Topic 2. Culture and Vitality. Viewing Your Church as an Outsider.
Imagine that in the last month people form your community participated in your church's worship services, sat in on church programs, met several core people, and learned a bit of the history of your church. The goal is to describe your church's invisible cultural "megaphone" as it is perceived by an observer.
Read over your impressions, and sum them up. List a handful of values that the church seems to be broadcasting. How do they compare to what you want to be known for?
(Robert Lewis and Wayne Cordeiro, Culture Shift: Transforming Your Church from the Inside Out)
Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary.
Isa Aron, Steven Cohen, Lawrence Hoffman, and Ari Kelman. (Alban Institute, 2010)
Engagement is divided by Gallup into four areas, each building upon the other, in a hierarchy of concerns summarized by four questions.
To cultivate engagement, remember to work from the bottom up.
Do I belong?
What do I give?
What do I get?
One of the churches that we are studying calls itself an "urban abbey." They have developed a congregational "rule of life" that is given to all members, including newcomers, and the members adopt at varying levels. It consists of things like reading scripture, daily prayer, working with the poor. This church was in a state of decline in a rapidly urbanizing neighborhood and is now experiencing new life through this vision. Intentional and practicing congregations have an earnestness about them and a sense of discipline that applies to their individual lives as well as to their lives in community. That, in turn, makes them vital places, attractive to others seeking meaning in life.
(Diana Butler Bass)
Led by the Holy Spirit, the mission of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church is to provide a place to worship God, to reach out to the community, and to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The first word we want you to hear from us at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church is WELCOME.
Welcome, in the name of Jesus Christ.
We hope that the welcome that we speak to you is a welcome that looks and feels to you like a welcome that comes to you from God. Here on the corner of 75th and Greenwood in North Seattle, it is our hope that whenever you are with us you will feel and know that God has a special place and a special love for you. That loving welcome comes in a variety of ways, many of which are outlined in the various pages of our Website. Whether at worship, through educational programs, through a gift of food from our Food Bank, in fellowship, through a concert or conversation, there is for you an open invitation to you to participate. Feel welcome to be with us. Your presence here makes our community richer and fuller.
a community of faith seeking to know and serve Jesus Christ through committed hearts, open minds and willing hands
Welcome to our Goleta Presbyterian Church! If you visit you'llfind people of different ages and perspectives finding a common center in a living Christ.
Within GPC, people find a meaningful spiritual home in the contemporary world…
From GPC, people go out to do God's work, e.g.,
Becoming Gods Church! - A gathered family, becoming the Body of Christ – The Cornerstone – to serve the community & world.
Whoever you are and wherever you might be in your spiritual pilgrimage, we welcome you to explore the spiritual life with us and journey with us as fellow pilgrims. Church of the Holy Communion is a growing community of people from a variety of backgrounds – some are life-long Episcopalians, others are very new to the Episcopal Church, and some are from different denominations and faith traditions. What they all have in common is a desire to live a deeper life, and they have all had at least an intimation of God's presence in some aspect of our life together.
Church of the Apostles' "Freedom Riders"