In the middle of March 2018, from Tuesday through Friday, a diverse but unified group of pastors gathered with PRMI staff – Brad, Cindy, Jeanne, and Mary Ellen, Dunamis Fellowship Canada Executive Director, Barb Ferrier and Dunamis Fellowship Britain and Ireland Director, Paul Stokes at the Community of the Cross in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
As pastors we came from Canada, the United Kingdom, and all four corners of the continental United States, and from 7 different Reformed or Presbyterian denominations. Together we shared in processing, discerning, and piecing together a big picture of the Growing the Church mission initiative, being a surfboard to ride the wave of the Holy Spirit.
Past, Present, Future
We took time to look back at how the Growing the Church initiative has been fulfilled in PRMI from 1966 to the present, and got a sense of the varied ways the Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit material is being adapted in a variety of settings in different denominations, events, and ministries. We shared different models of ministry expressions from denominations and from other program initiatives, to get a sense of the containers the Lord is anointing and using today to grow the church, looking for commonalities to give us direction for future work with the local church.
We discerned how God is calling PRMI to cooperate with the Holy Spirit with our particular gifts in this work, both in developing new ministry expressions and in coming alongside what is already at work. We then pulled this together in terms of people, processes, and package (program & material resources) needed.
Creating a Vision
To guide us in this development we discerned the provisional vision of:
Equipping congregations to embody, proclaim, and advance the Kingdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Embodying includes the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit, ministries of healing and deliverance – the ways Jesus Christ embodied the Kingdom of God.
- Proclaiming the Kingdom of God is mission, evangelism, preaching, and more.
- Advancing has sense of movement, riding a wave of the Holy Spirit.
Formulating a Plan
To pursue this we provisionally formulated a working plan to be shared and discerned by the leadership team and by the PRMI board.
- Networkers/Connectors – regionally, denominationally
- to introduce the vision and approach
- to initiate events and respond to invitations, drawing in the team members needed
Overall Coordinator to organize and resource
- Vision Caster, Promoter, Fundraiser, with support for resource material development, both for inside Dunamis Fellowship International and outward – this would come under the overall direction of a person who is part of the PRMI leadership team, administratively supported, and who connects to people fulfilling key roles in various regions.
- Mentors/Coaches both for internal development of team members and for coming alongside church leaders and walking with congregations.
- Support – social media, etc.
- Laying out a Pathway, a map of sorts for congregations to journey
- Equipping containers for roles in Ignite, video courses, Growing the Church conferences and adaptations — eg. workshops at Dunamis Fellowship International, Exousia, within Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit conferences.
- Evaluate, update, revise current materials – Ignite, video courses, Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit materials and varied expressions – with an overarching branding
- Organize materials for ease of access to core materials and adaptations
- Consider blogs, video snippets, etc.
The Bigger Picture
Here’s one of many pages we created during the week, this one depicting how the people, process and package fit into a bigger picture and process. Happy deciphering.
Part of the reason for the pathway or map envisioned is the recognition that it takes at least two years to impact the DNA of a congregation, not just an event. One way to unfold this with our existing resources is through enveloping the Dunamis Project in a Growing the Church journey, with this being a way to really raise the Dunamis Project further up as leadership equipping. This would be when the Growing the Church conference event could be followed up with a Dunamis Project track.
For example, one way of seeing this unfold could be that a pastor and perhaps another leader or two attend the Growing the Church conference, and then create a bigger team and come to the Dunamis Project for #1-3, sharing this with the congregation between via video courses, Ignites, sermons and other ways, along with coaching. Then some of the same people and others could attend #4&5 on healing and spiritual warfare, and begin unfolding this ministry in the church. Everyone attends #6 on listening evangelism, and this gets shared further into the congregation.
Closing Comments from the PRMI leadership team
In the midst of thinking, praying and discussing, God also gave us kairos moments, expanding our understanding of, and enthusiasm for, how he wants to use PRMI to share our particular gifts with his beloved Church. At the same time he gave us concrete steps to take on this journey. A team has been authorized by the Board of PRMI to continue the work of praying this vision into reality and working to develop the structure and roles needed.
You will hear more over the next few months about this work. Please join us in praying for this vital initiative of seeing congregations equipped and growing in the power of the Holy Spirit. To join the prayer team praying this in, click here to contact Martin Boardman. If the Lord is prompting you to give for this pioneer work, click here and specify Equipping Congregations initiative.