Go Local
Neighborhood Walk
Sunday, April 15
After morning worship, lunch provided.
Registration Closed
                                     See you there!

 

 Want learn more about Go Local? Keep on reading below!

Many in our churches today realize that there is a disconnect between their congregation and their communities. The Go Local Initiative is a process by which participants learn and discern new ways to join God in their neighborhoods and follow God in mission together. 

This grassroots shared action-learning journey equips congregations, clergy and classis leaders to discern, design and participate in learning experiments grounded in Scripture and prayer, and rooted in the following convictions:

  • God is the primary actor and agent in the church and in the work of a local congregation.
  • God’s future is among God’s people. We believe that the answer to the question of how to discern and join with God in the local is already among the people of a congregation.
  • Discernment is key.
  • Adaptive change is cultivated through an engagement with a set of simple, repeatable practices that teach, transform and equip us.

 Step One: Introductory Workshop and Clergy meeting.

Clergy and congregation learn about and experience the Go Local process; its practices, commitments and projected outcomes.

Step Two: Discernment and Groundwork

The next important next step for interested congregations and pastors is to determine their readiness for this journey together with other congregations in their area.  This involves taking some time to build an understanding of the process among leaders of the congregations as well as assessing each congregation’s readiness to join the work. 

Step Three:  The Go Local Process

The Congregational Guiding Team (of 4-7 members) commits to:
  1. Meeting monthly for listening, discerning, experimenting and leading the congregation through the process with an external coach;
  2. Meeting every 3-4 months with other guiding teams to share what they have learned and receive training in next steps;
  3. Occasionally sharing learning in other contexts such as with Classis, the region and/or Home Missions staff.

The Clergy Learning Community meets monthly and commits to:

  1. Practicing action-reflection learning;
  2. Reflecting upon the work of the congregation and implications for their leadership;
  3. Assessing, naming, reflecting upon and developing an action plan for their leadership challenges;
  4. Reflecting upon experiments in neighborhood engagement;
  5. Designing communication pieces for sharing what they are learning and experiencing more broadly;
  6. Exploring shared spiritual practices;
  7. Supporting their guiding team and participating in other ‘Go Local’ elements as appropriate.

Why this process works and what has been learned?

Go Local is not a model or a program but rather a communal discipleship process which helps us (re-) engage Christian practices and join God at work in our communities. Participants learn about discerning God’s actions in their neighborhoods by doing their own work of designing experiments, testing them out and then reflecting on what they have done together. The practices cultivated, shared and learned from, then become internalized such that participants can continue the process on their own and invite others to join them!
 
Participant Testimony

What I have come to realize with Go Local is that the practices in which we are engaged lead us collectively to become more attentive to each other, to God, and to our neighbors.  The result of these practices is to coax us into a posture of being, rather than doing, of listening, rather than telling, of experiencing the leading of the spirit, trusting God,  and discerning what he is already up to in the neighborhood.  It is more about how, as we trust the process, God changes our perspective and posture toward our neighbors.                                   

Go Local Participant