Re-rooting in God’s Mission is a process designed to unfold over a 12 month period of time beginning with an overnight retreat followed by three Saturday equipping events (9:30 am to 3:30 pm) sprinkled about every three months during the course of the year. These equipping events will revolve around listening to God through prayer, scripture, each other and our neighbors, and three key ingredients for congregational renewal, identified by a major study by the ELCA research unit:
- Discovering a shared purpose for participating in God’s mission locally and beyond
- Willingness to change for the sake of the Gospel
- Shared leadership between pastor and congregational leaders
This process of renewal seeks to engage and involve the whole congregation. It begins and continues with prayer and in-depth engagement with God’s word. A team of at least four, including pastor, selected by the congregation and pastor, attend the training opportunities in order to be equipped to engage their congregation in a renewal process focusing on:
- Attending to God in prayer and scripture
- Accompanying one another in following Jesus and being the church
- Asserting and agreeing on some mission action and implementing it
- Acting on the Great Commandment to love God and neighbor and the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations, using holy mission experiments
- Assessing and learning from setbacks and successes
Preparing for the Journey:
- Prayer and discussion with congregational leaders involving an overview of the process and suggestions for how prayer and conversation might actually happen in the congregation.
- Congregation commits to taking journey and allocates $300 to cover costs (e.g. materials, meals, etc)
- Congregation and pastor assemble a team (at least four, including pastor) to accompany their congregation and shepherd the process.
- Congregation’s team enters into a time of prayer, reflection on the Book of Acts, and other preparations, for the journey’s beginning with the overnight retreat.
Teams attending can expect to:
- Be immersed in prayer and God’s word
- Focus on faith practices
- Receive tools, best practices, resources, and be equipped to utilize and adapt them to their congregation’s context
- Be accompanied by a coach throughout the whole journey
- Receive additional training as needed, tailored to specific issues along the way
This illustration attempts to describe the cyclical, ebb and flow nature of this renewal journey:
This process is facilitated by our synods’ Renewal Team. Team members are leaders from the Northwestern Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota Synods who are experienced in congregational renewal work and who have been trained and equipped in our ELCA’s Transformation Ministry 2.0 process for congregations, as well as in other congregational renewal approaches.
For more information contact Pr Keith Zeh…