What a joy to be at our congregational meeting after worship on Sunday, September 15! Our congregation voted unanimously to pursue the Congregational Vitality (CV) Pathway. A well-traveled pathway, engaged by many of our established Covenant congregations (and congregations from other denominations worldwide who’ve adopted this pathway), CV is an 18-24 month journey where our congregation intentionally prays and works towards becoming a more healthy and missional church—both pursuing Christ and pursuing Christ’s priorities in the world.
In late August, many of our ministry team leaders and board members gathered for an extended evening retreat to assess if we have the Vision, Intention, and Means (VIM) to set out on this journey and do whatever it takes to become increasingly healthy and mission-driven. We had honest and hopeful conversations that convinced us to move ahead with this journey.
Our Vitality Team is also being formed, with Tim Limberg agreeing to lead this team, along with Jeff Thompson, Tom Schultz, and Rory Olson, and Steve Eng—with a few more open spots to increase the team’s diversity of age, ethnicity, gender and congregational tenure. This team gathers input that will inform our elected leadership about the attitudes and actions of people following the Veritas workshop While not a decision-making body, this team will pursue ten tasks with the congregation’s help, including establishing a process of pervasive prayer in the congregation, incorporating our behavioral covenant into the culture of RCC, finding a Biblical story that captures who we are, clarifying our mission, learning from our history, developing internal and external profiles of our congregation and community, and continually communicating findings to the congregation.
We also want to invite everyone in the church over the age of 12 to the “Veritas: Telling the Truth about Congregational Vitality” workshop on Saturday, November 9, from 9 a.m. through mid-afternoon. At that workshop we’ll discover together Ten Healthy Missional Markers for churches, as well as the four types of established churches—with an eye towards “next steps”—to help us understand our current reality and remind each other that God is in the resurrection business. Veritas helps us get healthy conversations going throughout the Vitality journey, and reminds that Jesus loves our church, and desires we be fully awake and alive in the Spirit.
Be praying with me even now that God will continue to help us lead and live like Jesus in a world that needs Jesus, his message, and his mission more than ever!
--Steve Eng, lead pastor