I was just invited to our district office for a special presentation "to be part of a process that can help instill new excitement and confidence in reaching to the community to make disciples." The presenter is an LCMS pastor who will be presenting a "hinge event" to teach us how to "start a new life cycle" for our congregations "opening the door to [our] community, releasing the creative genius of God’s people, discovering the 8 hinge factors for revitalization."
The presenter holds a D.Min. from Fuller and is the executive director of an RSO. He is also on staff at an LCMS congregation, as "Revitalization Pastor" and pastor of "Small Groups and Discipleship" of his congregation. His congregation runs a spin-off church (more accurately, a "partner church") as part of their vision. The spin-off church offers this rubrical explanation of their Sunday Gottesdienst (called the Sunday Gathering).:
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
Nothing too fancy - our Sunday Gathering isn't a production, but we want to tell you what you'll step into:
Usually we drink coffee/tea and eat donuts and talk for a while, then around 10 AM we stand and sing a few songs, try to concentrate more on God, pray, take an offering, dismiss 3-year olds through third graders to KidsChurch... listen and interact with a teaching for about 40 minutes, maybe sing another song, then back to consuming what's left of the donuts/coffee/tea while finishing up paused conversations and starting new ones.
On the fourth Sunday of the month we celebrate Holy Communion. When there are five Sundays in the month we don't do Gathering here at all - we're out in the city doing various projects in what we call Restore Weekend.
Sunday Gathering is only one-third of what we do: the other two-thirds are spent in the community serving various non-profits in their (and our) quest to be good news, and hanging around with new and old friends processing God and Life.
love God. love neighbor. serve city.
Welcome to the tribe.