Scottsboro Cumberland Presbyterian Church (SCPC) is a midsized congregation in rural Alabama that has developed OptIN, a program that guides congregants in reshaping their story, schedules, and skills toward God and so uncovering God’s constant presence in the ordinary of day-to-day life. This 10-month, multigenerational curriculum has deepened congregants’ understanding of their context, developed individual and corporate clarity on values and missions, and assisted in developing practices to embody this clarity. From its inception, OptIN was developed with an eye to SCPC’s secondary mission, “To be a church for the least, the last, and the lost.” This entails supporting other congregations that aren’t experiencing the same stability or renewal. Through the OptIN: Congregational Renewal Initiative, SCPC seeks to learn what systems, schedules, and skills have largest impact on the day-to-day Christian flourishing of Cumberland Presbyterian (CP) congregations. Using a learning community of leaders from 12 CP congregations, the initiative will refine SCPC’s existing OptIN resource to be a “jig” (a tool built to reduce the mental load in performing repetitious tasks) that can be implemented by other churches, even under supported and understaffed ones. OptIN seeks to reinvigorate the most basic unit of the congregation -- individual congregants and their family units. Through a cycle of experimentation and adaptation in our learning community, OptIN: Congregational Renewal will identify what daily life changes can be made with the greatest impact on flourishing and rebuild the OptIN curriculum to incorporate these learnings.
OptIN: Congregational Renewal