Jesus welcomed everyone, so why do His followers have such a hard time doing it? Episcopal priest Stephanie Spellers of an emergent congregation called ‘The Crossing’ in Boston says the key is listening.
Steph’s ministry first caught my eye when everyone around me began raving about her book Radical Welcome. In our interview Rev. Spellers says listening to people and the God’s ever-present Spirit’s beckoning to openness, is the key to congregational growth.
Watch the Full Program:
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5 years ago Stephanie Spellers and a handful of congregants at Boston’s Episcopal Cathedral began dreaming about what their perfect congregation might look like. They deeply listened to one another and decided it would be a place where gatherers would look for Jesus in everyone – turning away no one. It’s led to a pretty cool congregation. Here are my notes from the interview:
It’s All About Listening
Sure we all listen to each other, but too often we have an agenda. How open are we to truly opening ourselves up to the voices of others, especially the marginalized (as Jesus did)? Allowing these voices to shape our congregations can open us up to an unprecedented move of the Spirit.
The reason most congregations are stagnant is because many of them do not cultivate an atmosphere of transformation. Rev. Spellers says when a congregation is open to the transforming presence of the Spirit in worship, growth is likely.
The Institution as an Incubator
What starts out as a movement always turns into an institution. So we need to use our denominational frameworks not to impede but to create and leverage. How are we using the best of our heritage to birth something new?
About Stephanie Spellers
The Rev. Stephanie Spellers is the lead organizer of The Crossing, an emergent community based at the Episcopal Cathedral in Boston.
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