|On May 2nd and 3rd I had the privilege of gathering with the staff and our current moderator for a retreat. Since we did not go any farther away than Crystal Lake it probably doesn’t sound like much of a retreat, but a getaway is a getaway. |
Lois Bucher, Jon Warfel, Pat Lindquist, John Kauffman, Jeanne Rothlisberger, and I read Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diana Butler-Bass and discussed it during the brief time we were together. The book prompted lively discussion and lots of ideas for our life together at FCC. Many of the thoughts expressed sprang from the author’s opinions, but most of them came from the insightful, articulate, and visionary people in the room. I was reminded again of how blessed I am to work with them all.
Out of our time together came lots of dreams and plans, but, for me, the most significant one was an idea for which we do not even have a name yet. It’s a comprehensive program for helping us all move from the membership model of doing church to the discipleship model.
In case you have missed it in sermons and publications around the church, the difference can be described this way: A membership church sees ministry as the job of professionals while a discipleship church sees ministry as a gift unwrapped by everyone in the congregation. The membership model sees the church as an
|institution in society while a discipleship model sees the church as a living organism. The membership model defines the mission of the church as doing good in the community while the discipleship model defines the mission of the church as being the church — following in the way of Jesus Christ. |
To that end we are dreaming of a comprehensive program of learning by study and learning by doing. The three areas to be covered are:
Christianity 101 – Every so often it is good to go back to basics and redefine what they mean for us now. This module will examine foundational Christian beliefs such as the Trinity, the Church, the work of Christ, etc., from an open-minded perspective.
Marks of Discipleship – We have been talking a lot about the practices of prayer, worship, Bible reading, service, relating to others, and giving. Now you will have the chance to explore them through study and experience.
LifeKeys – This program, of course, is already under way here at FCC. We will continue to offer it as a means of discovering the ways our personal talents, gifts, and passions can be offered in God’s service.
You will be hearing more and more about all of this as plans take shape, but I just could not wait to tell you about it. Can you tell I am pretty excited?
See you on the journey.