Welcome to the office of Vital Congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Vital Congregations works with pastors, church committees and middle governing bodies to provide training, materials and consultation for all worshiping communities and in planting new congregations.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? —Isaiah 43:19
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? —1 Corinthians 3:16
See, the home of God is among mortals…See, I am making all things new. —Revelation 21: 3,5
By the power of the Holy Spirit, and in authentic relationships with mid councils, we seek to equip, nurture and support church leaders to empower their congregations to renew, recover and live more fully into faithful discipleship to Jesus Christ.
The purpose of the Vital Congregations Initiative is to work alongside leaders of existing congregations continually assessing, discerning and living into faithful actions that increase vitality through intentional spiritual practices that take them deeper into following Jesus Christ, so that their own lives are changed, congregations are transformed, and the mission of God spreads throughout particular communities and the world.
The office of Vital Congregations invites presbyteries to join together in covenant relationship to God and each other, as we seek the Spirit’s revitalizing power for a vital life together, through a two-year Revitalization Initiative -which is a covenant relationship between presbyteries and the PC(USA) to prayerfully walk with pastors and existing congregations in intentional efforts of revitalization.
The focus of year one is on building authentic relationships of faith. As churches embark on an honest assessment, capturing their unique stories, confessing their realities and discerning the Spirit’s call, they will determine a course of actions – between 3-actions:
- Reforming Churches: re-envision and change how we are church together through the 7-marks of congregational vitality,
- Missional Cluster Churches: revitalize clustering congregations into new communities of worship and ministry.
- Death and Resurrection: revitalize by grace and gratitude in the death and legacy of a congregation, in witness to the resurrection.
Year two is about joining faithfully living into the change that the chosen course of action brings – allowing the wonder of God to transform, choosing to join Christ in the new thing taking place.
Through the 7-marks of congregational vitality and the 3-courses of action, we pray God will revitalize the church in missional action and faithful disciples in Jesus Christ throughout our neighborhoods, our nation and the world.