As a parishioner at Church of the Nativity, I have seen up close what an evangelizing parish looks like, at least when it’s located in Timonium, Maryland. But there are some things that every parish needs in order to become an evangelizing parish. In this week’s post, I would like to introduce you to one of the great sites on our resources section: the Rebuilt Parish Association (RPA). The pastoral leadership at Nativity is pretty excited about RPA and they believe you will be too.
RPA was officially launched the during Nativity’s Matter Conference this past November. Based on all the great feedback and curiosity generated by the book Rebuilt, they wanted to find a new way to foster a national and international community of like-minded churches looking to “rebuild,” and then help provide the resources they have found most effective for growing a healthy parish.
The RPA’s mission is simple and focuses on three principles:
- Equip: RPA exists to equip parishes by developing and providing effective and proven ministry materials. Parishes will have access to many of their past message series transcripts and videos, as well as curriculum for small groups, children’s ministry, and more. It is all geared toward the practical, easy to implement steps to get that ministry out of your staff’s head and into the lives of your parishioners.
- Inspire: RPA wants to inspire parishes by hosting inspirational teaching events. Leadership has already hosted a number of accessible and practical webinars featuring Nativity staff members on topics like how to build and run a small group program and how to preach a message series. They are there to answer questions in real time and get to the bottom of what works in ministry and what doesn’t.
- Encourage: RPA is there to encourage parishes by facilitating idea-sharing and conveying compelling advice. Each webinar, for example, has generated a lot of collaboration and great ideas from members of different parish staffs across the country, not just Church of Nativity. That’s the goal. Encouragement also means learning from one another. That’s really where the RPA came from, when Nativity staff realized (and continues to realize) it had a lot to learn from the healthiest and fastest growing churches in the country, which just so happen to be evangelical megachurches like Saddleback and Willow Creek.
Evangelization and discipleship aren’t about another program or curriculum and there is no intention of making the RPA just “another thing.” The Nativity staff thinks it’s part of a movement. It’s about learning how to collaborate as a team of churches, together forming THE CHURCH in a way that can effectively move your parish and parishioner’s hearts. So, take a minute and check out the Rebuilt Parish Association. For Nativity’s leadership, it’s really all about Making Church Matter.
How can you equip, inspire, or encourage your parishioners and staff to grow and be missionary disciples?