of a Fruitful Congregation…
Radical hospitality describes a genuine love for others who are not yet a part of the faith. Members focus on those outside their congregation with as much passion as they attend to the nurture and growth of those who already belong to the family of faith, and they apply their utmost creativity, energy, and effectiveness to the task, exceeding all expectations. (KUPC has had many successful hospitality dinners!)
Passionate worship is an extraordinary eagerness to offer the best in worship, honoring God with excellence and with an unusual clarity about the purpose of connecting people to God. People gather consciously with eagerness and expectancy; encounter Christ through singing, prayer, Scripture, preaching and Holy Communion; and respond by allowing God’s Spirit to shape their lives. (Our worship service at KUPC is, and has been, a strong and powerful practice!)
Intentional Faith Development
Intentional faith development matures our understanding and experience of Christ. No matter how dedicated our efforts, the transformation of human hearts and minds is God’s work through the Holy Spirit, and intentionally learning in community is our way of placing ourselves in the hands of God so that God can sculpt our souls and recreate us in the image of Christ. (This practice has been particularly strong at KUPC in the last two years: Reading the Bible in 90 Days, Advent Study, Lenten Study, Men’s Breakfast, and the Women’s Bible Study.)
Risk-Taking Mission and Service
Risk-taking mission and service includes the projects, efforts, and work people do to make a positive difference in the lives of others for the purpose of Christ, whether or not they will ever be party of the community of faith. (Our recent commitment to the East End Resource Center and our continued success in feeding 100 or more guests each month is a good example of this
Extravagant generosity describes practices of sharing and giving that exceed all expectations and extend to unexpected measures. It describes lavish sharing, sacrifice, and giving in service to God and neighbor. Vibrant, fruitful, growing congregations thrive because of the extraordinary sharing, willing sacrifice, and joyous giving of their members out of love for God and neighbor.
About the Five Practices
“Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation” by Robert Schnase
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations describes practices that shape and sustain congregations. Vibrant, growing, fruitful congregations repeat and deepen certain fundamental activities, seeking to perform them with excellence: Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity. These edgy words focus us on the appropriate work that helps us fulfill the mission of church. Congregations offer the invitation and welcome of Christ, provide worship that connects us to God and to one another, offer opportunities for people to grow in Christ by learning in community, relieve suffering and improve the conditions of people in need through service and mission, and teach people to give of themselves.