The Whole Church Initiative (WCI) is a valuable tool in building vital churches as it provides an active process of discernment for local congregations. The goal of the WCI is to help congregations follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to discover how God is calling them to live out their mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
It is built on the idea that there are no easy fixes. Moving a congregation to greater vitality will take dedicated and prayerful work from clergy and lay leadership working in partnership.
The WCI is built to expose local church teams to a variety of information about church in the 21st century, its opportunities, and its challenges. In addition to information sharing, the process will guide congregations in identifying and executing ministry experiments that will help you better live into God’s calling for your church.
The WCI is based on missional principles. As described by Reggie McNeal, “Missional is a way of living, not an affiliation or activity.” The WCI is guided by techniques proven to help groups make lasting changes. Not just an isolated one-time event, the goal is to help you learn a new way of doing the work of the church that encourages experimentation.
WCI:Full Strength is organized into cohorts of multiple congregations, or whole circuits. Each congregation creates a team consisting of the appointed pastor and six (6) lay people. Churches will begin meeting as individual teams in the Gather & Pray phase and then meet together for four monthly daylong events.
WCI:Intensive is organized into cohorts of multiple congregations, or whole circuits. Each congregation creates a team consisting of the appointed pastor and six (6) lay people. Churches will begin meeting as individual teams in the Gather & Pray phase and then meet together for a long weekend learning retreat.
WCI:Small Group is conducted like a traditional christian education experience over sixteen weekly sessions. The invitation is open to any who want to participate. If the group starts to get more than ten participants you may want to consider running multiple sessions