Wal-Mart’s recent initiative to build smaller stores is just one indication of what Cameron Trimble says is a wider societal yearning for forming smaller, tight-knit communities that she is excited to influence for Christ. Cameron, who heads the United Church of Christ’s Center for Progressive Renewal, predicts smaller, more deeply connected churches are in the offing, and she’s preparing to help meet that need.
Cameron, whose optimism for mainline churches is only exceeded by her ability to provide practical resources for struggling congregations, has some visionary ideas about resourcing the church that she shares liberally in this interview. I took away a lot for my congregation – you may too.
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It’s a cool co-incidence that the Center for Progressive Renewal’s acronym is C-P-R because that is the state in which many mainline congregations find themselves, and that is exactly what Cameron’s enterprise is working to provide. Through coaching, webinars, and a host of practical materials, churches have a vast reservoir of helpful, free, information to dig into. Here are my notes from the interview:
It’s the most common problem Cameron observes in her work with churches – a nagging hopelessness for the Church and its mission. Now, more than ever, churches need to reclaim their positions as centers of hope.
Reformation of Worship
The disconnect between what churches do and who they aim to reach may be greater than ever, which is why Cameron says we need a reformation of worship – finding new, authentic, and effective ways to help people connect with God.
Find the Leader, then the Church
It’s an admittedly backwards approach: the quest to first find good leaders, then plant the church around them, but it works for several good reasons – Cameron shares them here.
About Cameron Trimble
Before heading up the Center for Progressive Renewal, Cameron Trimble served as an advisor to the Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Team of Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ and as Associate Conference Minister of Church Development in the Southeast Conference of the UCC. In her ministry in the national setting, Rev. Trimble was responsible for the development of national strategy for birthing new churches. In her conference setting, she directly oversaw the birthing of churches throughout the Southeast Conference. Each setting has given her a unique perspective on the challenges of cultivating leaders equipped to meet the needs of the future of mainline Protestantism. Rev. Trimble is an adjunct professor teaching church planting and renewal with the Pacific School of Religion and Chicago Theological Seminary. She has co-authored the book “Liberating Hope” with Michael Piazza in 2011.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Church Post – If you are looking to improve your church’s communications you’ve got to check out this great email platform. I’ve found it easy-to-use, reliable, and John, Debra and Kim are great to work with.
Wistia – If you’re still hosting your videos at YouTube or another ‘free’ video sharing site you know the drawbacks. Wistia helps me put out great looking videos and see who’s watching for how long. The Wistia staff is easy to work with and very professional.
The Grow My Church Store – Everything from mugs to pens to fridge magnets, this is a promotional products store aimed at helping churches become closer communities, more hospitable, and welcoming. I started this store and shop there often because I couldn’t find anywhere else to go for these products.