These Marks of a Vital Congregations are a combination of work that Brent Bill and Beth Collea have done, alongside my research on a Convergent Model of Renewal.
- Nurtures a participatory community – leadership fosters ownership and responsibility of whole community, a deep sense of belonging through shared leadership, participatory worship, fun, & fellowship.
- Creates Apprentices – Strong religious education, opportunities for learning, practical skill-building as a means of building shared leadership and ownership. Spiritually enriching, creates “disciples.” Fosters a place of spiritual growth and impact.
- Fosters a “Many voiced” community through diversity, inclusion, resisting the hyper Individualism of Capitalist culture. A community committed to God’s will and the “sense of the meeting.”
- Engaged in outreach, connect with concerns of local community, rejects Quaker exceptionalism and partners with communities to make life better for all. Serving as a launching pad for spiritually motivated social action. Reaching out to other groups locally and in wider geographical areas.
- Committed to a “convergent mindset” – both tradition, contextual, and inclusive in terms of practice, dialogue, etc. Cultivating pride in its Quaker past, but fostering a pioneering spirit.”
- Creates what it wants to see in the world – a creative, generative community. Makes things happen unique to their context, addressing needs and issues in relevant and meaningful ways.