survive. As a partner in faith, we ask you to have a role in a positive future. Please join with us in prayer as we consider how best to be stewards of your time, talent and treasure. Together, we can ensure that our church will be effectively ministering for generations to come. Amen!

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