Changes to Nowra City Church announced on Sunday 18th August 2013


 

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Preamble

My heart is that Nowra City Church will be an authentic faith community with a missional DNA that engages people across every demographic in an ongoing conversation about what being a Christ follower looks like against the Australian cultural backdrop.

To that end, the following are some proposed changes that need to be made in order for us to ensure we are the church God has called us to be. We as a leadership should have a heart to ensure we are not doing things that cause a disconnection between specific demographics. Rather, we are journeying together, spiritually, having an ongoing dialogue with each other and with God as we do life.

Change in Philosophy.

Some of these changes are merely skin deep/superficial changes whilst others are about fundamentally changing the way we think and act. This level of change will take 1-2 years to fully execute and immerse the church into and will require a commitment to change our thinking, our conversation, the way we conduct church, and our public terminology.

From all that I have read, it seems that youth and young adults are looking for churches that are not obsessed with being “contemporary”, using a one size fits all model or are overly into Pentecostal triumphantalism. Rather it seems that they are looking for authentic spirituality (which is an overly used term), relaxed and unpolished services that are centered around stories of spirituality colliding with real world issues, even if the outworking of the theology is messy or involves unresolved tension.

At the Eldership, Executive and Ops Team, we have been having a discussion about changes over the last few months. Here are some initial changes we are implementing.

 

  • Understand that we are in a season of change and continual dialogue:- I am hoping to spend some time in the next few months with Greg Burson: leader of the emerging church in NZ
  • Combine the 8:30 service into the 10am and change the time to 9:30am. Main motive here is to take pressure off the serving teams. It will also freshen up the new morning service.
  • Move the evening service to 6:00pm which would then be finished at 7:15. The idea of this would be to increase the family friendly aspect of the evening service.
  • Imagine Offering next year to major on the local area projects and less on overseas projects. There will have to be a comprehensive strategy attached to this and certainly we are open to suggestions as the how we can connect the love of God with the community.
  • Open a shop in the centre of town to have a Nowra City Church presence in town. Move the Hub Store into this shop. Have it as a drop in centre. This could possibly include a Christian Bookshop. This is a proposal at this stage but we are working on a venue at the moment.
  • Introduce Red Frogs into the Shoalhaven as an organic connection point to the community.
  • Relax the services. Less time driven. More connection with the congregation
  • Be more brutally honest. Show vulnerability. Refuse a religious veneer.
  • Invite a greater participation into the dialogue of faith/culture/life. Have sharing and discussion evenings where anyone can share – can be part of a short circle.
  • All preachers to put more stories into the preaching. Stories need to be a big part of illustrating how the principal being taught outworks in the crucible of the real world.
  • Have a greeting every now and then rather than all the time.
  • Make the two Sunday services very distinct.
  • Develop the idea of Short Circles – life groups that operate for just 6 weeks.
  • Have a Foundational Class being taught in the reception during the Sunday Sermon. This would be limited to 10 people at a time. Use the Church’s Statement of Faith as the basis for the course.
  • Hand craft disciples. This is the antithesis of the McDonaldization of the church (the American large church model) – where everyone is a meat pattie and is treated the same. What a great concept – the hand sculpturing of a master craftsman bringing forth his best work – an apprentice discipler. This must be our focus.
  • Change the way we communicate Church Life. Less on Sunday during the services.
  • Start a NCCLife.me blog site that will carry all our announcements. This blog will also carry stories of Baptisms, Baby Dedications etc. As part of this change to communicating events, we will have a hard copy version available for non computer literate people.
  • Launch Church app in the next three months – this will also carry church life, blogs, preaching notes, giving opportunities.
  • Our aim is to get better at putting themes throughout the church – Romans for example should become every part of church life:- Life Groups, Communion Messages, Worship focus, blogs, etc
  • Return to the concept of apprentice positions in all major Leadership Teams across the church, including Eldership.
  • We need to lower the average age of the leadership teams of the church.

So there are some of the changes that we are making. It was great to see and hear the buzz in the church on Sunday when we made the announcements and explained the heart and motive behind this new strategic direction. I did make it very clear that we are not in any way changing our theology. We have a fairly comprehensive Statement of Faith. Click the link to read it.  We also have a Vision Statement if you would like to read that as well.

We as a church exist….. so others may live.

Peter



Categories: Nowra City Church, Theology

Tags: , ,

5 replies

  1. WOW!
    Sounds good –
    if I were on your team I would have a couple of questions but I’m not – so the most important thing that I see is that you are willing to look at how the church presents to the unchurched and to modify that in ways that bring more people into earshot of the gospel.

  2. Hi Pete. Congratlations your strategies are music to my ear and I am sure to God’s ears. I pray that the church will fully embrace this new journey and I know that Nowra will be truly blessed and you will see many won into the Kingdom. Only wish I could get there but its a bit far to travel from Brisbane!!! Grace and peace and much love. Rhonda Healy

  3. Sounds great moving forward I so miss Nowra City Church and all in it Ros

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