The Congregational Development Office offers you support, resources, and ideas to help you build and sustain healthy, vital parishes.
In our Ministry Action Plan (MAP), we tell each other that we need parishes capable of creating and crossing bridges between our communities of faith and the communities we are called to serve. A healthy, vital church does just this by taking their part in God`s mission for the world: serving, praying and growing.
Marketing Our Church
In March 2011, Dr Hugh Phillips led us in a 3–session course on how to market our parishes within our communities. Dr Phillips, who, as well as being People’s Warden of St Mark’s Longueuil, is also an internationally recognised expert in consumer behaviour and former professor at McGill. He is a well-known speaker at international marketing conferences, and his client list includes Procter & Gamble, Rona, Cadbury, Petro-Canada, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and many other blue chip companies. He has advised governments, written articles and books, plus appeared as an expert witness in the US Federal Courts.
First session handout
Second session handout
Third session handout
Mutual Ministry Review
Mutual Ministry Review (MMR) can help support your parish build effective ministries by encouraging collaborative leadership and healthy relationships between priest and people. Through MMR you can articulate mutual expectations and set goals and a work plan for ministry. The process helps you celebrate your parish’s strengths and identify and work on the problems.
The process was open and frank, yet allowed for individual input without feeling this was just another study. Materials were written in such a way that input was encouraged, not only from our parish, but knowing these exercises are intended to help others going through the same program. People helping people.
Find the resource here
Natural Church Development
Natural Church Development (NCD) is a process for building healthy, growing churches. Based on extensive research from churches in Canada and around the world, it can give you an assessment of your church`s health and a plan for healthy growth based on the 8 quality characteristics that all healthy growing churches have.
Natural Church Development (NCD) is a paradigm — a way of thinking about church growth. Growth should be about quality (health) and not just quantity (numbers). In fact NCD suggests that quality should take priority over quantity in church growth thinking.
At the heart of the paradigm is the Scriptural picture of the church as a living organism, not just an organization (albeit a spiritual one). Looking at the church "organically" gives us a different per-spective on what "growth" means. The growth of organisms focuses on their health, their capacity to reproduce, and how the individual 'body' parts interact. They are grown, not built. They are nurtured, not assembled.
The NCD paradigm says that if church growth is about growing an organism, the health (quality) of the organism will have a direct impact on its size (quantity). If a church becomes increasingly healthy over time, it is more likely and better able to reproduce disciples, ministries and eventually itself.
How many times have church leaders counted the numbers of people in Sunday services but really have no true sense whether the members of the church community are growing to greater spiritual maturity and contributing all they can to God‟s work? Is size really a true measure of health?
The NCD paradigm helps you think about growing your church as a healthy living organism.
For more information, please visit ncdcanada.com
Back to Church Sunday
Back to Church Sunday is a simple initiative based on a simple idea — invite a friend to come to something you love — your church. Every year, for one Sunday in September, thousands of people from churches around the world invite someone to come with them to their church.
Here’s a resource to help you prepare for Back to Church Sunday in your parish
Preparing for Back to Church Sunday
For more information, please visit backtochurch.co.uk
God has given each one of us talents and abilities for ministry. Find out more about what yours are — on your own or as part of a team in your church. Knowing, and being known for, our real gifts can be invigorating for ourselves and for our parish’s ministry.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church has a self assessment inventory that you can get online here or through the Congregational Development Office.
The Three Colours of Ministry from the Natural Church Development programme is unusual in that it includes questionnaires for both you and two other people who know you well. The scored questionnaires give you information about both your “manifest gifts” and “latent gifts.” Outside facilitation is recommended for discerning individual gifts within the context of congregations.
There is an offline Spiritual Gifts Discernment process available from the Episcopal Church here
Congregational Study (Boken Report)