The preparations for the most expected event organized this Fall by BIG Impact, the launching of the 4th course in the BIG5 series: Managing Church Growth, have reached their final stages.
Thus, a new meeting of the curriculum development team took place at the beginning of June, ensuring a consistent progress towards finalizing the conference manual.
This course will be launched through a conference, on October 26-29, 2011, at Excelsior Hotel in Brasov. Details about attendance, as well as the exact schedule for the conference, will be posted later on our web site.
BIG 5.4 is design to mobilize local churches towards fulfilling God’s purpose: an earth populated with sons and daughters of God. To often, mobilization towards discipleship as a lifestyle and sharing the leadership facilitate the fulfilling of the purpose at the cost of relationships. If every problem in the world is a relationships problem, managing church growth implies a biblical administration of relationships, in love and in truth.
The goal of the conference is to motivate, equip and develop the leadership teams of the attending churches, with the purpose of the biblical management of local church growth.
From the beginning, the Bible teaches us that God has a dream, for which he created the first family, chose Noah, Abraham, Moses and David and incarnated on earth in human form, in the person of Jesus Christ, a dream which we are also invited to dream and make it a reality in our churches… a dream which, according to the Revelation, will come true, regardless of whether we and our churches will dream it, make it our own and fulfill it. We will be part of this dream only as much as it will become a part of our lives and of our churches.
In the first lesson we are invited to develop a biblical theology for church growth. Studying the dynamics of the natural church development, in the second lesson we discover the stage our local church is at. The third lesson helps us grow, by identifying and implementing the necessary steps towards a functional growth. In the fourth and fifth lessons, we learn how to cultivate healthy relationships and communicate the truth in love.
The lessons will be taught through inductive and interactive methods, using small group debates and include a project to be implemented upon returning to the local church.
Each participant is invited to attend the conference together with the leadership team of the local church he or she serves in.
It should also be mentioned that, after pausing for one year, following the three courses of the BIG5 series: The Philosophy for Ministry, Team Leading and Teamwork and Discipleship as a Lifestyle, the churches involved with us in the study of these courses are invited to undergo a process of evaluation, that sets the foundation for the BIG5.4 course launched in the Fall: Managing Church Growth.
For this purpose, two tests are available. One of them is the NCD (Natural Church Development), a test that assesses eight church characteristics, identified by Christian Schwartz, in his study, as influencing church growth:
– Empowering leadership
– Gift-oriented ministry
– Passionate spirituality
– Functional structures
– Inspiring worship services
– Holistic small groups
– Need-oriented evangelism
– Love-based relationships
Schwartz suggests that there will be growth in the churches where these elements function within normal parameters. In the case of a decaying church, the cause could be the development level of a single factor, with a decisive influence on all the other factors. The factors must be defined as a whole, and, also, qualitatively, aware that their simple presence in the life and ministry of a church does not automatically ensure its growth.
The second test, Q BIG, is a tool which will help churches assess three of the practices transmitted in our equipping conferences, namely:
A. Purpose driven ministry – a ministry that consequently and intentionally pursues the fulfillment of a vision with clear and measurable objectives ensures the context in which the factors that determine church growth can function within normal parameters.
B. Discipleship as a lifestyle – the churches in which discipleship is seen as a lifestyle will permanently seek integrating all their activities in this discipleship context, knowing that the mere existence of small groups does not represent a guarantee that discipleship exists in that church. Small groups will be the framework through which people will be served and cared for, but they will also be helped to grow, so that they can serve others in turn.
C. Shared leadership – in a church that is genuinely concerned about its growth, decisions will be made and put into practice in the context of the team, the people in the church having the opportunity to discover their spiritual gifts and use them to serve the whole church.
After the churches will conclude their assessment, we will offer advice and counseling to their pastors, in four meetings taking place in different locations in the country.
We pray that God may help us complete the preparations for the beginning of this course, hoping that it will have an impact at least as positive as the previous courses in this series.