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This ministry focus paper presents a strategy to transform Grace Community Church from an internal, member-care focus to an external, community-serving focus by cultivating a new sense of identity and calling for the pastor, the congregational leaders, and the congregation. Grace Community Church was formed in 2005 out of three inwardly focused, Chicago-area Christian Reformed Churches. Those leading the consolidation fostered a new vision for a revitalized, community-serving ministry and the development of a church plant. This shift requires a new ecclesiology and sense of identity for the leaders and congregation.
Part One looks closely at the dynamics of the inner-focused church culture out of which Grace Community Church arose. The paper will identify how shifts from within the culture of the Christian Reformed community and pressures from outside the community create the opportunity for a new vision and values for congregational life at Grace Community Church.
Part Two examines the message Christ gave to the Church of God’s coming kingdom and how that message is applied to the Church in its ministry within its community. The model Jesus used in preaching and applying the values of the kingdom of God will also be described.
Part Three presents the strategy for cultivating the congregation’s self-understanding as it relates to a vision of God’s mission in the world. It will describe how the preacher-leader affirms Jesus’ call to discipleship and to the particular ministry of Grace Community Church. The strategy will also present ways of developing awareness of God’s call to mission within the leadership of Grace Community Church. And finally, the strategy will develop specific ways to guide the local congregation to live out God’s calling and mission in the ministry of Grace Community Church.
Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, PhD
Grace Community Church (Chicago, Ill.); Church renewal; Christian Reformed Church; Missional church movement; Home missions
Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Kooy, Michael, "A Strategy to Transform Grace Community Church into a Mission-Focused Congregation" (2011). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 45.