Quietly Courageous: Leading the Church in a Changing World by Gil Rendle

Questions for your consideration:

  • What assumptions were challenged in you by the story of Common Ground Church? How might you have approached their critical juncture differently, and why?
  • If your congregation no longer had a building, what could ministry look like in your context?
  • Talk about a critical juncture facing your ministry context or congregation that might require courageous collaboration. What’s currently off limits or might be off limits in this conversation?
  • How are vocation and modality related? How are they different? Why does the distinction matter?

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Join us as we learn from members of Common Ground Church, an ELCA congregation in Lodi (20 miles North of Madison), Wisconsin, born out of an historic faith community in 2020. The missional vocation of Common Ground Church is to build a network of word, sacrament, and justice microchurches that equip people for a fulfilling, just life in the manner and values of Jesus. They are grounded in a distributed, rather than centralized, building-centered church modality, with microchurches as groups of 3-30 people practicing and growing in faith through worship, community, and mission. From its inception, Common Ground has had a vocational self-understanding that includes experimenting, learning, and expanding this modality beyond their local context in order to facilitate a network of microchurches. They are continually seeking to connect and collaborate with other faith communities who are leaning into an adaptive approach to ministry in this time of rapid change for the church.

Mike Gollmar is a lifelong Lutheran and council president of Common Ground Church. Mike has served in the areas of financial management, stewardship, governance and discipleship, and on the council during the transition from First Lutheran Church to Common Ground Church.

Pastor Michael Lee, pastor of Common Ground Church, has served in rural and suburban congregational contexts since being ordained in 1997.