By Rev. Eyde Mabanglo, North Point Church Parish Associate
"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood." -John 1:14, The Message
About twenty years ago, a pastor friend of mine left his preaching position in order to open a small chain of coffee shops on the Kitsap Peninsula. He said that he had more meaningful conversations with people about spiritual matters in his coffee shops than he ever did as a pastor in a church. Just a few years ago, another pastor friend of mine did the same thing; several Bible study groups now make his coffee shop their weekly home. He just opened his second coffee shop (“The Global Bean”) in the new, neighborhood YMCA. These pastors both left the pulpit, but they didn’t leave their call or their passion there.
How about you? Are you a pastor with a call and a passion to initiate a missional community in our Presbytery? We want to help…
In 2000, Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church’s session worked with the Seattle Presbytery to create a satellite campus in Poulsbo, a 15-minute drive from the CKPC ‘main campus’. This missional community (granted we didn’t call it that back then) based its approach on focusing on the neighbors—their life’s dreams, family needs, real fears, and spiritual questions. We learned to listen…to the neighborhood. “North Point” eventually walked through the New Church Development (NCD) process and chartered in 2005. We began worshipping in our new sanctuary this summer which is located within a rural block of the neighborhood’s elementary school, junior high, and high school.
How about you? Is your session prayerfully considering a missional community within or beyond your local congregation? We want to help…
The Catalyzing Missional Communities Committee (CMC) can help to guide, resource, and encourage many different kinds of initiatives. Some of those exciting developments involve ethnic groups becoming better grounded in their neighborhoods with welcomed attention to language barriers, family traditions, and worship practices. Some of these fellowships are strategically made up of mixed cultures as well.
How about you? Do you or your church see a multi-cultural opportunity in your neighborhood? We want to help...
Rev. Craig Williamson, the associate for the western office of PC(USA)’s church development, challenged the CMC to consider “neighborhood exegesis.” More and more church leaders are successfully engaging in neighborhood exegesis and watching for God’s movement in their communities. This situational awareness, humility, and adaptability are important tools in the missional leader’s tool belt. Twelve delegates from our Presbytery attended the NCD conference in Florida and received more practical tools to help us move forward in ministry at all levels here in Seattle. For example, in Detroit, a Presbytery is strategizing with local congregations to merge two churches in order to be one stronger missional presence in their community.
How about you? Do you have a missional story or strategy that you’d like to share with your fellow presbyters? We want to hear it!
To share or ask questions, please contact the Catalyzing Missional Communities Committee by: