The 1001 Story
A missional vision that transforms the church.
This movement will help our denomination make the shift from an inward- focused, membership-maintenance model of church to a more outward, creative, and disciple-making model of church. The question must change from “How do we do church better?” to “How we can be church in a new way?” In order to reconnect with the missional DNA already present in our churches, we must make the “proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind” a priority for each member of our congregations. This proclamation in word and deed must start with disciples who have a vibrant faith going out to share their faith with friends, neighbors, and their communities. In order for us to live into this missional ecclesiology, existing congregations must catch the vision to plant new worshiping communities.
As our mid councils work toward this vision of starting 1,001 new worshiping communities, the main thrust must come from local congregations. Our denomination has often focused on the tensions and conflicts that tear us apart rather than casting a vision that unites us in Christ. 1001 inspires us to recapture a ministry methodology that once was part of the church-planting fabric of the Presbyterian church. We need a vision beyond ourselves that deeply resonates with what God is already doing in the larger church—namely, creating communities of faith outside our standard models of church planting. This goal is not about institutional survival but brings us back to the core of what the church is called to be and do. Why should we encourage this movement?
- First, the health of our congregations will improve as they recover their missional DNA.
- Second, this new approach will allow our church to be more responsive to Christ’s call to make disciples.
- Third, neighborhoods and communities will benefit as our people work within them as the hands and feet of Jesus.
- Fourth, lives will be transformed by the grace of God as we become a vibrant denomination again.