Boot Camp notes
Pray first. Prep the people. Get the prayer support. Connect to the community by praying over it. Develop a sense of what the call of the church in the community is to be.
After the Mission and Vision of a church are established, it is time to put legs on the words. Putting things into action is great, but it can be even more revealing to put the ministries already in action before the people, affirm those ministries, and advertise the church at work.
Commission the people of the church to the ministries they are already participating. Consider doing this once a week, once a month or annually. I think monthly or weekly is more successful, as it sends the people out with a new task each week. Think of sending each person to a single ministry. If there are other people who do this same ministry, ask them to stand in place, and affirm/send them in the commissioning of the one.
Now, for the work of determining the ministries to be sending folks into, and building a commissioning liturgy for each ministry/person. Is this a generic statement, or personalized each week to each person or ministry?
Get the congregation to name the community agencies, persons of interest, connections they want the pastor to make. Get out in the community and meet them. Meet the congregation in their homes, at their work place, in third spaces to get to know the community better, as well as the congregation.
What are the places people congregate in town? Where are the people who are forgotten? (i.e. the hookers, the migrant workers, the half-way houses) Who are the most important people in town? (Is there someone who knows those people and can make introductions?)
Who is being left out of church? How do you know this?