Reimagining Church

Thriving Congregations Initiative: New Models for the 21st Century

The Importance of Reimagining Church

By Tamara Fore-Ravelo

We live in a world that is constantly changing and evolving, and the church is no exception. In order to remain relevant and impactful, it is important for the church to periodically reimagine itself. Reimagining, that is the work we are we are doing at Dixwell Congregational Church as we are budding from a pandemic. The church, which was started by enslaved peoples just celebrated 202 years of existence and now we get to think about what the next 200 years will look like. So, what does this process entail? Essentially, it is taking a step back to examine the church’s current state and then making adjustments as needed so that the church can more effectively carry out its intended mission.

There are a number of reasons why reimagining church is important. First and foremost, it allows the church to stay relevant in an ever-changing world. What worked back then, doesn’t necessarily work now. We are not changing who God is, we are only reimagining our impact and methods of integration as a church within the communities that we are serving today. As society changes, the needs of people change as well. The church needs to be adaptable in order to meet these changing needs. Secondly, reimagining church keeps the church from becoming stagnant. When an organization fails to change and evolve, it runs the risk of become irrelevant. Reimagining church allows the church to stay ahead of the curve. By making proactive changes, the church can continue to be a meaningful hope to the world we live in now. To know if we are relevant as a church a question we could ask is “if your church closed today, would your community miss you?” If the answer is “no” then it’s time to start reimagining what you can be now.

So how does one go about reimagining church? It starts with prayerfully seeking God’s guidance. Then, it is important to solicit input from people inside and outside of the church. Once this information has been gathered, it is time to start brainstorming ways to make improvements. These improvements can be anything from making changes to the physical space of the church to revamping the worship service or even expanding outreach programs. The sky really is the limit when it comes to reimagining church! That’s where we are right now. We as a team at Dixwell are in the brainstorming phase. By making intentional changes, our goal is that we will stay relevant and impactful in an ever-changing world!

Image | Sven Mieke on Unsplash