How we do church in a new time and place
The future of the church is more connected. The future of the church is in deeper conversation. The future of the church is a future with deeper covenant. The Covenant Project is the work of changing structures to be more just and relationships across the church to be more connected.
The Covenant Project began more than three years ago as part of the work of Governance Committee of the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). When the Governance Committee met in retreat in the fall of 2019, they committed to the work of aligning the Design with God’s design for the church and to claim the power and potential of covenant.
To that end, the committee took two important steps: the first was the development of the Covenant Curriculum, a small group resource for congregations to explore their identity as covenantal partners in the wider church. The second was a process of a review of the Design, with an aim to explore how the church’s structures and practices might shift to better serve the church, with two main areas of focus.
The first area of evaluation and recommendations is the General Assembly which refers to not just a gathering but the structure of how congregations relate to and engage with the larger church to provide feedback, prioritize vision and lead. The second area of evaluations and recommendations is centered around the General Board.
Why Now? Why This?
When the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) established The Design in 1969, much of the structures and practices were adapted from the existing structures. As our church has grown more expansive and diverse, we’ve made adaptations on the model.
However, the changing composition of the church and a growing desire to have our structures reflect our commitment to be a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world means rethinking how we engage and relate to one another.
Put simply, if we are going to be the church we say we are, we need to dismantle structures that aren’t working well and reimagine how we relate to one another as the body of Christ. We want to be more connected, not less. We want congregations to be more connected to one another and the General Board, have more of a voice in the present and future of the church.
These changes will allow congregations to be able to provide feedback, set agendas and weigh in on the present and future of the church. They will allow the General Board and General Assembly to hear with more frequency and with more nuance from congregations so that more voices are heard and shape the church.
For a more complete discourse on The Covenant Project go to https://disciples.org/covenant-project