Partnerships Key in Developing Congregational Vitality

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (November 18, 2011) – The Evangelical Covenant Church’s second annual Navigate National Gathering drew 120 pastors and lay leaders of established churches who are seeking to form partnerships and seek guidance on helping their congregations grow deeper in their love for Christ and desire to share the gospel.

The early November gathering included a mid-week section for pastors and a weekend section for pastors and delegates. It was held at First Covenant Church here.

Participants worshiped together and heard teaching on key issues including leadership, opportunities and change, and forming covenant relationships to journey together over the next year. There also were opportunities to glean key insights from Navigate alumni churches from this past year.

Navigate is the first step for churches that commit to walking the Congregational Vitality Pathway together with two other congregations during a 12-14 month period.” The pathway includes Veritas, PULSE, and EPIC.

“Navigate is an organic and dynamic partnership, not a program,” says John Wenrich, director of congregational vitality for the denomination. “It’s life-giving, led by the Holy Spirit.”

The partnerships are important, Wenrich says. “While congregations can walk the Congregational Vitality Pathway by themselves, we believe that God will do something special with a group of churches walking the pathway together.” As part of the shared journey, pastors in groups of three – called triads – will meet at least once a month for encouragement and support.

The triads reflect Solomon’s principle that “a cord of three strands is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The threefold partnership among the denomination, regional conferences and local churches also represents the principle.

Click here to view more photos from the conference.

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