Reimagining Church

Thriving Congregations Initiative: New Models for the 21st Century

Staying Awake: FCCB in Conversation with Church Planter Tyler Sit

Zak Carroll

On Saturday, October 9, the working group from FCCB gathered on Zoom with eight other congregations and Tyler Sit to discuss his book, Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers, and ministry experience as it relates to Reimagining Church. The lecture and breakout groups were lively and Spirit-filled, and I believe each member of the FCCB group came away with a renewed sense of what purpose our Reimagining process has. I invited group members to volunteer their own blog posts throughout the year, and Bill Hall bravely accepted this first invitation to reflect upon Tyler Sit and the current state of our Reimagining project.

Noting that his summary “is entirely subjective, and ... serve[s] as a starting point,” Bill elaborated on Tyler Sit’s “absolute belief in the presence of God in all things,” and how “I [Bill] deeply envy his certainty!”

“Tyler Sit identifies five steps in planting a new church, which he says are not necessarily consecutive, but rather which all pertain to a successful effort.” The five steps Tyler presented were: 1. Research 2. Conversation 3. Hunches 4. Experiments 5. Rhythms. The reasoning behind these steps is the notion that, as the church, we must be: “stewards of momentum, with our goal being to learn. We need to be ‘Jesusy’ enough, but not exclusive, seeking to determine the deep pain and longing -- yearning -- in the community.”

Some questions and points of exploration for future discussion that Bill, based upon our group discussion, enumerated were:
• Is it better to be smaller and tighter as a congregation? How do we think about the number of members and its relationship to effectiveness?
• Where is there a role for addressing the universality of suffering at FCCB?
• How can marginalized people start, stop, and steer our ministry? Especially recognizing that within the marginalized are those who may be isolated, baffled by technology, hindered by mobility or age, etc.
• How can we creatively utilize Killiam’s Point for the good of the community, the world, and the church?