A Faith Avenue team cannot be built in a day and requires intentionally engaging and equipping ministry workers.
By Michelle Fleming, Media Director
How do you measure the health of a church? Some folks would advise to look at measurables like attendance, buildings, and cash. These metrics can be helpful, but they do not measure how we are responding to Jesus’ call for us in the great commandment and great commission. We can have impressive numbers of people showing up for church gatherings, but how are they growing in relationship with Christ? Are they being transformed by the Word? Instead of looking only at quantitative data, we must look at the qualities of the congregation in light of who God is. By the power of the Spirit, is the church continuing the incarnation of Jesus in its neighborhood?
Healthy Church is a community where both new and seasoned disciples are growing in grace, truth, and depth of character. The church is living out Christ’s mission when we are making disciples. This is why the Faith Avenue is a crucial part of Healthy Church. The Faith Avenue creates spaces where spiritual growth can be nurtured, and where community is built through relational and formational activities. This is the life of the church between Sundays, where discipleship occurs, growing in faith as we live out and allow Christ to express his faith in our lives and relationships.
Like all team-based leadership, the Faith Avenue cannot be built in a day and requires intentionally engaging and equipping ministry workers. I hope this article provides you with some practical next steps to building your Faith Avenue Team.
Who should you look for when recruiting ministry workers for the Faith Avenue?
- Someone with a passion for Christ – be a disciple before discipling others.
- Someone with a passion for people – a desire to care for and draw out participation from others.
- Someone with a commitment to invest the time – reliably be available for church engagement and relational opportunities.
Your Faith Avenue leaders will be responsible for building a culture of belonging, specifically belonging in Christ. Our shared identity, as God’s beloved, and our common humanity with one another and Jesus, bind us together as one family. We create spaces of belonging when we have an established purpose and set out clear expectations, providing a sense of safety. Moreover, when we can be vulnerable with one another, it sets the foundation for trust.
Creating these kinds of spaces is often best caught through experience rather than taught through principles. Consequently, having the Faith Avenue Champion or pastor model facilitation and creating a culture of belonging is a best practice for building your Faith Avenue. We have outlined a template for the process below.
How do I begin to develop my Faith Avenue Team?
- Identify 3-5 households/families whose adult members would be gifted and willing to host and facilitate a connect group.
- Ask these families to join you for a 6-8 week connect group.
- During the group, model relationship building and good discussion facilitation techniques.
- After the group runs the course, identify best fits for facilitators and hosts to multiply into new connect groups.
- The apprenticeship square on our toolkit becomes a very useful tool to develop facilitators and hosts. (This will be ongoing and is a key function of the Faith Avenue Champion.)
- Be sure to start Connect Groups with a multiplying DNA. The Faith Avenue Champions need to lead and model, and the pastor continues to promote Connect Groups.
As we go through our year of Faith Forward, we are laying the foundation for the teams we will see in the years ahead. Some congregations will end the year wrapping up their first ever Connect Group. Others may start by focusing on church life and creating more relational spaces for life-on-life ministry with members, or perhaps developing their discipleship pathway. The process outlined in this article is just one session in our Growing a Healthy Faith Avenue Tool. We hope this article and the tool will help you discern the next right step for your Faith Avenue. Know that we are praying for you and your group your Faith Avenues.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)