How do you keep a 100 year old congregation vital, energized, and focused on God’s mission in the world? Jay Sidebotham says he concentrates on bringing members to higher places of spiritual maturity. At Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, IL, the mantra is, ‘If you come here you will grow.’
I had heard of Jay’s ministry through the years, and the way he’s moving his 2,000 member congregation to new places of invitation and transformation gives me, as a mainline pastor, great hope. It will do the same for you.
Watch the Full Program:
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‘Invite, Nurture, and Serve’ are the three verbs Holy Spirit uses as its mission statement – condensed from a half-page statement – that Jay Sidebotham says, has served to energize and excite the congregation. Jay’s work in stimulating the spiritual growth of the congregation has led his church to new levels of maturity. Here are my notes from the interview:
Jay searches far and wide for good congregational development ideas. When nearby Willow Creek offers resources, he takes what he can, translates the concepts, to the congregation’s advantage. What are others doing that we might translate for our own churches?
The Monday Message
Many of Jay’s members have hectic professions that keep them on the road for long periods, so Jay puts out a Monday email message to keep the far flung and the absent in the loop. These spiritual reflections that get passed on and commented upon, provide an important link to the big, busy church dilemma.
The Whole Church Is Going to Read the Bible
Noting a decline in biblical literacy yet a keen interest in doing something about it, Jay had the whole church read the Bible in a year. Adult and children’s classes provided forums for discussion and were packed. This united people who grew in spiritual maturity.
Move – Greg L. Hawkins
American Grace – Robert D. Putnam
Falling Upward – Richard Rohr