Reformation Lutheran Church, Las Vegas, NV
Redevelopment is a process of biblical and spiritual renewal for individual members of Reformation Lutheran Church as well as the congregation as a whole. Congregational redevelopment involves re-rooting in the good news of Jesus Christ and getting God’s dream for this ministry in focus. It is not a one-person project. It is God’s project among us. It is not just about this congregation. It is about changing the world. As such, we all have choices to make and commitments to make as we live as a community of faith. Because change is hard, as a congregation redevelops, it is essential that the partners share clear expectations and that the accountability be strong. The partners of this redevelopment covenant are the pastor/redeveloper, congregation, redevelopment team and the synod and Churchwide expressions of the ELCA. We hold this process in prayer, in hopes that it will result in Reformation Lutheran Church becoming a more healthy and vibrant congregation.
Part One – Pastor/Redeveloper Call
In consultation with the Grand Canyon Synod bishop’s office, the congregation called Pastor Jason Adams to serve as a pastor/redeveloper beginning on June 8, 2014. During the years of redevelopment ministry, the Director for Evangelical Mission and the Grand Canyon Synod New and Renewing Mission Table will conduct an annual ministry review with the pastor/redeveloper, congregation council, and redevelopment team.
Part Two – Basic Expectations of the Pastor/Redeveloper
Pastors are preachers and teachers, spiritual leaders, and evangelists. But a pastor/redeveloper puts special emphasis on evangelism. The pastor/redeveloper and lay leaders are expected to participate in Mission Redeveloper Training, provided by our churchwide ministry partners at a cost to the congregation.
The pastor/redeveloper will:
- Pray regularly, study scripture and listen to God’s voice in leading the congregation.
- Grow in discipleship and in personal financial stewardship (growth-giving or tithing and beyond)
- Develop, in a broad participatory process, assisted by the Director for Evangelical Mission and/or coach, and redevelopment team, a 3-5 year vision for the congregation with emphasis to include a plan for outreach, targeting a significant increase in worship attendance and making of disciples.
- Include others in leadership and equip them to use their gifts for the mission of the congregation.
- Make creative use of all services of worship for the purpose of inviting new disciples, and lead in the adding of worship services as needed to maximize outreach.
- Spend at least 50 percent of his/her time in evangelizing outreach (including equipping laity for: visiting sick/shut ins and others; building relationships with and accompanying new disciples and growing in their ability to share their personal faith stories; cultivating a hospitable climate for growth)
- Continue to learn and grow in evangelizing outreach skill through reading, workshops, and practice.
- Assess and report regularly to the DEM and the Redevelopment Team.
Part Three – Basic Expectations of the Congregation
Reformation Lutheran Church has committed itself to biblical and spiritual renewal, including intentional growth in worship attendance and financial support. To fulfill the commitment, the congregation will:
- Pray regularly, study scripture, and listen to God’s voice and dream for the congregation.
- Grow in discipleship and in personal financial stewardship practices.
- Promote healthy, Christ-centered relationships and decision making, refraining from gossip and negativity.
- Use God’s gifts and find ways to engage the whole baptized people of God in ministry and outreach.
- Be full partners in the task of evangelism: sharing faith and inviting people into ministry, partnering in the tasks of visitation and follow-up.
- Cultivate a climate of intentional hospitality for people new to life in the church.
- Pray for and financially support evangelism/outreach activities in the community.
- Change existing ministries and practices in order to live out God’s dream more fully – with leadership provided by the pastor redeveloper and the redevelopment team.
- Provide adequate salary and benefits to the pastor and family.
- Support the interdependent work of the church by forwarding a percentage of all giving as mission support to the Grand Canyon Synod, and develop a plan for growing that support each year (10% or more at end of 3 years).
- Provide for the routine administrative tasks of the congregation.
- Review and, if necessary, revise the current governing documents of the congregation.
- Provide an atmosphere of trust and care, particularly for those in leadership.
- Participate in the process of creating a 3-5 year vision for church growth with the redevelopment team and pastor/redeveloper.
Part Four – Basic Expectations of the Redevelopment Team
All redevelopments are a custom-fit for each congregation, but the redevelopment of Reformation Lutheran Church is unique: a hybrid where leadership is shared between the congregation council and the redevelopment team. In matters unrelated to redevelopment priorities, the council retains final decision-making authority. The congregation council and redevelopment team will communicate well and regularly, to cultivate a cooperative environment of shared leadership. The office of the bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod will appoint 1-2 members to serve on the redevelopment team, and the congregation will appoint a minimum of 2 members, in addition to the pastor.
Specifically, the council and redevelopment team will:
- As individual followers of Jesus, be models of the Christian life: regularly praying and studying scripture and practicing good, biblical financial stewardship (growth giving or tithing and beyond).
- As congregational leaders, begin all meetings with worship or Bible study
- Help select and work with a trained and experienced redevelopment coach, in addition to the Grand Canyon Synod DEM, who will meet with the council and team and help keep their work on track.
- Foster a climate of goodwill, suppressing gossip and negativity in the congregation which would derail the mission of reaching out to the community with the good news of Jesus Christ.
In addition, the redevelopment team will:
- Create and guide a process of bible study and discernment in the congregation, toward the goal of writing a statement of God’s purpose for Reformation Lutheran Church.
- Create a 3-5-year vision and plan for outreach, increased worship attendance and making of disciples, based on that purpose, with the council and congregation
- Be a positive and visionary group rather than a negative and gate-keeping group, modeling transformation in the congregation
- Provide timely information to the congregation, including proposed redevelopment priorities and timeline
- Remain accessible to members and responsive to expressed concerns
Part Five – Basic Expectations of the Office of the Bishop
On behalf of the Grand Canyon Synod, the Office of the Bishop will support Reformation Lutheran Church redevelopment efforts through the following:
- Assist Reformation Lutheran Church in procuring financial support through grants and partnerships—when appropriate and as needed—to enable redevelopment.
- Coordinate and conduct continued training with the pastor/redeveloper for the duration of the call, through the DEM.
- Meet with the pastor/redeveloper at least quarterly.
- Conduct an annual ministry review with the pastor, redevelopment team, and congregation council.
- Visit Reformation Lutheran Church for Sunday worship and education at least once annually.