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Are You In?

medium_5389032557By MaryAnn McKibben Dana

People who read my blog know that I call the church I serve “Tiny Church.” Idylwood is indeed small—about 85 on the rolls, 40-50 in worship. Our budget is lean; I serve part-time. Our members are generous to give their time and resources, such that we are mighty beyond our numbers. But we are not sitting on mountains of cash. And yet we joyfully support NEXT Church with our mission dollars.

We gave this year, and intend to make NEXT a regular part of our mission giving, because we believe in the vision that NEXT is helping the church cultivate. We believe “the church that is becoming” needs to be flexible, creative, and risk-taking. We are seeking to live this out at Idylwood, even as we know that we need help in this task. Shifting a church’s culture is not easy. We need the expertise, inspiration and support that NEXT provides, whether it’s through resources on NEXT’s website or Facebook page, regional gatherings, or the national gathering, which we hope to have ruling elders attend for the first time next year.

As co-chair of NEXT, I know there are churches that have generously given thousands of dollars to NEXT. Idylwood cannot afford to do that. But I can tell you that among the leadership of NEXT, there was just as much rejoicing over our relatively modest gift as there was over the large givers.

What we’re seeking is commitment from as many congregations as possible. That’s the basis of our movement. The conversation is growing and deepening. Are you in?

Like Idylwood’s, NEXT’s budget is lean, with just one paid staff person who helps shepherd our national gathering, numerous regional gatherings, online conversations and resources, the Paracletos Project, and more. If your congregation has unspent funds in 2013, consider giving them to NEXT. Whatever your church’s size and ability to give, we seek your participation.

To give today, mail a check made out to Village Presbyterian Church (with NEXT in the memo line) to:

Village Presbyterian Church
6641 Mission Road
Prairie Village, KS 66208

OR simply click here to give online.


mamdMaryAnn McKibben Dana is pastor of Idylwood Presbyterian Church, and co-chair of NEXT Church.

“wordle” photo credit: jnshaumeyer via photopin cc