Whole Church Initiative Overview
The Whole Church Initiative (WCI) is a valuable tool in building vital churches as it provides an active process of discernment for local congregations. The goal of the WCI is to help congregations follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to discover how God is calling them to live out their mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
It is built on the idea that there are no easy fixes. Moving a congregation to greater vitality will take dedicated and prayerful work from clergy and lay leadership working in partnership.
The WCI is built to expose local church teams to a variety of information about church in the 21st century, its opportunities, and its challenges. In addition to information sharing, the process will guide congregations in identifying and executing ministry experiments that will help you better live into God’s calling for your church.
The WCI is based on missional principles. As described by Reggie McNeal, “Missional is a way of living, not an affiliation or activity.” The WCI is guided by techniques proven to help groups make lasting changes. Not just an isolated one-time event, the goal is to help you learn a new way of doing the work of the church that encourages experimentation.
At the January 25, 2016 meeting, Church Council approved Calvary’s participation in WCI. Beginning September 11, 2016, we embarked in gathering and prayer phase. Calvary UMC is in a cohort with two other churches, Central UMC of Colorado Springs and Mountain View UMC of Woodland Park. Each church has a seven member team that will learn, facilitate and interact with their congregations in the WCI process. The Calvary WCI Team consists of Rev. David Amrie, David Erickson (Lay Convener), Rebecca Ryan, Tami Toma, Ellen Hanawalt, Lenee' Erickson and Stan Lauck.
The Whole Church Initiative is based on the Collaborative Ministry Process (CMP).
While the three basic phases of the CMP will blend together in practice, the basic flow of the Collaborative Ministry Process is Gather & Pray, Learn, and Act. Each phase has a specific focus that adds something important to the overall process. Transitions between the phases happen when certain milestones are met.
Gather & Pray
To help create a solid team and a shared sense of purpose the WCI begins with 4 sessions that focus on the spiritual development of the team.
Individual church teams will participate together with teams from other local churches in 5 Saturday training events. Between the training events, homework will have you reading books, assessing your congregation, assessing your community, and beginning to document where you find your passions, opportunities, and resources. This phase will expand the team’s imagination about what it is possible for the local church to be like.
You will begin to implement your Next Steps. These ministry experiments will take you to new places. Each experiment will be evaluated and refined as you learn more. Throughout you will see & celebrate where God is working through your team.
Successful WCI teams will launch new teams that will work the cycle of Gather & Pray, Learn, and Act again around a specific area in the life of your congregation.
Gather & Pray Process Sessions (September 11, 2016; September 25, 2016; October 2, 2016; and October 16, 2016)
Read: The Good and Beautiful Community
First Learn Session (October 22, 2016 at Calvary)
Readiness 360 assessment begins - The whole church is involved
Complete the following module: DS01, It’s About Relationships
Read: I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church
Second Learn Session (November 19, 2016 at Mountain View)
Complete Readiness 360
Complete the following module: MF03, Find Your Neighbor
Third Learn Session (January 21, 2017 at Central)
Read: Doing the Math of Mission
Fourth Learn Session (February 18, 2017 at Calvary)
Complete the following modules: FS01, Know Your Story and AT01, Developing Your Next Steps
Read: Transforming Evangelism
Fifth Learn Session (March 18, 2017 at Mountain View)
Monthly check-ins begin
Begin to implement Next Steps