It’s 2016. It is time that church move outside of the walls. Whether those walls be the physical walls of the building, or the walls of tradition, or the walls that state you sit in a hard pew and are silent in worship—or the walls of injustice.
IMP—Innovative Ministry Percolator—is a support network of new churches. These churches are doing amazing ministry and are rooted in their community. IMP formed out of a breakout session at UNCO (remember when I wrote about UNCO? Yeah. If you missed out, UNCO West is coming up in October. Plenty of time to register). A group of attendees concerned about how to fund their new church starts when denominational funds are scarce began looking at how they could support one another, and get others involved in financial support in unique and creative ways. So we formed IMP, and we have grown to seven church ministry starts, from across several denominational and affiliation lines including Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Presbyterian Church USA, Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, and Swedenborgian.
So while I would love to pitch to you why you should support IMP, what I am hoping is that you will look at these ministries and use them as a way of reflecting what is missing in your community, what could be started outside of your walls (whether they be physical or metaphorical), and reach out to us for support. We are supporting ministry with houseless folks, disabled folks, artsy folks, earthy folks, justice-seeking folks from all walks of life, faith-seeking folks, spirit-filled folks. We are finding the Spirit moving in a coffee shop, in a picket line, in respite care for disabled children, in planting sustainable ministries that literally feed people, in the movement of the spirit in our God-given bodies, in spiritual retreat in the Redwoods.
Where is the spirit moving in your church? What walls are you being called to break down? And in your setting, where do you find support and connection with others doing ministry in similar settings, or at least, similar circumstances?
It’s 2016, and it is time we started looking beyond denominational walls and reach out to one another to support each other in this ministry of removing walls.
Reach out to us. If you can, we’d love your support, but we’d also love to share how the Spirit is moving in our contexts, and maybe help share a glimpse of where the Spirit might be moving in your context as well.