Congregational Vitality Pathway

RCA Farwest Region

10. Friutful organizational structures

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Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. – Acts 6:1-7
— – Acts 6:1-7

We can articulate a compelling, Christ-honoring vision for our church. We embrace evaluation as normal and natural and work through conflict constructively. Our organizational structures are designed to be efficient at making decisions while at the same time building congregational ownership for those decisions.

RCA Resources

RCA Transformed and Transforming Initiatives 

Emerging Leader Processes  We will develop and implement a clear and effective leadership mobilization strategy that will engage the next generation by identifying RCA congregations that are effectively developing emerging leaders and partnering with them to create processes that can be replicated to help more churches develop and mobilize young, emerging, and current leaders. emerging@rca.org

Thriving Leaders, Thriving Churches  Leadership teams of RCA congregations will be supported in ongoing spiritual transformation. This, in turn, will cause the congregation to grow in all four dimensions of the love of God: depth (spiritual transformation), height (numerical growth), width (increasing missional impact), and length (long-term endurance and sustainability). thriving@rca.org

Evangelical Covenant Resources

Sermons

Ministries

Books

  • Direct Hit: Aiming Real Leaders at the Mission Field, by Paul Borden (Abingdon, 2006) A new pastor sees himself or herself as a leader who anticipates a better for the congregation. However, the congregation tends to perceive the new pastor as someone who ministers to their needs and fulfills a chaplain-type role. The pastor must therefore lead the congregation through systemic change if new life is to be brought into the culture of the congregation. Three teams must be created: TEAM ONE is the prayer team that prays regularly for change and reproduction. TEAM TWO is the dream team that helps the pastor communicate urgency. TEAM THREE consists of leaders who recruit and train other leaders who are committed to urgent change. (Paul Borden is author of Hit the Bullseye.)
  • Winning On Purpose, Kasier Abingdon Press (March 1, 2006) Winning on Purpose offers leaders a way to organize congregations for success by creating structures that enable church life and health. As a comprehensive and powerful application of the biblical call to mission, Winning on Purpose sets forth the Accountable Leadership strategy. This model of leadership brings together standards for mission, boundaries, and accountability, and then shows how these standards come to life through the performance of four key players: the board, the pastor, the staff, and the congregation.
  • Leading Change in the Congregation: Spiritual & Organizational Tools for Leaders, by Gilbert R. Rendle (Alban Institute, 1997) Excellent insights for planning strategies to help congregations into and through change. A great guide for dealing with the dynamics of change – spiritual, intellectual, and emotional.
  • Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples, by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger (Broadman and Holman, 2006) Based on case studies of four hundred American churches, authors Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger prove that the process for making disciples has quite often become too complex. Simple churches are thriving, and they are doing so by taking these four ideas to heart: Clarity. Movement. Alignment. Focus. 

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