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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Connection

Goal #3: Every congregation in relationship to the CPI program

From the beginning of the World Church’s Co-Mission Pastor Initiative to equip congregational leaders for ministry, I’ve been associated with the pastors and the congregations in our Mission who are participating in this project. Corinth was the first CEM congregation to come on board, and I was there for many preliminary visits, explaining, answering questions, helping set goals, creating targets and then working with their pastor Cheryl Brooks, who was one of the first cohort of 25 pastors to receive the training and to implement that training in her congregation.

Since those early days, five years ago, there have been more visits to assess progress, to note achievements, to measure gains, to generate feedback and evaluate programs. In fact these are the key elements we’ve worked on in the other three congregations who participated in the program: Low Banks, Hamilton and Providence Bay. Pastors Marilyn Graham, Russ Pirie and Weston Leeson each has a story to tell about their CPi journey.

Now, at the “end” of the World Church project, we have launched our own Canada East program, coordinated by Doug Bolger. We currently have twelve pastors, representing seven CEM congregations participating. They too will have amazing stories to tell.

But my objective in sharing today is to tell you of the single benefit every single pastor and congregation has cited as we’ve evaluated their experience! They’ve all had many things to share about how they’ve been positively impacted by the program. But one item leads all their lists: they feel more connected than before.

This connection has several facets. They feel connected to each other. They feel connected to the Mission. They feel connected to a global church. They feel connected to church leaders and instructors they now realize are resources for them to call on. They feel connected to other congregations dealing with the same challenges and joys that they experience. They truly feel connected by one Spirit that unites and supports and upholds us all. They feel empowered by that sense of connection.

I never, never speak with any one of our CPI pastors, whether World Church or CEM participants without mention of this sense of a strong, spiritual bond of connection. And with it a sense that anything is possible!

This is the kind of power we want to tap into with this goal: ensure every congregation has an association with CPI.

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