Healthy Church Clusters
Healthy Church Pastor’s Cluster Purpose
In most clusters the meetings are approximately two and a half hours in length including lunch every other month during the odd months except for July. In terms of overall purpose:
1. We like to think of ourselves in the EFCA as a movement of churches. We recognize that we are not independent churches but interdependent. One of our cluster purposes is to build relationships between our churches among our pastors and staff.
2. It also affords us a wonderful opportunity in a very minimal amount of time for me as DS to connect with pastors, and our pastors with me, as well as staff. The clusters keep us from being disconnected.
3. A portion of the cluster time is spent on skill-building. We want to add value for the time a person is giving up by attending the cluster. We may discuss an article, read a book, discuss a topic, etc. or wrestle with a hot topic item someone has.
4. Another purpose is to share life and ministry with one another and pray for one another. Certainly churches can and should do this on their own; however, pastors and staff have found it helpful to have this opportunity to share and pray with other pastors and staff as well.
5. Cluster meetings help us fulfill our purpose as a district which is to glorify God by working together to multiply healthy churches among all people across Texas and Oklahoma. A good example is the Houston cluster where churches are working together to help one another. The existing churches have made wonderful strides in improving church health and they have put forth six church plants. Historically, what birthed our EFCA movement was a sense of urgency to accomplish as much for Christ in whatever time remained and a realization that we could accomplish much more by banding with like-minded churches rather than being independent churches.
6. Cluster meetings help us implement our regional strategy. As we look at the size of our district we are looking at a regional strategy to promote growth and fulfill our mission. We now have seventy plus churches and plants and expect to plant an additional 100 churches over the next ten years by 2020. Our strategy to accomplish this is to use a decentralized regional approach rather than a centralized approach. We want to see at least 50% of our churches birth an ethnic minisitry on their campus as they reach out to their Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
7. Cluster meetings have also provided opportunities for coaching appointments and/or oversight meetings for church planters before or after the cluster meeting.
8. In addition to our geographic clusters, we also have a large church affinity cluster and an Hispanic cluster.