In September, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary will launch a new series of courses. These classes will take place in Northern New England, away from their South Hamilton Massachusetts campus. The idea is to make church leadership training more accessible to Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Small Group Hosts, and other church leaders.
The first course offered will be Church Revitalization (EV 705). This course focuses on the nature of church congregations, and how they can grow and flourish again even after a season of decline and loss. We will emphasize how congregational leaders like you can conceive and execute workable strategies for renewal in your own local context.
Should You take this Class?
The answer to this question lies more in the state of your congregation than in your particular role or job within the church. If your church is already bursting with health, developing new disciples, and full of a vibrant community life, you probably don’t need this course. Just keep doing what you are doing.
That description, however, does not fit many of our congregations. Ask yourself the following questions and be brutally honest with your answers.
If you answered yes to the second half of any of these questions, you may find that this class in Church Revitalization will help you and your church leaders get a handle on your situation, and find fresh ideas for concrete action that will move your flock in the direction of health and renewal.
Keep in mind that it is best if all or most of your leadership takes this course together. This way, you can all come out with the same vocabulary for talking about the task ahead of you, and the same toolbox for getting to work fixing the trouble areas of your community life. So this is not just for Pastors, but for every leader in any church that doesn’t have everything figured out in this complicated age.
Why do we need this?
We know that congregations go through predictable stages of growth, plateau, and decline. Often, even at those points of decline, the congregation can still find a path to renewed vitality. This course examines both the reasons for decline and malaise in congregations, and possible solutions that will restore those congregations back to flourishing.
A church congregation is an organic system, not a machine. Therefore, both the reasons for decline and the reasons for growth are many, complex, and interconnected. A growing field of literature helps church leaders and congregations understand these reasons and take steps to address them with practical approaches and tested tools. Every level of church leadership is critical to helping their congregations understand what is happening and make the changes necessary.
That’s why the course in Church Revitalization is so important and relevant to our congregations here in Northern New England.
What will this course cover?
Here are some of the questions we will be grappling with throughout this course:
How You can Enroll
You can easily and quickly enroll online. Just follow this link to the Eventbrite site where you can register and pay your fee. How much you pay will depend on your long-term goals. If you want to just listen in and take notes, you can register for just $100 per person.
On the other hand, if you wish to take advantage of the Certificate in Church Leadership offered by GCTS, you can register for $250. As a Certificate student you will be required to read some books and write some short papers on what you have learned. More information about the Certificate in Church Leadership will be coming in the future.
Either way, registration is quick and easy. Space is limited so register now to reserve your spot. If you want to upgrade your student status, we can address that later. Right now, click the link to get on board. We look forward to seeing you there.
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