Hold on, the launch is coming
By Richard Edwards
I have relatives who live near the Space Coast of Florida and the Cape Canaveral launch site. They have witnessed several spacecraft launches over the years. It is reportedly an awesome experience.
But as much as we focus on that amazing moment when a spaceship leaves earth and thunders into heaven, we know the flight's success depends on the preparation that went on before. While the preparation may go unnoticed, it is crucial to the mission ahead.
These are weeks of vital preparation in Holston Conference as we prepare to launch Natural Church Development. Our first coaches have just been trained. They have received a multitude of resources to study. The Cabinet meets Nov. 14 to finalize a strategy for implementing NCD. This is what we know now:
Coaching relationships with individual churches will begin in early 2007. We hope to train additional coaches in 2007.
By mid-November, each district office will have a supply of "The ABC's of Natural Church Development." This 32-page booklet conveys key concepts of NCD in an easy reading style and costs just $1. Pastors may make them available to leaders in their churches.
NCD updates will continue through The Call and our conference web site at www.holston.org.
Holston Conference is committing to a long-term relationship with Natural Church Development. We believe its principles and strategies offer a significant opportunity for many churches to become healthier and stronger faith communities. As a conference we want not just to survive, but to truly live, grow, and make a greater impact in our communities and beyond.
NCD is not a quick-fix or an easy-fix - or the latest idea to come down the church-growth path. Rather, it is grounded in worldwide research; speaks to both our minds and hearts; calls us to look honestly at our churches' effectiveness; and then offers help, resources, and encouragement as we seek to discern and release the potential placed by God in all churches. NCD respects the uniqueness of each church, while affirming that healthy, growing churches share certain quality characteristics. It is a solid pathway with a good track record in many churches throughout the world.
Let me ask you to pray earnestly and with expectation that God will lead us in this new direction. There has never been a time when our witness, service, and love have been needed more. How great is our God!
The Rev. Edwards is director of congregational development. Contact him toll-free at (866) 690-4080 or at email@example.com.
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