Date: August 2, 2022
For the last year, TryTank has focused on three strategic areas: smaller congregations, Latino ministry, and youth/young adults. I’d like to share with you some of the work we have done and what we have learned.
Today, we’ll look at smaller congregations. As many of you have heard me say, out of the Episcopal Church’s almost 6,000 congregations, 1,730 have 29 and fewer people on a Sunday. These smaller congregations generally do not have a full-time clergy person, and many have no regular clergy presence on Sundays. The question we explored: “How can smaller congregations with few resources still be thriving congregations who are making disciples?”
So far, we have tried an experiment where the monks from SSJE provided sermons for the Advent season which smaller congregations could use as video sermons or scripts. Almost 500 congregations participated. The SSJE brothers were so pleased with the response that they now host the ministry as a regular offering from the Monastery.
We have also worked with smaller congregations in several areas of evangelism. Some 50 congregations have joined us to be coached with resources to create relationships with their neighbors. (In one event around the blessing of the animals, a child was even baptized on the spot!)
These experiments (among others) show that we have an amazing resource in our smaller congregations and their Jesus-loving leaders who welcome new ideas to do ministry.
Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija
Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, TryTank