Our Congregational Vitality (CV) journey began by using a resource provided by our denomination and Northwest Conference called “Pathway to Vitality.” Using Scriptural truths and missional markers we assessed our vitality as a stable church with a desire to become a healthy missional church.
In response to this mission and our journey on the Vitality Pathway, we are making time to explore into what the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) calls the 10 Healthy Missional Markers to help create space to talk about what a healthy missional church looks like.
Each week, for the next five weeks, we will focus on two of the 10 Healthy Missional Markers (in no particular order).
First Covenant Church of River Falls' mission has been written, “On the Journey: Sharing Christ, Growing Together". And these markers express this call.
So why are the markers important?
Here is what the ECC's website says:
"It is hard to measure spirituality. Some say it is even unwise to do so. Yet when we look at the New Testament, the disciples are coaching churches forward. They are using a frame of reference of what a vital congregation looks like. Jesus himself is speaking to the churches in Revelation (chapters 2 and 3) about their own strengths and weaknesses.
One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to guide churches into telling the truth about themselves, not just telling the truth about Jesus. In the Bible, evaluation is normal and natural. Although there is no perfect list that describes a healthy missional church, we in the Covenant are using the ten healthy missional markers. By “healthy” we mean pursuing Christ. By “missional” we mean pursuing Christ’s priorities in the world.
It is our fervent prayer that every Covenant church becomes a healthy missional church. These markers help us to listen to the Holy Spirit…so that our ears are open to what Jesus is saying to each church....."
Let's explore two of those now!
- We exalt and celebrate God for who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.
- Worship reflects careful preparation to help give voice to many dimensions of response to God such as adoration, praise, contrition, lament, and commitment.
- People leave worship knowing something more about the heart of God and about their own hearts.
"I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart." Psalm 138:1a
"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." John 4:23
Sacrificial and Generous Living and Giving
- We help people discover, develop, and deploy their spiritual gifts.
- We regularly, graciously, and unapologetically teach the importance of financial stewardship in the spiritual growth of the Christian.
- We have many examples of lifestyle choices being made on the basis of stewardship and the priority God plays in the lives of our members.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:1-8
How do these two Markers speak to you? How is God positioning you to have a responsive heart to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to First Covenant Church?
Please pray through the 10 Healthy Missional Markers using this helpful link here.
Next week, we will highlight the following Markers:
- Culture of Godly Leadership (Hebrews 13:7)
- Fruitful Organizational Structures (Acts 6:1-7; Exodus 18:13-26)
Learn more about each of the 10 Healthy Missional Markers here.