According to author and church leader Robert Schnase, the Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations describes practices that shape and sustain congregations.
Vibrant, growing, fruitful congregations repeat and deepen certain fundamental activities, seeking to perform them with excellence: Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity.
These edgy words focus us on the appropriate work that helps us fulfill the mission of church. Congregations offer the invitation and welcome of Christ, provide worship that connects us to God and to one another, offer opportunities for people to grow in Christ by learning in community, relieve suffering and improve the conditions of people in need through service and mission, and teach people to give of themselves.
Five Practices of Fruitful Living moves the discussion of Christian practice from the congregational level to the personal practices of discipleship. The fruitful, God-related life develops with intentional and repeated attention to five essential practices that are critical for our growth in Christ.
We invite God into our lives and make room for God in our hearts, we love God in return, we purposefully cooperate with the Holy Spirit in our spiritual growth, we serve and love others, and we allow God to shape our giving. Through these practices, God changes us from the inside out and works through us to transform the world. (http://fivepractices.org/about/)
As Barnard explores these concepts there is a clear understanding it is not a 'fix' but a way to thoughtfully re think how - and why- we 'do church'.
Come...'grow' with us!