Tuesday, September 16, 2008

five practices: our experience thus far

Last evening our church council voted unanimously to adopt the "Five Practices" as our missional strategy for 2008-2012. We see the practices as a specific path on the way toward our vision: to be the body of Christ, glorifying God and serving others. In the next day or two I will post our council's statement on this blog, but it arose very much from the grassroots. For us, the five practices represent a method of taking the practical step of moving from "Good to Great", a book our leaders read a couple of years ago. Our leaders have resonated with the Five Practices because it seems biblical and it seems to capture some of the ministry that is happening here, while also stretching us to be more faithful and fruitful.

Two sermons related to the practices are linked on this site, "Intentional Faith Development" and "Radical Hospitality", and I also contributed sermons to the Five Practices comprehensive kit that is available through Cokesbury. This Sunday we will focus on "Passionate Worship", and on World Communion Sunday we will reflect on "Risk-Taking Mission and Service". All of this will culminate with the topic "Extravagant Generosity", which will be our Stewardship Sunday (November 9).

We also have a leadership team that is shepherding the practices through a variety of channels in the church, mostly Sunday School classes at this point, and again this group found each other spontaneously. One of the benefits of their work has been to bring together extraordinary leaders, who had been doing very good work, around one common language and framework. I believe this will be of great help to our church in comprehending the strategy and, ultimately, in moving toward the vision.


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