Monday, April 21, 2008

One Church.

one community. one church.

Dear Friends,

Last week I was speaking at the tenth annual meeting of Mission America's "City-Reaching Impact" teams. Mission America is an organization that formed a decade ago under the encouragement of Billy Graham, Bill Bright and a host of other church leaders to mobilize the Church for praying, caring, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus in deed and word across our nation.

I was telling the powerful story of the Catalyst partnership with Alpha. As many of you already know, Alpha is an effective tool that has helped millions of people all around the world enter into a life-changing personal relationship with Jesus. Gerard Long, the Executive Director of Alpha USA, and I shared how Alpha has helped dozens of churches in Lake County become more effective in sharing the Good News of Jesus. As a result of last fall's "Alpha Invitation" we saw. . .

ü 151% increase in guests (Barna research indicates that 50% would have made a commitment to Christ!!)
ü 162% increase in churches running Alpha ü Two first time courses at the local jail ü A first time course at the Great Lakes Naval Base ü A first time course for Young Adults at a local bar and eatery ü A sophomore starting a course in her High School!

Following our presentation, several collaborative church networks around the nation decided to partner with Alpha in the near future. Our next Alpha Invitation will be this fall and several other Chicagoland regions will be joining in with us. We are anticipating over 50 church partners in Lake County alone!

What a thrill to see God use the Church in Lake County as a catalyst all across Chicagoland as well as the whole country! I hope you plan on joining us on Thursday, May 15th in Waukegan for our next 'Bonfire' as we continue to learn and grow from each other!

Serving Together,
Jim Tomberlin
Jim Tomberlin
Senior Advisor, Catalyst

Plan on coming to our next Learning Community (called Catalyst 'Bonfire') on May 15th in Waukegan. [More Info].

As a reminder, the 'Bonfire' is a no-cost event generously gifted to the community by Catalyst Partner churches. We encourage you to be a part of our Catalyst Team as well!

May 15 Workshops include:

The ALPHA Invitation -- Churches Working Together to Reach the Lost
Gerard Long, Executive Director Alpha USA

Come and learn why more groups of churches across the country are joining us in this exciting fall initiative. And why and how the Alpha course is so effective in reaching the 'Lost' with the Gospel (50% of attendees make a commitment to Christ - Barna research 2004). As well as new disciples of Jesus Christ, Alpha helps to stir faith in existing Christians leading to increased commitment and an outward rather inward focus. Using the Alpha course, many churches see individual transformation and also church and community transformation.

Culture, CHANGE and Conflict: A Leader's Perspective
Dick Loizeaux, RDL Consulting

Ever feel like you have to choose between changing your church at the risk of killing it, or preserving your church at the risk of becoming obsolete? To have a missional impact in our rapidly shifting culture, our churches must keep pace with change. Easier said than done, right? This workshop offers a better option. Learn how you can create a church culture that embraces change; establish change-friendly leadership processes; and successfully navigate the inevitable conflicts that pop up along the way.

Men's Fraternity in Your Church
Rick Caldwell, Men's Fraternity

What would motivate men to gather together to take a serious look at their lives from a Godly perspective? How would families, businesses and communities be impacted if men all over northern Chicago were experiencing renewal and were committed to becoming Godly men? Let's find out!
Men's Fraternity is sweeping across the nation, encouraging men to more fully embrace a Godly view of manhood. And it's begun to take root here in Lake County in both small and large group formats. A vision is forming that includes a Fall 2008 launch of Men's Fraternity in churches across Lake County - Plan on sending your whole men's ministry team to this workshop.

Building Your Community Impact Team: The Evolution of a Wholistic Compassion Ministry
Alvin Bibbs, Extension Ministry, Willow Creek Community Church

Ooften a polarizing approach taken by many ministries in North America - some who focus almost exclusively on 'Evangelism' for the next world while other ministries focus almost exclusively on 'Christian Community Development' as their agenda of the present world. This workshop will challenge leaders with a Kingdom perspective that integrates Servant Evangelism, Radical Compassion Ministry, and Social Justice engagements through reconciled relationships. Rachel Snyder will conclude the session with practical ways many Lake County churches use to build local community impact teams, and how best to utilize ShareFest to usher in effective compassion ministries in their church.

Spreading the Flame: Catalyst Across Chicago
Jim Tomberlin, Scott Chapman, Glenn Barth, Dale Gifford

Is this the catalytic moment for your community? Every city movement needs a catalytic moment; a kairos moment when the vision for unity in Christ for community transformation crystalizes into a tangible movement of the Holy Spirit. Come hear how this began for Catalyst of Lake County and how it could happen in your community as well. ** Forward this email to pastors and leaders outside Lake County and invite them to consider starting a collaborative church network in their area.

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