|Anacortes Church Plant Discovers Identity||Email | Print|
by Bonnie Bowman, Anacortes Adventist Fellowship board chairwoman; Source: Anacortes Adventist Fellowship / Washington Conference
As an “adolescent” church plant Anacortes Adventist Fellowship, a company of approximately 50 believers meeting together since 2008, started to take a harder look at who we wanted to be when we grew up.
Growth in any new church comes in stages: bonding as a new group, creating trusting friendships, finding a church home, finding identity and continuing to grow — and in this case with a locally-funded pastor and other lay leaders.
Commander Mike Hakanson, an Adventist Navy Chaplain, recently stepped in to provide volunteer leadership and cast a vision for effective ministry and leadership.
In the new leadership structure, church elders and ministry directors are responsible for five ministry areas:
• Pastoral Care: visitation, greeting and social events to create an atmosphere of belonging;
• Worship: music, drama and preaching;
• Direct Community Outreach: serving the community through evangelistic outreach;
• Personal Spiritual Growth: spiritual growth opportunities through discipleship;
• Church Development: physical and financial structure for worship and technological support.
During a church growth retreat with Bill McClendon, Washington Conference vice president for ministry, members learned more about their spiritual gifts and practical ways to get involved in ministry. Even confirmed “pew warmers” who voiced the fear that they did not have spiritual gifts found they actually did have important talents to be incorporated into church ministry.
Anacortes Adventist Fellowship is learning church growth does not just “happen” and is excited to learn more at Washington Conference’s Church Growth Practicum this year. We believe this will help us reach the next stage of development as we attempt to align ourselves with God’s values and methods.
Note: Washington Conference offers Church Growth Practicums throughout the year to help churches discover healthy strategies for church growth. The next practicum will be held May 4-6 in Federal Way, Washington. Learn more at www.washingtonconference.org/practicum.