Thrive! Equipping a Vibrant Church Together
The vision of the Southern Ohio Synod, adopted at the 2016 Assembly, is “Stronger and Better Together: Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World. It is serving us well – strengthening existing ministries, bringing change where needed and helping us survive. Yet, what if we could do more than just survive – but thrive? Thrive is a capital campaign designed to help us do just that, which is why Pastors Advisory Cabinet (PAC) member, Pastor Barry Scott, says he is passionate about Thrive!
I can describe why I am passionate about the Thrive! Campaign in one word: Mission. It’s Goal 4: Launching New Congregations and Reaching New People. This is what “the church” is really all about, isn’t it? The other 4 goals are all worthy as well, and much needed as they will help us to be stronger and healthier together. But new mission starts are a direct response to the command of our Lord in the Great Commission. All verbs: Go. Make disciples. Baptize. Teach. And, so we do.
I grew up in mission churches – we all did. It was the foresight, care and concern of those who came before us that made it possible for us to become baptized disciples of Christ who were taught the Gospel. For me, it was a Norwegian Lutheran congregation that became a neighborhood church and is now a Hispanic Lutheran outreach in Chicago. Then a new mission church in the suburbs where I responded to the call into ministry, and another as a new pastor. All across this Synod are rapidly growing areas filled with families in new neighborhoods. And we have the call – the mission to reach out to them with the grace of God in Jesus Christ. As Lutherans, we know that we have a unique and powerful message as we proclaim God’s love through the grace of Jesus Christ. We live in a fallen and broken world that desperately needs to hear that message of forgiveness and life, and to then live the abundant life God intends us all to have. “Stronger and better together: Joining Jesus in the restoration of the world” is not just a catchy phrase. It is the essence of our identity, and the work we are called to as God’s family!
Rev. Barry Scott (Trinity Lutheran, Marysville)
The priorities of the Thrive Campaign Goal #4 are summarized here but to see greater detail, including videos about each of the five goals, click on the Thrive Quicklink on the Synod’s website.
Goal 4: Launching New Congregations and Reaching New People
As a Synod, with local congregational partnership, launch two new congregation starts in the next three years.
“Stronger and Better Together: Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World”
The Southern Ohio Synod vision leading us to Thrive!
The Congregational Resource Team, which evolved out of our Synod’s vision, is having a positive impact upon congregations in need of healing and support. Rick Groves, a member of that team, has experienced the power of hope brought on when our vision is lived out and people are restored through the reconciling love of Jesus.
Members of the Congregational Resource Team are available to meet with pastors and congregational lay leaders to listen to concerns and issues related to congregational life. Although not prescribing fixes and remedies, the members of the Synod Resource Team assists these individuals in reviewing, reflecting and considering what is happening within the congregation using a supportive and collegial confidential process. Participants have indicated that these discussions have resulted in improved clarity and an increased sense of hopefulness.
Rick Grove (Holy Trinity, Newark)
“For further information about the Thrive campaign, please contact Pastor Larry Donner, Thrive Campaign Manager, at Thrive@southernohiosynod.org.”