An Episcopal Planning Tool to Help Your Church Advance Spiritual Growth
This workshop series is designed to help you understand the basis for spiritual growth, to examine your congregants' profile, to identify actions which help increase spiritual maturity, and to create a plan to do so.
The original foundation was developed for a wide range of denominational and nondenominational churches. In 2011-12, over a dozen churches from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, in conjunction with the Bishop's staff and key thought leaders throughout the country, took their congregations through the process, building custom content along the way. The result has been a complete update and deepening of the materials. The survey and reference materials now reflect Episcopal beliefs and traditions more deeply.
Along the way, these pilot churches also learned the importance of setting the right expectation: you and your parishioners will grow- spiritually, relationally and closer to God and neighbor.
We are thrilled and grateful that you are part of the next wave of churches participating in this process. Let us know how we can help.
May God richly bless you in this important work.
The Reverend Jay Sidebotham,
The Church of the Holy Spirit and lead sponsor
RenewalWorks consists of four distinct workshops, each with a specific purpose and outcomes. It is progressive, requiring the completion of each session before moving to the next.
Workshop #1: "Understanding FOLLOW ME"
The session starts with an in-depth review of the empirical findings from the REVEAL research group. First the spiritual continuum, or spiritual segments, is defined, complete with a clear snapshot of the different levels of spiritual maturity. Then the catalysts for growth are shared to help define what causes movement toward spiritual maturity. This spiritual growth framework is the basis to profile your churches survey results.
Workshop #2: "Understanding Your Data"
This session is all about the survey findings: what is the profile of your church's spiritual health and vitality. The data is summarized several ways in addition to being bench marked against over 1600 other churches that have also taken the survey. The outcome is a vivid picture of where you are, which is also the baseline used for planning future growth Initiatives.
Workshop #3: "Identifying Actions"
This session has two in-depth knowledge exercises, including a review of the Episcopal Beliefs & Practices. These are the basis of our traditions, language and liturgy. Then the Best Practice Principles are shared, providing a structure to organize future plans, based on very healthy congregations from all corners of the globe. The last phase of this intensive workshop is called imagining: what could our church look like. It's quite creative and will likely push the boundaries of conventional thought, a perfect point to stop and reflect on what could be.
Workshop #4: "Taking Action"
This session is all about priorities and specific plans- both for the church and what you can do to help deliver the plan. It also includes personal reflection on your own spiritual health. In the end, you should have a clear plan and action steps, ready to be shared with the Vestry. These recommendations will be supported by the data and likely instill real hope for the future.
The following materials were designed specifically to support the process. We strongly encourage that all should be used as they are proven resources. Just click to download:
A pithy summary of the process, helpful tips, and FAQs.
A comprehensive, step-by-step explanation for the process leader.
Helps organize materials, includes individual exercises and reflections.
Practical leave behinds and exercises, tying directly to the workshop
Best practices, from the Episcopal Pilot Churches, as thought starters
for possible activities for your church to consider- some great ideas to
A glossary of terms and bibliography of extra reading and research
An overview of how to view and interpret your Data.
Sample Vestry Report:
An overview of the survey findings written for the Vestry.
Sample Vision Piece
Lessons from Unlikely Sources: What a Market Researcher and a
Megachurch are Teaching a Few Episcopalians about Growing
The Anglican Theological Review Summer 2012 (Volume 94|Number3)
Another first: a real-time webinar series that parallels the workshops.
FAQ's for church leaders interested in RenewalWorks.
FAQ's for parishioners taking the survey.
Have questions? Need a little coaching? Aren't sure what's next?