At last night’s Session meeting, the Session endorsed Christ Presbyterian’s participation in the Acts 16:5 Initiative. In previous Tidbits I have given some insight into the content of the Initiative and shared some of my esteem for its leader, Stan Ott. I believe that our participation in this program will assist our congregation in developing a solid vision of what God is leading us to. Stan affirms that, “the Acts 15:6 Initiative does not propose a simple checklist of things to do. Rather, it suggests a wide variety of practices and practical “next steps” that a congregation may take.” I’m excited to see how God works through this program to address our unique issues and achieve our congregation’s specific God-given mission.
I’m sure that most of you are wondering what this entails. Here is an outline of the Acts 16:5 Initiative.
- The Pastor and Session of each congregation agree to a three-year process of ministry assessment, adaptation and advancement that honors the past and looks to the future.
- The Pastor leads a Vision Team of three to six people of imagination and initiative who are respected by the congregation. The Vision Team works under the Session to discern and implement a transformational vision.
- The Pastor and the Vision Team attend semi-annual intensive training seminars. This training gives pastors the means of equipping the elders and the members of the Vision Team with a transformational theological framework and a wide variety of specific applications adaptable to each given congregation.
- Pastors meet monthly with four or five participating pastors. The express purpose of these clusters is to help one another grow in leadership practices and in the fruitfulness of their ministries. These clusters are immensely encouraging to the participating pastors.
- Presbytery leadership offers ongoing support as do the coaches of the Vital Churches Institute with a wide variety of materials and coaching availability.
The overall aim of the program is:
- To enable the design of ministry tailored to the specific needs of the congregation and the needs of the surrounding community.
- To offer ways to value each congregation’s past and present ministry while fashioning ministry for the future and legitimizing necessary transition in ways that affirm.
- To impart the skills necessary for the design of ministry appropriate to a given congregation’s needs rather than offer a set program for each church.
- To offer resources and support to pastors and to presbytery leadership.
- To create new venues for presbytery leadership to coach and encourage congregational leaders.
- To partner with presbytery leadership in applying the principles of transformation and missional endeavor to the life of the presbytery itself.
As we begin this journey of celebration and discernment, I want to ask you to consider the Scriptural text that gives this program it’s name.
Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.
Acts 16:5 The Message
Christ Presbyterian is already a place of faith, hope and love. I hope that you can imagine a future where all that we are is becoming stronger and shared with more children of God.
For more information on the Acts 16:5 Initiative please visit: www.vitalchurchesinstitute.com