The second recommendation that was unanimously adopted at our recent Voters’ meeting was: “Adopt an ‘outward-focus’ mission and ministry that is committed to reaching the lost with the Gospel by engaging in meaningful relationships with the surrounding community.”

This particular recommendation came about from the lengthy study and discussions we had this summer about “BE the Church.” Looking at Acts and going through the “iNeighborhood” process, we identified the need to become more active in terms of our outreach endeavors. Historically, we have:

  • Depended on military and job re-locations as the source of new membership.
  • Passively supported the work of our parachurch partners (i.e., THRIVE, PORT, PRM, Care-Net) with checks and prayers and nothing else.

This recommendation calls for Resurrection and its membership to actively pursue new relationships through neighbors and friends.

  • Develop “neighborhood” missionaries
  • B*L*E*S*S our neighbors (Bond – Learn – Engage – Serve – Share)
  • Connect with the people of our community

We have already begun taking steps in this direction through:

  • Hosting a “Community Cook-Out”
  • Hosting our upcoming “Trunk-or-Treat” tomorrow
  • Hosting a “Christmas Carol Fest” on the Sunday before Christmas
  • Use of mass-mailers and media to connect with our community

Becoming “outward-focus” is as much about attitudes as it is about the actions we take as a congregation toward the people of our community. Through the storytelling exercise (Listening Post #2) we heard people describe their spiritual journeys. One of the things researchers have discovered is that people in declining churches tell a vastly different story about their relationships to the church than people in thriving congregations. The things on the left are the things that in time have to be dropped for a transformation toward thriving is complete.


Committed to the church                                        Committed to Christ

Managing committees                                             Deploying missionaries

Holding offices                                                         Doing hands-on ministry

Making decisions                                                     Making disciples

Serving at the church                                              Serving in the world

Preoccupied with raising money                           Preoccupied with rescuing people

Doing church work                                                  Finding personal fulfillment

Retiring from church work                                      Pursuing constant personal growth

Surveying internal needs                                       Sensitized to community needs

Eager to know everyone                                         Eager for everyone to know God

Loyal to each other                                                  Drawn to the unchurched

Trained for membership                                         Life long quest for personal growth

Building faith on information                                  Building faith on experiencing Christ

Perpetuating a heritage                                          Visioning a future

Moving forward as a congregation, Resurrection will need to prayerfully and carefully think through this transformation from being “ego” (me/church centered) to “iGo” (other/community centered). We will deal with these concepts in the weeks and months ahead of us.