Congregational vitality is a journey of life, energy, passion, discovery, and hope. It is a result of the living God breathing new life into the heart of a congregation. Vitality is the wind of the Spirit…“a rushing wind so wild and strong,” as the old hymn goes. Our role is to raise our sails and catch this wind.
Vitality is nothing less than a spiritual awakening in Christ. It is not about sustaining and maintaining; it’s about thriving, growing, and depending on God to lead us deeper in Christ and further in mission.
And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” For this is what the high and exalted One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with those who are contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” – Isaiah 57:14-16
“Leading Healthy Missional Change (MNST 6165) was one of the most engaging, formative and hope-instilling courses I have taken at North Park Theological Seminary. Living in an era when people are more eager to write off the Church for its shortcomings rather than to hope in its mission, I have often struggled with both disillusionment and skepticism towards ecclesial ministry. However, after having taken this course, I have discovered a newfound hope and excitement for pastoral ministry. Moreover, for the first time in years, I have learned to believe again in the Church. Dr. John Wenrich, along with his Congregational Vitality team, have truly put together a tremendous framework for leading healthy missional change in churches today. Rather than branding struggling churches as merely being “hopeless” or “not worth your time,” they offer the prophetic challenge for all Christ followers to view every church as an opportunity for the Spirit of God to move. This course will not only offer you the practical tools to pursue a pathway of vitality in your congregations. It will force you to hold a mirror up to yourself to examine the very heart with which you minister before empowering you to do the work of the Kingdom.”
–Timothy Rhee, Masters Certificate in Congregational Vitality Student