Located in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids this Historical brick building with its’ decorative molding and beautiful stain glass windows is the home of a subculture of biblically based Christians. This church family meets every Sunday like many churches who revere Sunday as being the Lord’s day, set aside for rest and worship of God. Biblically based Christianity is a vast culture of faith in God carried out by many subcultures called churches, made up of people who seek to worship God and to foster a personal relationship with him. One of the most important things that make a subculture is a question of what is it that brings these people together? This foundational question is not only the question of the subculture, but is also the defining
I had the privilege of interviewing Brian Bagwell for this project. He is, in my opinion, one of most humble, wisest man we have at Church of the Highlands. Once you get through a joke or two, the fruits of the spirit radiate from his personality. A man that I have the privilege to call my mentor and teacher. He is currently serving on staff at the Church of the Highlands as a Dream Team Coordinator. His shares the vision of the church which is passed down from our senior pastor, Chris Hodges. Evangelism is the definition of the church so to speak, Church of the Highlands stands behind the final authority of God’s word which is the bible. It is often said among the staff “we do not argue the essentials, but we can disagree the non essentials.” The church believes and acts in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, and helping people move through four steps our God has outlined in the Great Commission. Our Church exists to see people saved, delivered, redeemed, and fulfilled. This is accomplished with four systems that allow the people to move through the four steps. The first is weekend services to allow them to know God (saved), small groups to find freedom (delivered), growth track to discover purpose (redeemed), and dream team to be fulfilled and make a difference (fulfilled). This vision is how the church evangelizes (Bagwell). This vision is clear to all members of the church who call Church of the Highlands home, and even clear to people
Galindo analyzes that the fundamental “mission” of a congregation is the same as any other congregation that exists in any part of the world. He argues that though every congregation has a mission and a vision, at the same time, it shares a basic common mission. (43) This reminds me of my home church The First Church of Evanston and my Field Site, The Evanston Vineyard Church. Both churches have a common mission of welcoming people to the church, irrespective of their ethnic, cultural, racial, and economic and, gender backgrounds. The mission is to help people be received in the house of God with due and deserved Christian love so that they feel loved and welcomed. Both these churches encourage church attendees to attend the service and receive the Eucharist.
A church whose pastor and others in leadership have failed to put in place a proactive plan for discipleship for Believers is usually a “growing” church — growing stagnant, growing cold, growing spiritually immature Christians, and eventually, many growing closed. Patte said, “There is much at stake in accepting or rejecting the challenge of discipleship…” When a pastor or a church makes a conscious decision to make discipleship of Believers a primary focus in their
Years later in this process of growth, I was blessed with a summer internship at a larger congregation in Dallas, Texas. Although I grew from my relationships and from the mentorship I received, I also observed that the bulk of the ministry meetings focused on changing and adapting our church’s corporate worship to be more and more “seeker sensitive.” The thought was that corporate worship was something malleable that could be altered into something more like the culture of the surrounding neighborhood, so people would want to come. “After all,” so the thinking went, “scripture provided only a rough guideline as to what the church is to do when coming together and there is little-to-no reason to keep intact what past generations did or passed down.” In essence, we sought to form our corporate worship for the purpose of evangelism. I believed that the important thing to focus on is love of God, love of neighbor, and piety. Something in the line of reasoning that insisted on changing the community worship ritual to reflect the world didn’t feel right to me, yet I could not articulate what it was. Several months later I visited an Eastern Orthodox Church as part of a course on Christian spiritual development and after a didactic
In his highly influential book, The Forgotten Ways1, Hirsch maintains that every Christian has within them Apostolic Genius that needs to be awakened – the ability to be a part of transforming society through an organic missional lifestyle. This awakening is deemed to be critical since
In downtown Roanoke, on Church Avenue, an old church building still stands, having been erected over one hundred years earlier. For the same period of time, it has been occupied by a congregation, whose denominational origins lead back to a rural part of Kentucky in what was called the Restoration Movement, initiated by reformers who yearned for a primitive, apostolic form of Christianity, with “no creed but Christ.” Although “backcountry” in the denomination’s heritage, this particular congregation began in a boomtown. While striving to become a “first century” church, reminiscent of the apostles’ ministries and the church life from
“The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church” by Dr. Ron Rosenbladt is a presentation that focuses on those who have left the church behind and no longer associate themselves with it. He categorizes those who have left into two sections: “sad” alumni and “mad” alumni. Sad alumni are those people who really wanted to believe but never could really get it right, while mad alumni are those who were “conned” by the church into giving themselves over to Christ and trying to believe and then when things didn’t quite work out, they were tossed away. This presentation focuses on how to bring people like this back to the faith, both the sad and mad alumni.
Pastored in 1952 by Alice Lavern Riles, known as Mother Sheppard, The Church of Columbus remains today within the city of Columbus, Georgia. From a tiny building on 49th Street, to the over a million-dollar facility today, The Church of Columbus has gone through its share of change. Growing up, the church was called the First United Pentecostal Church, but once the church moved locations, Pastor renamed it The Church of Columbus. Located on 2001 Double Churches Road, there lies my second home, with its grand 36,000 square feet structure. Growing up, I was always at the church, whether it was for practice, or just to play sports such as volleyball and football with my lifelong friends that I had made throughout my attendance at the church. According the church’s website, “the church has grown from a Sunday morning attendance of sixty-one in 1985, to a consistent attendance of over 400 in 2013” (The Church of Columbus). The church’s motto is “Loving all to Christ”. The motto refers to the church’s ultimate goal of reaching the 290,000 souls of the Columbus, Phenix City, Fort Benning area (The Church of Columbus). A church member, Lisa Gail Stringer-Johnson described the church; “The first thing you feel when you walk through the doors is an outpouring of Love and God’s presence.” I am extremely grateful that I have such a tremendous place to call my second home.
There are many challenges to ministry in today’s world and having a vital and relevant ministry is even harder. Churches across all denominations face drastic declines in both attendees and financial giving. With this as the background, it is imperative that vital ministries seek out opportunities to grow and engage groups and communities that have previously been overlooked, missed or not involved for other reasons including some theological reasons. With this idea and goal in mind, this essay sets out to examine and design a process by which the Churches of Cherokee, Oklahoma can successfully connect with and minster to the new Hispanic community in Cherokee. Using the pastoral cycle method, a process will be designed in this essay to
May 1, 2016, the Mt. Olive Baptist Church, located in Greenwood (S.C.) County will celebrate its 142nd church anniversary. Many years Mt. Olive have been a church that loved people, gave without limits and took great care of its members. The last five of those one hundred and forty-two years, I have been honored to serve as pastor of this great church. Although this is a great church, Mt. Olive and many churches like it are plagued with a disease that has slowly, but surely, causing the church to drift further away from God and fall deeper into the ways of the world. This epidemic is known as “tradition”. Churches that are bound by tradition and not led by the Holy Spirit will find themselves missing the mark of what God has called us to do. The bible is filled with instructions for the church, but as Christians and Disciples of Christ, Matthew 28 is the foundation upon which we should be operating on in the church as well as in our lives. The Great Commission challenges us to “go, teach and preach to all nations.” Traditional churches will allow church tradition to dictate biblical doctrine. It will allow the church to argue about who’s right instead of what’s right. Sadly, church success has been based on structure and finances rather than saving lost souls.
The book renewed hope and excitement for a pastor coming to the end of transitioning a local church from one chapter into a new one. This hope is not because the process is almost complete, but because of MacDonald’s focus on people being greater than the process. This reviewer was renewed in his heart for the real people he is pastoring. Those that are still on the team and in the family have weathered the storm as well, and are ready to be lead to wherever God might take
The mission of Heartland Family Service (HFS) is to strengthen individuals and families in our community through education, counseling, and support services.
The Hybrid church structure is a hands-on guide that allows the intimacy of small “house church” and the impact of a megachurch to combine the best features of both. Dave Browning who wrote the book on the Hybrid Church, articulates that this church movement has a synergy. The proposition is “buy two, get one free”, which means bringing intimacy and impact strong components together to create a third component that makes the ministry both personal and powerful. The merging of the two together, Browning believes it could change the world. The challenge that Browning shared is getting every ministry to think larger and smaller simultaneously. The small ministry advantage is harnessing the power of prayer and being Christ-centered. The large ministry advantage is the power
Furthermore, it is vitally crucial for the church leadership to clearly articulate its missional vision, which is to be embraced by the rest of the church’s community. The process of spiritual transformation starts from the invitation and continues through engagement and discipleship. This transformational process embodies the missional vision and the language for 'right now ' and 'here '. Surely, the church’s vision ought to be aligned with the missional attributes of the gospel itself, which are 'the good news is for everyone ' and 'belonging before believing '. Our witness should take place amidst relationship and listening. One principle that I consider to be exceptionally useful in my community is St. Patrick’s idea of Celtic Evangelism: establish community, engage in conversation, and invite commitment (2009, 101).