Test the waters
What SPLASH! is
SPLASH! is a process of renewing a congregation's baptismal calling to be in the world. It is not a step-by-step program, but a collection of flexible resources for use by congregation members, pastors and other staff members. It is a new way of thinking about ministry, emphasizing that ministry happens wherever Christians are. SPLASH! proposes a mission strategy where:
- All members minister
- All members minister persistently
- All members minister in their daily places
SPLASH! is a resource in:
What SPLASH! offers
- RENEWING the congregation, so we become more joyful and energetic. A people whose gatherings are rich in worship and prayer. Who know, accept and give courage to each other. Who are inquisitive about God and God's world. Who are ready to take risks.
- ORGANIZING for mission in rapidly changing times, with pastor and laity sharing responsibility for carrying God's love to those in the world around us. Shaping church activities to prepare and support members for daily life. Highlight gifting for ministry in daily, as well as Sunday, places. Simplifying committee structures and time demands to make room for new ministry opportunities.
- PROVIDING a framework that adds meaning and Spirit to our lives, so we see mission, budgets, constitutions, "volunteers" and goals through a new lens. So members connect faith with the way they approach their roles as workers, neighbors, citizens, family members. So pastors know the value of the gifts and time they contribute as neighbors, citizens and family members.
- PREPARING & SUPPORTING all of us for daily ministry. Through preaching and lifelong education that builds awareness in children, weaves it into confirmation ministry, takes people on retreats to stretch their faith and gathers them in small groups to name their gifts. By putting members with similar daily concerns in touch with each other. By telling daily stories in church newsletters and on bulletin boards. By acknowledging the ways people serve God Monday as well as Sunday.
- DISCOVERING new ways to carry God's love to the world. By naming each other in daily prayers and praying for everyday matters. By blessing workplaces and placing signs of faith in them. By being more aware of the people we meet in retail and business places and of the impact our contacts have on them. By looking for signs of Christian faith in visits with neighbors, and by listening for their concerns.
SPLASH! encourages renewal by helping congregations become more invigorating support centers for their persistent, worldly ministers. It is not about adding new programs to the congregation. It is about looking at all the aspects of congregational ministries with a "sending out" attitude. When the purpose of what we do in church is seen as transforming life in the world, what we do in church is changed in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
SPLASH! offers a congregation:
- A fresh perspective on the life and mission of congregations
- Ways to draw on its most valuable resource for mission: its members
- An approach to mission that is not limited to what happens in the church building, but stretches into the places members inhabit daily
- A ministry built on gifts instead of needs
SPLASH! offers members:
What people say about SPLASH!
- The discovery that they have a ministry beyond their few hours a week at church
- Support of others who share this commitment
- Assurance that their daily dilemmas are not separate from their faith; indeed, faith helps life "work" every day
- An understanding of God's desire to scatter them in the world, causing them to gather for preparation, prayer and praise
The following are quotes from members of SPLASH! congregations:
- "The principal resource we have is us. SPLASH! helped us plumb the depths of what we already have. It helped us to trust ourselves."
- "I'm teaching our 5th and 6th grade Sunday school class. It's exciting to help them see the ministry opportunities they have in their complicated young lives."
- "The prayer life of our congregation is deepening and so is mine. I'm much more aware of those who minister to me and those who work on my behalf daily."
- "I notice a shift in my preaching away from preaching the Gospel as a work of art to be admired. The Gospel wears overalls and I try to preach to the application and living out of the Gospel in daily life ... I think members feel a new sense of personal mission. SPLASH! washed the dust off this long-standing truth for them and for me."
- "I was circulating a petition in my community recently. Some of my neighbors shared problems they are facing, so I offered to pray with them. I was never refused."
- "Jean and I were drawn together several years ago through our children's day-care center. We help each other out with car pooling and baby-sitting. Last week she said, 'Tell me about your God.'"