Awakening the Local Church
Update on the Congregational Vitality Pathway
“…I (Jesus) will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18b)
God continues to build His church for His glory.
Since 2016, starting in Quebec and now also in FEB Central, an exciting work has begun to strengthen Fellowship churches, using the principles of the Congregational Vitality Pathway – an approach developed by the US-based Evangelical Covenant Church. The CV Pathway has been utilized in many different countries and contexts. We are excited about its potential to help re-invigorate local churches across Canada.
The CV Pathway contrasts with typical church health strategies because of its preparation period of improving the culture of a church before initiating change within the church. “Preparing the soil” in this way demands more time and effort than jumping directly to assessments and solutions. However, the focus on understanding and improving the culture within the body will ultimately improve the quality of the eventual harvest.
In the last few months, the principles of CV Pathway have been shared with many church leaders, including a workshop at FNC 2017. So far, four churches in AÉBÉQ and five in FEB Central have decided to embrace this revitalization approach which invites a coach to journey with the church for this season. While the CV Pathway takes about 18 months, the early reports have been encouraging. The leadership teams have been encouraged and excited about the initial stages of the approach. Each VERITAS workshop that kicks of the journey with the whole church has been spirit-filled and energizing, as the church prepares to seek the Lord’s face and guidance. One of the foundational principles of the Pathway is the belief that God will provide for the ministry to which He calls His church. Part of the approach prepares the church to better discern and respond to His work in and through us.
If your heart longs to see your church re-awakened to its mission with new passion and vigour, the CV Pathway is an approach worth considering. Churches of any size or age can become more healthy and missional by focusing more on where God is already at work in and around the church.
— Andrew Hurrell lives in Ottawa, ON, and is an independent church health consultant who has been retained by AÉBÉQ and FEB Central to promote revitalization in the local church. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CVP in the AÉBÉQ Region
Regional Director, Louis Bourque provides an update from the AÉBÉQ Region as to how CVP has been received in the Region:
"Over the past two years we at AÉBÉQ have been creating a CVP Field Team with the purpose of encouraging and supporting our churches to become both healthy and missional. The tools and approach of the Congregational Vitality Pathway program have served as our starting point. This spiritual approach involves both church leaders and members in the process of asking God to reveal the portrait of health for their church. Our conviction is that a lasting vitality change in a church must begin with a true health portrait. One of the first spiritual fruits that we have seen so far is a change in the relationship culture amongst the leaders first, and eventually amongst the members."
CVP in the FEB Central Region
Regional Director, Bob Flemming provides an update as to how CVP has been received in the FEB Central Region:
"We are truly thrilled to be able to offer the Congregational Vitality Pathway as a process for church revitalization in our region. The combination of church-wide engagement, on-site facilitating, formation of a vitality team, and ongoing coaching enhances effectiveness and Spirit-led change. Our prayer is to see many of our churches utilize CVP for spiritual renewal, plus raise up our own CV Pathway leaders to be used in our own churches. Andrew Hurrell, CV Pathway certified coach and church consultant, is a gift to us and we appreciate his service and ministry to our churches."