FAQs

Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Acts 16:5 Initiative.

1. Briefly, what is the Acts 16:5 Initiative?

The Acts 16:5 Initiative is a three-year process for transformation and missional endeavor used by congregations of all sizes and present levels of vitality and is supported by their denomination’s regional authority such as a diocese, presbytery, or district.

2. Is the Acts 16:5 Initiative different from all the other “seminars” we have attended?

Yes!!!  Much of the current help in congregational vitality focuses either on transformation (vitality) OR its missional endeavor. The Acts 16:5 Initiative focuses a congregation on both. The Vital Churches Institute begins with a theology of transformation with the conviction that you need the capacity to design ministry uniquely suited to your own people. We know that much being taught today is a “sociology of transformation” which says “It works here and it will work for you.”

3. Why should we invest in the Acts 16:5 Initiative?

The Acts 16:5 Initiative is a process proven to be of great encouragement to hundreds of congregations, from the very small to the very large, seeking to grow in their vitality and fruitfulness by God’s grace. When joined by other congregations in a denominational region tremendous mutual support and affirmation among pastors and congregation develops.

4. What is the cost? How will we find the financial resources needed?

When a congregation or a denominational region wants to pursue transformation and grow in bearing missional fruit in the world, a surprising number of ways will surface providing needed financial and equipping resources. The Vital Churches Institute will help you think through this process according to your need.  For pricing information, contact VCI at: contact@vitalchurches.com.

5. What will it cost us to NOT engage in congregational transformational?

Engaging in a process like the Acts 16:5 Initiative opens oneself and one’s congregation to all sorts of new possibilities in our shared life as the people of God. At times congregational leaders assume they understand what is needed. Others may face the possibility of new ideas but be unwilling to pay the personal price that transition will bring. In every such case such thinking means missing the many possible future fruitful initiatives by the grace of the God who does a new thing.

6. What are the first three steps?

1. Contact your denominational region and request to engage in the Acts 16:5 Initiative or for information regarding your questions and opportunities to attend an upcoming event contact VCI at: contact@vitalchurches.com. 
2. The pastor invites three to six people of imagination and initiative to attend the launch seminar and to discuss the opportunities they see for their congregation by engaging in the Acts 16:5 Initiative.
3. The pastor and the ruling board of the congregation wrestle with and settle their specific issues and then commit to the three-year process.

7. Who will train us?

The Vital Churches Institute has a team of pastors and others who have experienced both the joys and challenges of congregational transformation and who have the gifts of consulting, teaching and coaching others.

8. Is this another one-size fits all plan that will be hard to implement in my congregation?

No. Every congregation is unique with the people who are involved and particular issues it is facing. As a result we teach a variety of key concepts that lead to transformation and missional endeavor and offer the coaching to apply those concepts knowing that the result will look differently in every congregation.

9. What is the time commitment required?

The Acts 16:5 Initiative is a three-year process of transformation. That is long enough to get things moving in new ways and short enough to be “believable” by congregational leadership.  More significantly, it is committing to a change of heart and an opening of the mind.

10. What is the role of my denominational region?

The Vital Churches Institute offers the regional leadership the tools and guidelines they will need to offer this support to their congregations. We have learned that when a denominational region such as a presbytery, district or diocese leads the transformation of its congregations, tremendous mutual support among pastors and congregational members results.

11. Can my congregation participate in the Acts 16:5 Initiative if our denominational region is not involved?

Yes. The Vital Churches Institute will put you into contact with a region currently involved or about to begin the Acts 16:5 Initiative

12. How can I convince my church leaders that this is an important step for us?

We will help you! We know virtually every congregation may grow in fruitfulness, whether it is small or large, flourishing or failing. However, sometimes congregational leaders don’t think the church needs it or are unaware of the possibilities before them.  We will send your sponsoring denominational region the materials and DVDs that will give your leaders a sound grasp of the process and benefits of the Acts 16:5 Initiative for your congregation.

13. Who do I need to bring alongside me to explore participation in the Acts 16:5 Initiative?

People of imagination and initiative who are respected by your congregation and its leadership who want to invest themselves in the increasing vitality and fruitfulness of your congregation.

14. Is there a book that summarizes some of the key concepts of the Acts 16:5 Initiative?

Yes: Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church by E. Stanley Ott, Eerdmans Publishing.  Copies are available through the VCI Bookstore under the Resources tab.