1 Way to "Be the Church"

by Patrick Johnson  |  January 15, 2013

As the New Year rolled around in 2012, Christ Community Church had a big goal.  They wanted to help people get more involved.  They wanted to develop new connections in the community, send more people on mission trips, get more people out of debt and empower their Community Groups to impact their neighborhoods.  In other words, they wanted to intentionally be the church.  They wanted to help their entire congregation practice the ways of Jesus.

While many of these things were already happening at Christ Community, they were praying for more involvement in both local and long distance missions.  Additionally, the church leadership was praying for personal, spiritual breakthroughs in the lives of their members.

I don’t know about you, but those goals sound familiar to me.  Aren’t those the major things that most churches want to accomplish?  Doesn’t your church want to produce disciples while being the hands of feet of Jesus to the watching world?

If you want your congregation to “be the church” instead of just showing up for church, the goals of Christ Community probably fit into your wheelhouse.

Here’s where Christ Community got audacious.  They wanted to increase involvement in all of these areas quickly.  They weren’t hoping to see it happen during a five-year emphasis, but they wanted people to start growing in and living out their faith at the start of the year.

In order to do that, they decided to launch a campaign of generosity.

Beginning in January, Pastor Jim Nicodem initiated a four-week preaching series called “Generosity.”  During this series, the entire church rallied around the power of Biblical generosity and launched into their ministry goals with enthusiasm. 

Christ Community used this generosity campaign to filter their ministry desires through the congregation, into their Community Groups and into the homes of the members.  They customized copies of Gordon MacDonald’s Generosity Devotional and even outfitted it with personal and Community Group applications.  They made the books fit the niche goals of their church for maximum impact.

After members received the book, they read the brief devotionals each day and then discussed its implications in their weekly Community Groups.  They even developed corresponding material for their kids to study Generosity, so that the children could join their parents in “being the church.”

Here’s what happened as a result:

  • their Community Group attendance greatly exceeded their goals
  • they experienced a swell in worship attendance during the Generosity campaign
  • their local “opportunity adventure” projects increased significantly
  • their Financial Peace University attendance quadrupled
  • their church giving went up 12% from the previous year after the campaign.

Maybe more importantly, the communities around Christ Community Church saw the church in action.  They saw the glory of God coming into their neighborhoods, down their streets and to their doorsteps.  They saw a church that was imitating the ways of Jesus.  They never had to leave their homes to see the glory of God.  They saw it through an assembly of people, being the church.


If you are ready for your church to jump into a campaign of generosity…or if you want to get your church on the 3-Point Pathway for Unleashing Generous Disciples, jump into the conversation at

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Looking for an online bible discussion forum? Could you point me in the right direction or provide links to one you recommend?
Michael Healy
April 13, 2013 - 06:44:39 AM
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