Today is a wonderful day, I am caught up in a combination of great joy, awe and excitement. I have recently received some incredible news and I’m finally able to share it publicly. The Episcopal Church Foundation, leaders in developing transformative ministry, have awarded me a fellowship to work alongside other leaders in the church to identify and unite transformational ministries for the purpose of building a more “effective” church.
I put effective in quotes because one might ask: how do you define “effective” church? I am defining it as the following. (1) Individuals have encounters of God that redefine how they understand themselves/see their role in the world (2) Transformed individuals work alongside their community to build a just world that reflect’s Christ’s values.
My work will include developing ministries that are focused on individual and community change and identifying and promoting the practices of Christian community that enable these kinds of change to happen.
This interest arose during of my time at Tatua where I noticed that a key component in a leader’s ability to profoundly change the external world was the personal realization that they were the beloved, treasured and powerful in God. Conversely, it was that external work of reconciliation that furthered an individuals transformation and compelled them to more deeply connect to their faith practice. I began to ask, exactly what are we doing that leads to this change and what is it about our community that enables this change to happen?
As I am definitely not the only person asking these questions my work will not be about promoting my ideas but working with other leaders in the church to collectively define practices of transformative communities/ministries that can be applied in a wide range of settings. Following this I plan to partner with a number of Dioceses to launch Diocesan wide efforts to interweave the transformative mission practices through their ministry/programs and worshiping communities, hopefully resulting in a collective action-based movement to build an effective church that better meets the needs of the world.
I cannot underscore enough that I am not suggesting that this work is going to be ‘the answer’ but rather that my presence will highlight the many different incarnations we are seeing of Christ ‘s transformative power in the church and unite them together to tell a story of what it means to be Christ in this world today. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity, it is what I want my life to be about and I ask for prayers prayers and more prayers as I begin.