The Rev. Jay Lawlor discusses congregational vitality and reimagining church for the 21st century

The Rev. Jay Lawlor discusses congregational vitality and reimagining church

The Rev. Jay Lawlor reflects on his work in congregational vitality and reimagining a more missional church for the 21st century.

Dramatic shifts underway for Christianity has led me in recent years to think more deeply and critically about how we live out our mission as followers of Christ Jesus.”
— The Rev. Jay Lawlor

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US, February 13, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Rev. Jay Lawlor is engaging in two, related, projects to encourage a vital church for the 21st century. "The Congregational Vitality Project is an effort to more deeply understand what makes for vital congregations, how to measure vitality of congregations, and ways in which we cultivate vitality in congregations," states the Rev. Jay Lawlor on his website. He continues by adding "An important aspect [of congregational vitality] is promoting and measuring missional activity to move beyond maintenance or even sustainability." Promoting missional activity is the work of the Rev. Lawlor's Reimagine Church project.

The Rev. Jay Lawlor writes that his work with congregational vitality began in seminary when he participated as a member of the Congregational Studies committee, which was a joint effort of Episcopal Divinity School and the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. He goes on to discuss how he has engaged this work “in the field” while serving as a priest full-time in Episcopal congregations for nearly a decade.

"Dramatic shifts underway for Christianity has led me in recent years to think more deeply and critically about how we live out our mission as followers of Christ Jesus," said the Rev. Jay Lawlor. "Since 2012 I have devoted considerable time to mission projects I believe important to the Jesus movement in the 21st century," he added.

A focus of the Rev. Lawlor's work is looking at how the church can cultivate and support vital congregations. "I’m passionate about God’s mission and seeing vital congregations fulfilling God’s call to actively and effectively participate to form disciples mature in faith who serve the world as the heart and hands of Christ Jesus," said the Rev. Lawlor.

Related to his congregational vitality project is what the Rev. Jay Lawlor calls 'Reimagine Church.' He explains Christianity is currently undergoing one of the major shifts of Christian history. "It is a new reformation which calls for our focus being ecclesia — the spiritual creation of God which is a fellowship of friends and followers of Jesus — rather than the church as a religious institution," said the Rev. Jay Lawlor. He added he borrowed the terminology from missional thinkers and church leaders such as The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Episcopal Bishop of Texas. "It is a call to being a radically generous, loving, justice-seeking, and peace-making group of disciples. It is being missional — proclaiming and living the message of Jesus in service to the world," commented the Rev. Lawlor.

Readers can learn more about the Rev. Jay Lawlor's Congregational Vitality Project at https://www.therevjaylawlor.com/missionprojects/congregationalvitality/ and his Reimagine Church at https://www.therevjaylawlor.com/missionprojects/reimaginechurch/

The Rev. Jay Lawlor
The Rev. Jay Lawlor
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