I was recently talking with a local pastor who reminded me that there are two battles in the book of Joshua that are recapped with some detail. The first is the famous battle of Jericho. God miraculously moved almost inexplicably through nothing more than their shouts and trumpet blasts of faith. It taught God’s people that He is a miracle worker, and they are utterly dependent on Him. The other battle is the second battle against Ai. This is strikingly different than Jericho. There was nothing bizarre or overtly supernatural. But it was a brilliant battle strategy.
Both battle plans, that of Jericho and Ai, came from the same God. He’s a God of faith, and He shows off His power in our weakness. But He is also a God of order and planning. At Church United we refuse to pick between the two. And we don’t believe those are in tension. Throughout our history we’ve witnessed Jericho moments — certainly our last quarterly gathering we witnessed a Jericho moment. We prayed and praised and waited on the Lord. And many of us walked away motivated that we need to push deeper into that. At the same time we feel compelled to continue to give everything we’ve got into prayerfully formulating a strategy to reach South Florida — a region that our God loves deeply.
Towards that end we invite all local church pastors and ministry leaders to join us on Wednesday, October 6th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale as we host David Kinnaman, President of Barna Research to present The State of the Church South Florida.
Rather than asking what are we going to do, we’ve always asked what are we going to change. We are after outcomes, not outputs. We’ve aligned our efforts around Harvard’s five demotions of human flourishing and measure the health of God’s people: spiritually, vocationally, relationally, financially and physically/mentally. As Church United, we have embarked on one of the largest research projects to date on the spiritual, cultural and social climate of our local churches and will use this research to make data-driven ministry design decisions – both in local churches and collaborative initiatives. We want to measure what matters, learn together and collaborate for mission in what is poised to be one of the greatest missional opportunities for God’s people in the region.
In a post-covid world, the need to measure beyond traditional measures of success like attendance and giving have become of paramount importance. This State of South Florida research project helps us know where people in our local churches are strong, uncovers opportunities for growth and provides a unique window into the needs and perceptions our un-churched friends, neighbors and coworkers have towards faith.
This event will be a productive and informative time of learning and collaboration, filled with practical tools and next steps to equip you to be more informed and better connected to your community and to those you serve. If you haven’t registered already, it’s not too late! You can do so at churchunitedfl.com
Edwin Copeland serves as the Director of Church United with the National Christian Foundation of South Florida where he works to unify the Church through collaboration and celebration to see faith, hope, and love spread throughout South Florida. To learn more about Church United, visit churchunited.city
Read more articles by Edwin Copeland at: goodnewsfl.org/author/edwincopeland/