Our church family is growing. This year we became a family of two churches, and we are looking ahead to a third neighborhood church on the horizon on the Eastside. As we continue to grow and reach more parts of the city, as our ministry systems and structures becomes more complex – Central Ministries becomes essential in supporting the healthy growth of this church family into the future.
The functions of Central Ministries include network-wide vision, systems and leadership development, financial management, media production, human resources, and communications. Central Ministries also generates shared resources, and provides logistical leadership on church-wide events and demographic-based ministries (such as premarital counseling and events like the Parents Table.)
To get more specific and practical, Central Ministries is made up of people. People like Sarah Cowan Johnson, Executive Pastor of the Sanctuary Network, and Jason Lee, our Creative Director – who serve not just one parish but the entire church network. Sarah’s strategic leadership and Jason’s creative leadership enable ministries like the homegroups we’ve been talking about today to thrive and grow and reproduce quickly across all Sanctuary churches.
CITY PARISH MODEL: Sanctuary Church is transitioning to be more organized like Providence: by neighborhood. We believe we’re called to live beyond Sunday gatherings and midweek homegroups; to invest our whole lives in developing deep community with fellow believers in proximity to where we live.
We call this neighborhood model The City Parish. Our neighborhood churches exist as part of a larger, unified family.
Historically to have a parish meant to take spiritual responsibility for a geographic area. That’s why future Sanctuary churches will join in taking ownership of the spiritual condition of their neighborhood, finding ways to not only love one another, but tangibly love those living nearby through acts of service and stewarding resources for the common good.
Our hope is that each city parish church will be diverse in its essential nature, uniting women, men, and families from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds across the metropolitan area.
Some language used from “City Parish Model” by City Collective