In many ways, thriving congregations are similar to thriving trees. A thriving congregation is clear about the strength of its roots, recognizes the need for flexibility in dealing with winds that blow, and produces foliage and fruit that is authentic to its identity. In today's world, however, the ability for congregations to thrive in this manner can be hindered. In a macro context that includes both increasing polarization and increased diversity, the Christian Reformed Church in North America hears a call to re-engage church members, leaders, and neighborhoods in the sturdiest and most generous themes of their Reformed theology and practice, especially their capacity to embrace polarities. In particular, the Christian Reformed Church believes that hospitality is a theological thread that weaves the entire Scripture together and provides impetus for the specific purpose of this project: to have Christian Reformed congregations embody a hospitableness that heals, deepens a sense of belonging to each other, strengthens their discipleship, and affords an openness to engaging with all others. Through two initiatives, Thriving Essentials and Thriving Practices, congregations will renew their sense of identity, deepen their awareness of neighborhood contexts, and explore locally specific dimensions of hospitality-renewing and creating practices that allow for both giving and receiving (which, in turn, further refreshes their identity and purpose).
Thrive (Thriving Essentials and Thriving Practices)
Grand Rapids, MI