When Did You Last Assess the Vitality of Your Congregation?
Healthy Churches Produce Disciples and Leaders
If local churches exist long enough, they will inevitably go through different seasons of vitality. Sometimes the church will be more vital than others. There will be seasons when God’s presence and the fruit of the gospel are very evident. There may also be times of decline when there is concern for the ongoing vitality of the church. These seasons are simply the ebb and flow of life.
Inward focus • Aging congregation • Program-driven • No clear biblical vision, mission, core values, strategy, or measures • Maintenance ministry • Preservation mindset • Caution • Lack of faith • Leaders afraid to lead
Outward focus • Kingdom prayer (Lord’s Prayer as model) • Leadership team developing a clear and compelling biblical vision, mission, core values, strategy and measures (FFCM) • Repentance • Faith in what God can do • Moving from program to personal ministry • Leaders lead and take faith risks
Outwardly focused • Gospel-centered • Dependent on prayer • Vibrant worship and preaching • Passion for unbelievers and our neighbors • Conversions • Personal ministry (not program-driven) • Clear and compelling biblical vision, mission, core • Values, strategy, and measures (FFCM) • Leaders lead by taking faith risks
Framing the Future of Your Church and Ministry (FFCM)
This 3-step process is designed for a cohort of pastors and churches to do each year. This begins with ASSESS in July where pastors select 5 people including themselves for an online evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses. In September pastors and wives gather at Holden Beach, NC for 2.5 days of FFCM training and refreshment. The second step, ASK, begins the second Saturday in January. We ask vision teams the questions about vision, core values, strategy, and measures. You pray, look at scripture, your congregation and community develop answers for a biblical “Vision Frame”. In April the third step, ANSWER, is also done by live stream. INTEGRATION extends through August. FFCM Cost includes travel expenses to Holden Beach and copying the FFCM Manuals for about $15/ manual. ($250-400) Two cohorts have done FFCM training. A third cohort will begin September 14- 17, 2020.
One thing’s for sure: a congregation can never have too much life, energy, or zeal for Jesus. Our hearts can never be “too full” of Christ. As a leader in the church, you must be humble and proactive enough to step back and assess whether your congregation is enjoying a healthy and abundant season or persevering through a spiritually dry one.
Help Your Congregation Thrive
ONA Can Help You Foster Vibrancy and Passion
What is your church’s vision of ministry? Can church leaders share with others your church’s vision? Are members aware of the unique vision guiding your church at this time and in this place? Just because everyone in the church knew the biblical vision at one time, doesn’t mean they still grasp the vision—because vision dulls and fades if not cast often.
One of ONA’s most critical assignments from General Synod is encouraging church vitality. Healthy churches have a vision for evangelism, outreach, and church planting—all of which are essential for the health of the ARP Church. Established ARP churches are crucial to the longevity and gospel success of the entire denomination.
ONA offers a four step process that helps you articulate your unique biblical vision based on the values that you, your leaders, and your church are passionate about. This biblical process will prepare your church to identify and articulate motivating values and create momentum to sustain a passionate, effective and winsome ministry.
Take the Next Step
Contact ONA to learn more about our church vitality process that will help you connect with your congregation and refocus your vision.