The Communio team just returned from a two-day strategy meeting with one of the nation’s largest evangelical churches.
With Communio’s help, LCBC Church, with more than 18,000 adult attendees, is now making relationship ministry for singles, married, those preparing for marriage, and those in crisis their number one priority in 2020. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we met with their entire 200-member staff and their executive leadership team to help them chart their course for 2020.
“It’s a mindset shift of infusing relationships into everything that we’re doing.”
That was David Ashcraft, the church’s founding and senior pastor, sharing his reflections on the Communio model. The photo below shows our opening session at their main campus in Lancaster, PA.
Over the next 24 months, Communio is equipping leaders at LCBC’s 14 individual campuses across southern and central Pennsylvania. They have set the ambitious goal of moving 10,000 of their members – and those in their surrounding communities – through substantive, skills-based ministry to have a healthy marriage or learn the skills to have one.
Together, we reviewed data from the first-party assessment they recently completed, where they learned:
• 24 percent of their membership identified with the word struggling to describe their marriage
• 80 percent of the nearly 300 engaged members were not in any form of marriage preparation.
• Two thirds of their singles said they wanted help from the church on how to form healthy relationships.
With clarity on this eye-opening reality, Communio helped the church sketch out a 120-day ministry outreach and engagement strategy to build a full-circle relationship ministry in 2020. It begins with a series of community-facing “Outreach Events” hosted next year to draw in couples – both dating and married – inside and out of the church.
These large-scale events will be LCBC’s opportunity to leverage Communio’s ministry engagement ladder to move participants on a growth journey toward healthier relationships and eventually into a series of skills-based experiences.
“We’re excited about working with Communio,” said Pastor David Ashcraft. “As a church family we always try to say “we’re not the experts in a lot of things – so let’s go out and find the experts.” The reason we’re connecting with Communio is their ability and their expertise in helping develop relationships and coming alongside us helping us in our church family with singles, with marriages, with marriages that are struggling, with marriages that are excelling.
And saying what can we do to continue to help each of those different groupings be stronger, not only within the church, but even outside the church and becoming a resource to the community to make a difference throughout the communities surrounding our campuses.”
More church trainings are scheduled as work launches in new cities in Montana and Texas. In fact, next week our team will onboard a large, historic Anglican congregation in Fairfax, Virginia onto Communio’s platform.
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