ONE: Most successful new ministries these days are not about planting a new church in a growing area and watching it grow. Rather they are about a handful of people moved by God to take on a particular ministry task for their community. The task might be to build Christian community in their neighborhood, or to address a particular need of compassion in their community-like homelessness or hunger, but it usually begins with two or three people who are passionate about this Christian ministry.
TWO: These ministries are often very different from the traditional "congregation-in-a-building" ministries of previous decades. Rather, they are experiments in new ways to do ministry. Vera White of the 1001 Worshiping Communities Office of the PCUSA has described these new ministries and the Research and Development arm of the church. Often these ministries do not start with ordained leadership, although sometimes their leaders begin studying for ordination, or recruit ordained leaders to join them later; often they do not include a building-they meet in homes, or request permission to meet in an existing church or other building; but they are passionate about their ministry being a true Christian ministry that builds up disciples of Jesus Christ for the purpose of engaging in this specific ministry. Many of these ministries only exist for a short time. Others are growing and maturing as Christian ministries. However, all are successful as Christian Research and Development, because the churches and presbyteries, and the Christian disciples they work with inevitably learn from their efforts. Success is about learning for future Christian witness.
THREE: As these new ministries connect with presbyteries, they tend to inspire new efforts in the more established congregations. As church Immanuel Presbyterian Church in leaders see what others are doing, and pick up on in Anchorage is considering a what others are learning, they are inspired in their Community Garden Ministry for 2014 own efforts. The Presbytery of Pittsburgh reports that nothing has renewed their long-standing churches like the inspiration that came from the new ministries in their midst.
With this in mind, I am wondering what new efforts God is inspiring in the hearts of the faithful in Alaska? What might our presbytery endorse as experiments in mission, today?