(See article on FaithSoaring Churches Characteristics that preceded this article.)
They more clearly define who can be considered a FaithSoaring Church.
Already you may be typecasting or stereotyping who these congregations may be.
You are probably wrong at some points and right at others. Keep reading to discover the five "not neceesarily FaithSoaring Churches" characteristics.
- FaithSoaring Churches are not necessarily only large, very large, or mega congregations. They may be. These size categories might be FaithSoaring. But size is not a primary criterion. Smaller or medium membership congregations can achieve many or all the FaithSoaring Churches characteristics. This is particularly the case as they are effective in their setting, or with their target or affinity group—especially when the number of households present in their chosen context is small or modest in size. Consider the examples of Nesmith and Trinity congregations.
- FaithSoaring Churches are not necessarily only churches who are evangelistic or seeker-driven, or who reproduce themselves through church planting or a multi-site strategy. Many of these are FaithSoaring Churches, and they are an extremely important part of the overall collection of Christian congregations. The key variable is intentionality focusing on living into the God-led Vision for your congregation. Does your congregation have Vision Plus Intentionality? If so, that is more the key than is the growth strategy of your congregation. Consider the examples of Lake Avenue and Midtown congregations.
- FaithSoaring Churches are not necessarily of a certain or similar theological or doctrinal persuasion. To say that only pentecostal/charismatic, evangelical, mainline, or liberal congregations can be FaithSoaring Churches misses the point. It is more the willingness to be high expectation congregations—those which anticipate that people connected with them grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, in the spirit of 2 Peter 3:18. If you are Christ-centered and Trinitarian you most likely fit as a candidate to be a FaithSoaring
- FaithSoaring Churches are not necessarily staff-driven congregations. Yes, their senior or solo pastor, and any staff, certainly express positive spiritual passion as initiating leaders within the congregation. At the same time, wise staff leaders develop a broad base of ownership throughout the congregation. They realize the congregation will more easily soar if many leaders are developed and empowered to move forward according to their spiritual gifts, skills, and preferences.
- FaithSoaring Churches do not necessarily have a certain style of worship. The style of worship that helps people connected with the congregation to glory in, focus on, and connect with God, is the right style of worship. This can be contemporary, traditional, praise, liturgical, emergent or alternative, or various other styles. It must be high quality worship that helps people experience and celebrate the presence of God, rather than a cultural gathering where God’s presence is incidental.
Dialogue for Your Congregation
- What size is your congregation?
- What is God’s empowering vision for your congregation?
- What is the theological perspective of your congregation?
- What leadership style of your pastor and staff?
- What is the worship style of your congregation?
- Does this mean you are or are not a FaithSoaring Church?