What if two or three local churches hired a professional in ministry with children and families to ‘circuit ride’ for a year to two years among the two or three local churches?
Circuit riders were commonplace in the frontiers of America as communities began organizing formally. The circuit riders of the past were clergy. Most Christian educators today are lay people who love Jesus and love people; have history in their community. If ever the local church was in a season of pioneering the new frontiers of America today those frontiers would not be land, but rather minds, schedules, rhythms, relationships, and truth.
- Lead, model, and offer training support of leadership to provide a Sunday morning faith formation experience for children/families when most of that local church is on campus for critical mass.
- Provide marketing, promotion, training, resources, and tools to coach each of the two or three local churches to offer a shared experience to be rotated with individual local church flair in a small group formation mindset.
- Meet and train the local church leadership the most effective ways to partner with parents and grandparents in their community with life skill classes.
- Evaluate each of the two or three local churches to determine ‘What’s in your hand?’ to leverage for effective fruitfulness.
- Packaging and sharing events for intergenerational relationship-building.
I believe God has already equipped every local church with all the resources necessary to share the light and love of Christ in that community, but may need some coaching and modeling for ministry and growth as the local church looks differently as we ALL start over pioneering this new local church frontier.
Skills to consider
- A relationship-building networker in-person and online.
- Understands today’s family rhythms with the demands of work, school, and extracurricular activities.
- Nonjudgmental team-leading coach and teacher.
- Exudes the joy of the Lord.
- Christian hospitality.
- Experienced innovator or innovation broker.
- Someone who starts and finishes stuff and communicates well along the way.
- Experienced recruiter
- Ability to ask good questions, prioritize schedule, and a sense of urgency to connect littles with bigs who love Jesus.
What it could look like
- Start with table conversations of each local church with conversational surveys.
- Dashboard research of ‘what’s in your hand’ and ‘what’s in each church’s area’.
- Plan an 18-month calendar of special Sundays (to build energy; ignite traction; lay out next steps for each family event). The first event could be rolled out in 30 days.
- Combine financial resources between the two or three local churches, along with grants, to roll out a quarterly special community event which would be rotated, with a specific-church-bent, among the two or three.
- The two or three local churches provide the financial support to compensate the FX (Faith Experience) Director/Coordinator in salary/stipend and supply acquisition.
- Systems for security, safety, budget, curriculum, schedules, mission, would be implemented as shared and common best practices.
What if two or three smaller local churches came together to share the expenses of hiring a called, professional Christian educator with children and families to ‘circuit ride’ for a year to two years among the two or three local churches in relatively close proximity? The learning curve to secure a staff member to reliably serve part-time who comes with the skills of recruiting, marketing, evaluating, and the drive to independently learn on their own what’s developmentally appropriate for multi-age children is a winding, steep curve and takes years. Within a year to 18 months, this person might coach and lead a team at each local church ready to take the next step into ministry development to see what could be done with what they have and where they have it better together.
“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” 1 Corinthians 14:26