Northwest Conference Church Leader,
Welcome to the inaugural edition of our leadership newsletter. This newsletter will be an important tool that we will use to achieve our mutual mission of Vital Churches, Planting Churches, Planting Ministries.
We are adding this communication to you as an additional way of supporting you in your local ministry. Thanks for the work you are doing. I have now been in over one hundred of our churches and I am really impressed by the desire of our staff and leaders to bring the gospel of Christ to their respective communities.
We will do our best to recommend Web sites, books, articles, and seminars that could be of help to you. Several are available now at our Web site, www.nwc-cov.org (click on Resources). You could help us by letting us know of resources that have been useful to you in your ministry.
Starting this fall, you'll receive this newsletter on a regular basis. We hope it helps you, and we encourage your feedback. We also hope that you will forward this to leaders in your church to encourage and support them in their work.
This issue will talk just a little bit about the three elements of our mission: Vital Churches, Planting Churches, Planting Ministries.
The first part of our mission is to have vital churches. What does that mean? Merriam-Webster's definition of vital includes, "existing as a manifestation of life, fundamentally concerned with or affecting life or living beings, as tending to renew or refresh the living." That means healthy churches that are mission-oriented and able to do the work that they are called to. That is, "affecting living beings and tending to renew the living."
We want vital churches because only vital churches are able to effectively plant churches and plant ministries, the other aspects of our collective mission.
Why does the Northwest Conference plant new churches? Why don't we simply pour all of our resources into the ones that already exist? These are the questions that I am frequently asked. The truth is that we need to be doing both things at the same time…helping our existing churches and developing new ones. Again, why do we plant new churches? Why should many of our congregations be involved? The primary reason is because there are people that live without the life-giving message of the gospel!
In Church Planting for a Greater Harvest, C. Peter Wagner writes, "The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches". Lyle Schaller adds that "starting new churches is the closest thing to a guaranteed method of outreach". In other words, the starting of new churches is an incredibly effective way to be great commission people. It bears new fruit for the Kingdom of God.
In the months ahead we will talk more about what is happening in the Northwest Conference and how you can take part in this vital part of our shared ministry. In the meantime, I would like to encourage you to contact the pastors of some of our newest churches and give them a word of encouragement.
Click here (www.nwc-cov.org/newchurchpastors.htm) for all of the contact information for these pastors.
Planting ministries means local congregations engaging in community-oriented ministries as agents of God's love in transforming our communities. One strategic community ministry area that the Conference partners with local congregations in is ministries of compassion and justice.
A great way for you to prepare your church for greater involvement in compassion and justice ministries is through implementing a new curriculum series What Does the Lord Require?. This practical series will deepen your church's faith and move it to action by strengthening its understanding of the biblical concepts of compassion and justice and how to apply them.
For more information on What Does God Require? click here (www.nwc-cov.org/CPM_curriculum.htm) or email me at email@example.com.