Join us for this final post in our series on the healthy missional markers of the congregational vitality process.
Our Congregational Vitality (CV) journey began by using a resource provided by our denomination and Northwest Conference called “Pathway to Vitality.” Using Scriptural truths with missional markers drawn from them, 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 we have focused 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!
Culture of Godly Leadership
- Our leaders at all levels serve with character, competence, and conviction.
- A spirit of collegiality pervades, with our people trusting our leaders and our leaders trusting our people.
- We continually identify and train godly leaders for all dimensions of our ministry.
"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7
Fruitful Organizational Structures
- We can articulate a compelling, Christ-honoring vision for our church.
- We embrace evaluation as normal and natural and work through conflict constructively.
- Our organizational structures are designed to support efficient decision-making while at the same time building congregational ownership for those decisions.
"The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.” Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves." Exodus 18:13-26
"In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith." Acts 6:1-7
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.
Learn more about each of the 10 Healthy Missional Markers here.