“…there is still a lot about the relationship between vitality and numerical growth that is an unsolved mystery. One example is the chicken and the egg scenario…researchers don’t know whether vitality leads to growth, or whether growth leads to vitality. I think perhaps it could be a little bit of both.” Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi
Crossroads: Church Renewal and Vitality is a program that is part of the Minnesota Conference 2020 Vision strategic objectives. The Minnesota Conference has teamed up with Vibrant Faith Ministries to offer a strategic church visioning program to engage congregations that find themselves at a ministry crossroads. Churches across America struggle to varying degrees in attempting to understand “Who is God calling us to be and what is God calling us to do in this place and at this time?”
It’s the change of an era, and an era of change. We are at a time of significant change in the Christian church. Making disciples today, much less sustaining growth in faith throughout life, is not easy. But you already know that. What to do next is the uncertainty. Crossroads is about exploring every day. Jim LaDoux of Vibrant Faith states that we “see that followers of Jesus and our leaders in churches are time pressed and stressed. They feel ill equipped to practice faith and lead others in these shifting times. The pressure to attract and keep things going is huge and hard.”
Crossroads replaces the New Beginnings program and offers an opportunity to begin a strategic visioning process of transformation of faith formation in our church communities. Crossroads will help congregations tap into their godly imaginations, turning their inspirations into ideas that are implemented. Under Vibrant Faith’s guidance, congregations will:
- Guide leaders through a visioning process that is easy yet effective, is tangible, and gets traction.
- Engage in holy conversations as they review and honor the past, reflect on the present, and recreate a preferred future.
- Learn ways to work well as a team to accomplish something significant that will have a lasting impact.
Crossroads is particularly focused on churches seeking not simply to reinvent themselves, but rather on those that are seeking ways to be relevant in our society while seeking to maintain the integrity of who we are as the church in our communities. General Minister of the United Church of Christ, Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer states:
“We all bear responsibility for living out our shared mission. We will not achieve our full potential — nor maintain our full capacity for health, vitality, and relevance — without a clear sense of missional purpose and calling…”
Crossroads will guide your congregation to just that, as you develop your “road map” of church vitality and renewal of discerning, discovering, designing and doing God’s will for your congregation in this place and in this time.
For more information, please contact Rev. Steve Boorsma at the Conference office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 612-871-0359. He will be glad to answer all your questions, and along with Jim LaDouz will be happy to come to your church and meet with your church leaders to discuss this opportunity and to answer any questions you may have.
By: Steve Boorsma, Associate Conference Minister