Led by clear vision, vital congregations strengthen their relationship with God, nurture their relationship with others, and are a life-giving presence in the community.
Vital congregations embrace and reflect the fullness of the reign of God. Realizing that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, the NC Synod seeks to cultivate vital congregations through resources and leadership. Together, we model faith practices for all generations and give and serve generously.
Planting Hope is an intentional 18-month vitality process that helps a congregation have clarity about their purpose, and core values while establishing goals for the next 1-3 years. The process is embedded in Scripture and prayer and invites communities of faith to be transformed by the work of the Spirit for the sake of the world.
Congregational Vitality Survey
The Congregational Vitality Survey is a simple, statistically-reliable tool developed by the ELCA Research and Evaluation Department. The answers to survey questions are used to compute an index or report which is made up of different scales. Each scale describes a different aspect of a congregation’s vitality in three areas: how members are connecting with God through examining spiritual growth; how members are connecting with each other through examining the social climate; and how members are connecting with the world through examining faith in action.
Congregational Life Cycle
Every congregation has a life cycle including growth, vitality, decline, and even death. Watch this video on the Congregational Life Cycle taught by Pastor Danielle DeNise to explore where you are on the cycle and reflect on where God might be calling your congregation.
Seasons change in the world and in congregations. God’s mission also changes. It is important that congregations regularly through prayer, Bible study, and conversation, discern God’s plan for mission for them in the current season whether it is a season of abundance, maintaining, or scarcity. Pastor CeCee Mills is available for additional information or assistance.
Use the Holy Conversations booklet to discern different options for your congregation.
Watch this video of an interview with a pair of yoking congregations.
On Mission Mondays
On Mission Mondays launched April 12, 2021! Each week Pastor Danielle DeNise & Pastor CeCee Mills, the NC Synod Directors for Evangelical Mission, share a 12-minute reflection about what God might be up to in and through you and your faith community.
Additional Resources for Congregational Vitality
Learning about Organizational Grief Bishop Mike Girlinghouse (Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod) leads a conversation about organizational grief (recorded May 2021).
Resiliency: Faith Practices in Tough Times This resource uses Scripture and faith practices to discover ways to practice resiliency when times are hard.
Resiliency: Letting Go of Lament This resource uses Scripture and faith practices to learn to linger with lament.
PARTNERSHIP Powerpoint Slides about creating partnerships.