(In the coming weeks we will be making a small change to the format of this blog so it will be easier to sort posts as primarily focused upon Inspiration or Church Leadership. This post is primarily a Leadership blog – although of course there must always be some inspiration involved. 🙂 Do check out the videos! )
In times of rapid and profound change we become desperate for any guideposts toward a reliable future. At best – or is it worst? – we covet a recipe.
The reality of post-modern times however is that there is no one prescription or model for the ideal congregation. Congregations and their leaders are working it out one situation at a time.
During such times it becomes increasingly important to watch what others are doing. Not because we will then be able to duplicate their efforts but so that we may learn what attitudes and practices emerged from their struggles and success. What did they need to learn? What practices sustained them? How do they measure success? What kind of outside help did they seek and where did they find that assistance?
To my mind, Fairfield United Church in Victoria, is one congregation struggling mightily to engage a profoundly different context than the one in which the church was birthed over 100 years ago. Their efforts to be the church in the Fairfield community, given an aging infrastructure, requires them to redevelop at almost every level. Worship, ministry with children, community engagement, communication strategies and property are all “on the table” as the congregation seeks its a new viable and effective ministry.
So there is much to learn from the ministry of their two paid leaders, Gail Miller and Beth Walker.
If you want to look through the knothole at the efforts of Fairfield to redevelop, in every sense of the word, their ministry, check out the videos at http://leadershiftbcc.ca/place-and-practice.