BY THE REV. CHAZ SNIDER |
As many people in our congregations know, the church of the future is starting to look a lot different from the church of the past. And as the church changes new opportunities to become the people of God emerge. And the definition of church goers molds, changes, and expands.
The idea of growth and change is the launching pad for the New and Emerging Ministry team of the Southern Province. We have the unique blessing of seeking out, supporting, and helping to sustain the church that is emerging right in front of us, though the process of building new ways to worship while honoring traditions and our historical roots.
This team does not exist to dictate what the church of the future looks like, but rather its function is to partner with individuals, groups, congregations, and RCCs who are eager to grow the church in new ways. The team wants to help congregation members with a vision, see their ideas of new worship come to fruition. Whether it is a kayak church on the Yadkin river, a community garden to feed the food insecure, a discussion group in a local pub, or an idea that hasn’t even been discovered yet, the New and Emerging Ministry Team is there to help that idea become a reality. We are there to help you take your idea and make it a functioning reality.
And change can be daunting, overwhelming, and sometimes even scary, and the church may be evolving from what many of us are use to; however there are elements of the church that are and will always be present. Although the community and the world around us may look very different, worship around the Word and Sacrament can be present no matter where two or more are gathered in God’s name. And let us not forget how radical Jesus’s teachings were for his time because Jesus met people where they were.
Going forth, we ask you ask yourself a few questions:
- What unique ideas do you have for church that really speaks to my soul?
- What creative ways to spread the gospel in our community have crossed your mind?
- What kind of worship or service community would you like to see created?
- What needs have you seen that we as a church should and could be fulfilling?
If you already have answers to these questions, than you most definitely should join the Jumpstart! conversation on Saturday March 23 at Unity Moravian church (8 am-4 pm). If you don’t have answers, but would be interested in finding them, you should join us too.
As the team develops its goals and its processes, it is important to understand what the people we are serving and what the people serving with us envision, needs, and desire. The world is changing, and we know that if we want the church to survive, we too must adapt to meet others where they are, we must Bring Jesus to the Neighborhood.
About the Author
The Rev. Chaz Snider is the pastor at Ardmore Moravian Church (AMC) in Winston-Salem, NC and a member of the New and Emerging Ministry Team. Chaz was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. He is a lifelong Moravian. Chaz’s focus is helping people who crave a relationship with God but aren’t sure where to start. He has a passion for spreading the love of Jesus to everyone and is looking forward to seeing how AMC can impact our city. Chaz’s wife Michaleh is a Physical Education teacher and director of children, youth, and family ministry. They have three kids: Chris, Abby, and Sara.