Two Month Progress Report Part Three - Pastor Jerry Carter - October 4, 2018 

Part 3 of 3

In the first post of this Two Month Progress Report series, we looked at the need for a strong, biblical understanding of the power and purpose of prayer. Nothing will happen without this foundation.

If a lost-centric prayer life doesn’t permeate every ministry, group, and team of the church, the church will not reach out and it will die. Prayer is not a supplement or “healthy choice.” It’s the only choice.

In the second post we looked at the need to “clean house.” By eliminating programming complexity and confusion we could clarify spiritual Next Steps and provide a strategic, graduated purpose for each of those spiritual Next Steps.   

To this end, Judy Bacon (your SDMI Chairperson) and I have assembled the various groupings and ministries of Richland Nazarene into four broad categories or levels of discipleship that create a natural progression of purpose and spiritual significance in a growing believer’s life.

Information-centric Classes are a low-risk,Next Step for those wishing for a relational, “toe in the water,” experience before stepping up to a more immersive Life Group. Also ideal if you’re just thirsty for God’s Word!

Relationship –centric Life Groups are an ideal,Next Step if you’ve decided to plant roots at Richland Nazarene and know you’re ready to invest in deeper relational connections and community.

Service-centric Ministry Teams are the essential Next Step for those ready and willing to serve and love like Jesus.

Companionship-centric FELLOWSHIP GATHERINGS are the easy, “no pressure”Next Step for those just wishing to share a meal with friends, new and old. No membership required…just show up!

In this final post of the series, we will address the need to challenge/leverage every ministry, program, class, or group towards outreach/evangelism by discovering the power of Cheap, Easy & Fun,and Repeatable, Relational, & Joinable.

To fully appreciate the power of Cheap, Easy, & Fun and Repeatable, Relational, & Joinable, the leaders at each STEP must embrace the power and significance of that step while consistently encouraging the deeper Next Steps necessary in every believer’s spiritual journey.

Cheap, Easy, & Fun describes the type of activities each class, group, and ministry should be hosting in order to both invite friends from outside the church and to draw up from the previous STEPS.

For example, a Sunday morning CLASS might host a breakfast to draw up from those attending Sunday services but not yet connected to any group. A Men’s LIFE GROUP might host a Saturday Caregiver’s Breakfast for the community and draw up from those attending Sunday morning CLASSES but not yet a part of any LIFE GROUP. A MINISTRY TEAM such as the Worship & Arts Team might host a community choir for the community and draw up budding artists from our CLASSES AND LIFE GROUPS.

Repeatable, Relational, & Joinable describes the best possible attributes of any given servant-evangelism effort.Repeatable and relational are either side of the same coin. Both are premised on the ideas that evangelism works best when it’s relationally-driven and relationships form with repeated exposure.  Therefore, Adopt-a-Highway is repeatable but not very relational and Trunk-or-Treats can be fairly relational but aren’t repeatable but for once a year. The goal of Repeatable & Relational is to keep coming back to the same ministry opportunity regularly enough (weekly/monthly/periodically) to establish the relationships necessary to share Jesus.

Joinable describes outreach and service efforts for which the community has a passion and would likely join any effort promoted or advertised. Think of hosting Caregiver’s Seminars, Foster Parenting Classes, Youth Sports, First Responders' Appreciations, Adopt-a-School, Adopt-a-Park, etc.

Joinability is premised on evidence that people today are finding faith through a desire to significantly belong rather than correctly believe. We might not like it but correctly believing is an afterthought. We’ve said it several times now, people don’t care what we know until they know that we care.

The goal then is for every CLASS, LIFE GROUP, MINISTRY and GATHERING to creatively use the concepts of Cheap, Easy, & Fun and Repeatable, Relational, & Joinable to raise the evangelistic temperature at Richland Nazarene several degrees on all fronts and to begin turning our focus from the 99 to the 1.