Prepare your community to thrive in our changing world!
A New Church For A New World – Live Course
The COVID-19 pandemic of the last year and a half has already changed our world in significant ways. Many of these changes are still to be identified and it will take years for us to fully understand all that has shifted in our society, our relationships, our work routines, and our own psychology. As a species, human beings have been connected in a universal experience as never before—although we have responded in a variety of ways. The online or ‘virtual’ world has become more deeply integrated into our in-person or ‘real’ world. As one commentator put it, ‘screens have won.’
The impact of these changes is unfolding before our eyes, and as churches, we do not have the luxury of waiting to see what emerges before we change. Unless we begin to act now we may well find that we’ve been left behind by the time the new world becomes clear. The great challenge is that we do not yet know for certain what the nature of our new world will be. We can begin to speculate based on the data that we have available but there is nothing that can give us absolute certainty about what the future holds.
What we need now, perhaps more than ever, is the capacity to collate information and trends from a wide variety of disciplines and areas of our lives. We need to develop highly flexible strategies for entering, assessing, and changing course as we navigate our changing world. And we need to recognise that disturbing trends in the decline of the church can no longer be ignored. COVID has accelerated the decline dramatically.
As frightening and troubling as all this is, there is also hope. The pandemic is not just a crisis. It is also, potentially, a kairos for the global Church—an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, reignite our passion for ministry, and reconnect with the society and people around us.
It is with this challenge in mind that I have developed this A New Church for a New World course. In these six sessions, you will be inspired, challenged, and equipped to reimagine your life as a Christian community. You will be empowered to expand your ministry to reach and become relevant again to people who are trying to make sense of the world and their place in it. And you will discover new ways of being Church that, I hope, will excite you and unleash your creativity.
Welcome to a new world! Let’s explore it and learn to serve it together!
Sessions will run via Zoom on Wednesday nights from 6 October – 10 November 2021 at:
- 21h00 (9:00pm) South African Standard Time
- 14h00 (2:00pm) Central Daylight Time (USA)
- 20h00 (8:00pm) British Summer Time (UK)
- 07h00 (7:00am) New Zealand Standard Time
- 05h00 (5:00am) Australian Eastern Standard Time
Book one Zoom place and let your whole team gather around the screen – you only pay once.
NOTE: THIS IS A LIVE COURSE RUN ON ZOOM OVER 6 WEEKS.
AFTER PAYMENT YOU WILL RECEIVE A PDF OF THE COURSE OUTLINE, SESSION DETAILS, AND PREPARATORY EXERCISES.
Here’s what the A NEW CHURCH FOR A NEW WORLD COURSE has in store for you!
In the six sessions of the A New Church For A New World course, you will be exploring almost every aspect of your community’s life. You will be able to identify how the changes in the world are impacting your community. And you will be given the tools to imagine a new way of expressing your community’s core values, priorities, and purposes.
The six sessions will be shaped around the following six themes:
SESSION ONE: Coming to Grips With the New World
The pandemic has been far more than a global health crisis. As devastating as the disease has been, it has shifted our world in multiple ways—and many of those ways have impacted faith communities profoundly, for better or worse. But we also need to be aware that pandemic has affected every town, province and country differently, which adds another layer of complexity for us to navigate.
In order to build a strategy for navigating this new world, we first need to grasp the changes that have happened and how they affect us. Then we need to work through false hopes, unlikely predictions, and our own fears so that we can discern more carefully what is required. Finally, we need to embrace the paradigm shifts and new ways of being that will be needed to thrive in the future.
This session is designed to provide exactly these insights. But it will also help you to observe your own community and country more carefully, think more critically, and dream more creatively as you work with your team to discern what is needed in your specific situation.
SESSION TWO: A New Worshipping Community
In the last 18 months, most churches have found ways to move their worship online. But for most of us, that move has been shaped and defined by how we used to do worship before lockdowns happened. We haven’t known how to reimagine worship for the online space.
In this session, we will explore principles and best practices for online worship, offering strategies for any budget (including none). We will also explore the challenges and benefits of developing an intentional, creative online worship strategy and how to ensure your ministry remains sustainable for the long haul. We will also explore how online worship could potentially be affecting what people expect and need from in-person worship.
You will come out of this session with your own tailor-made worship strategy that will guide you for both online and in-person worship services.
SESSION THREE: A New Caring Community
For decades—if not centuries—the pastor has been the centre of the Church community, and the primary caregiver to the congregation. But in recent times, clergy burnout has become a growing and disturbing trend. Few congregations function as true communities and few church leaders know how to move their churches toward a deeper sense of true community.
In this session, we will explore the purposes and characteristics of authentic community and how to nurture those qualities in your own church. We will also explore new ways of caring for a faith community and ensuring that members can find the support and help they need in their times of crisis.
After this session, you will have a clear, actionable strategy for deepening the community life of your church and providing healthy pastoral care.
SESSION FOUR: A New Growing Community
Most pastors know that they are not the only voice shaping the faith and discipleship of their community. But few pastors know how to help their people engage with different faith perspectives and theological approaches in healthy and meaningful ways. Most discipleship programs have little impact on the real lives of people. And most teaching courses are designed around the sharing of information rather than leading people through an authentic process of transformation.
In this session, we will explore what disciple is and how life change actually happens. We will also come to grips with how the new, online world is informing and shaping the faith of our communities. We will then explore how to develop meaningful processes of discipleship, teaching, and transformation both online and offline.
By the end of this session, you will have a clear strategy for the future of your teaching and discipleship ministry. And you will be inspired to empower your people to grow in healthy and life-giving ways.
SESSION FIVE: A New Serving Community
In many church communities, mission, outreach, and serving our neighbourhood have been done through programs, mission trips, evangelical crusades, and specific people who are set aside to do the work of service on behalf I the church. This strategy has become increasingly unsustainable and ineffective. And it leaves most people feeling that they are not ‘called’ or ‘gifted’ for service.
In this session, we will reimagine what it means to be a serving church and how to draw the entire congregation into the serving ministries of your community. We will explore new ways of thinking about mission, evangelism, and outreach, and we will help you to discern what priorities your community should embrace as you reach out to your neighbourhood.
In this session, you will create your own practical strategy for developing a truly serving community in your church.
SESSION SIX: A New Way of Sustaining Community
The majority of churches in our world today struggle to sustain themselves financially, structurally, and meaningfully. Church too easily and too often becomes a routine of going through motions and fighting to survive. Traditional ways of funding ministry are not working as they once did and are inadequate for the needs of most communities. And the systems and structures of many communities are outdated and unable to support the complexity of the work.
In this final session, we will explore innovative ways to fund ministry. And we will examine various technologies and platforms to streamline systems and structures. We will also review the entire course and ensure that all the action steps you have developed for your community are remembered and able to be put in motion immediately.
After this session, you will have a clear understanding of the challenges facing your community, a clear grasp of the paradigm shifts you need to make, and a set of clear strategies to begin navigating our new, unpredictable world with confidence.