The Ekklēsia Challenge
Ekklēsia (ĭ-klē’zhē-ə) from Greek, meaning “a people called out or summoned for mission”
Ohio Ministries is committed to a comprehensive, three-fold approach that will challenge and equip Ohio’s churches for stepping up and stepping into their divine mission. Together, we work with church leaders to focus on three critical areas that will help churches unify, develop, and grow. We call this cooperative effort the Ekklēsia Challenge.
1. Leadership Development
We understand that ministry is often too big of a job to do alone, so we have implemented several platforms for transformational leadership development.
The Leadership Development part of the Ohio Ministries vision will be accomplished through three channels.
The first is Transformational Leadership Coaching Clusters. These clusters are led by mentor Pastors and meet monthly for two years. In addition to the monthly cluster meetings, this development program includes Super Cluster meetings at least twice per year. These Super Cluster meetings feature established Christian speakers, writers and leaders that inform and inspire the coaching cluster participants.
As a second course of action, Ohio Ministries has partnered with an organization named Ministry Advantage to offer a new initiative we’ve branded Pastoral Leadership Skills Coaching. Dr. Spence refers to this program as teaching the “things that we need to be successful in ministry but were not taught in Bible College or Seminary.” The curriculum includes such things as strategic planning, leading change, building volunteer teams, delegating, maturing the church financially, and others. For more information about the PLSC initiative, click here.
The final component incorporates the Coach Training Initiative sponsored by Church of God Ministries. This program is in partnership with CoachNet, International and provides pastors with the training and development of crucial skill sets in life and ministry coaching. It is our hope to utilize some of the graduates of the CTI process in ongoing coaching relationships.
Ohio Ministries recognizes that 87% of the Church of God churches in Ohio are either in a plateaued growth pattern (showing less than 5% of annual growth) or experiencing a pattern of decline, and we are committed to helping lead Congregational Turnaround and Revitalization efforts across the state.
Vitalization: Church vitalization features an intensive Catalyst Coaching Weekend with the capacity for involving all members of an individual church’s leadership team.
Through the Vitalization process, we will help congregations develop a plan of action for congregational turnaround and revitalization. This process is facilitated through Coaching Weekends led by the Coaching Team.
For the purposes of follow-up and implementation, the congregation is assigned a congregational coach who is on site at least quarterly and as often as monthly, and who is available at other times for counsel in implementing the prescriptions in the coaching report. A personal coach can also be assigned to participating pastors as needed. Additionally, the pastor is required to take part in a coaching cluster, which is used as an accountability forum for personal and ministry growth.
Multiplication: The third exciting element of The Ekklēsia Challengeis our missional commitment to church multiplication through our facilitation of church plants and multi-site congregational development.
In his book, The American Church in Crisis, David T. Olson asserts that:
The critical factor for the health of any denomination is the successful birthing of new churches. Without new birth, the species has no other option but to decline and eventually become extinct.”
In the past forty years, Ohio has not experienced any significant growth in the number of churches. In fact, our church planting efforts have essentially replaced those congregations that have closed. Faced with such a reality, the third part of Ohio Ministries’ vision is to lead a church multiplication initiative whereby we will plant fifty new churches in the next decade. In order to realize this goal, Ohio Ministries has developed The Fig Tree Project wherein we are challenging congregations to adopt a philosophy of multiplication.
The success of church multiplication depends on the success of church planting pastors. Ohio Ministries is committed to helping church planters maximize their potential through coaching opportunities specifically designed for the rigors, complexities, and challenges that church planting entails.