CCD Spotlight Blog

Communities of Practice

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Happy Easter! The season of Easter is now upon us and we are invited once again to practice resurrection! Congregations are communities of Christian practice. As we gather, learn, and disperse we are seeking to follow the call of Christ in the world. How is your practice going? What are the areas of discipleship that you are currently working on as a community? How are you evaluating your practice?

All sports teams practice, because it is through consistent work that they learn how to be a team and to develop the skills needed to play the game well. Congregations and other communities of practice benefit from similar ethic-the more we practice loving God and our neighbors the more it has become the rhythm of our lives together. This is an area that all of us can attend to in our shared ministry.

Image via Nick Fewings on

I wonder about what it would be like if we thought about our congregations like a sports team? Sports teams have structures, goals, and vision for what they want to accomplish. When all the players, staff and fans invest in the game, some of the best results come. There are many roles, task, skills and time that make a team successful. As a coach there are many questions to consider for the team to grow, things like:

Who plays in each position?
-Are we developing new leaders who can play that position when we are out of the game?
What do we need to learn to help improve our game?
-Are there skills we need to develop?
-Is the team working well together?
-Are we getting enough rest?
-Are we listening to our teammates about what they need to succeed?
What are we doing to build the relationships among the team members?
-How do relationships thrive in the midst of our focus on the next game?
How do we celebrate successes and care for each other when things don’t go well?
Are there new people we want to recruit to be a part of our team?
-How do we recruit others and support them with resources?
-What people or groups might we be overlooking when we recruit new team members?

When we evaluate as we go, we will discover opportunities to grow! There is a lot of joy when we reflect on the ways that God is showing up and showing off in the world.

Like any metaphor, this is incomplete, but I hope it sparks some imagination for your community of practice. As we seek to follow Jesus in the world, there are questions for us to consider along the way.

About the author

As Director of Congregational Development, Rebecca works with congregations and provincial leadership to provide resources and support their ongoing work towards greater health and vitality. She works to cultivate collaborative relationships between and among pastors, congregations, provincial and interprovincial agencies and other partners. Working with communities of faith, her passion for capacity building and innovation have shaped her 15 year career in ordained ministry. She has led communities in reimagining their structures, practices, and traditions as they embrace Jesus’ call, supporting them through organizational change, worship creation, and adult learning curriculum. Rebecca’s evenings and weekends are often spent investing in good conversation over a mocha, making new connections in the community, or delighting in the laughter of her children and spouse. Email Rebecca.

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