Adaptive and Innovative Ministry Resources

AIM’s work remains vital through the voices of and collaboration with the broader ecosystem of creative faith leaders. This little neighborhood of church is where we feel most at home, so we are often hearing new ideas, writing in response to problems and innovations, and learning new ways to be faithful ourselves. The resources below include various reflections from that work as well as programs in response to needs that keep coming up, and as always, we would love to talk with you more about what you read here.

Why Start New Faith Communities?

It isn’t because we don’t have enough church buildings. And it isn’t because we want to (or ought to) relive the days when the world around us listened more closely when we told them what to do in the name of the God we serve. No, the call to plant churches is a call to be and build churches that are not just for ourselves. There is so much overflowing abundance in the story of the gospel and it is easy for it to get caught up in the closed container of what we see as the right way to do church and faith and community. Gathering churches is about searching out where that great gospel love and work is already flowing—where the Holy Spirit is springing up already, and finding ways to flow in and with the Spirit amidst communities who ache to feel the embrace of a God who cares for them. Gathering churches is about practicing the community life of the Church among others God is drawing to God's self. As our stories and experiences of faith are grafted together, both we and those we gather alongside will be changed, and we believe that the Church will be richer for it.

Discerning Your Call to Form a New Community

The AIM team has landed here because we have believed and longed to believe in the call of the Church despite herself. We are here not because we seek to create an anti-institutional movement within the Church but because we believe that this ancient institution still has a story of belovedness to tell, not just to the insiders but to all the people who have, over time, found themselves outside the Church’s walls. In many ways, the work of church gathering is for the outsiders—the ones who have found their life in the story of Jesus Christ but don’t yet know how to fit into the Church as it exists.

For us, church gathering is a call to build out the welcome that the church has received, where it does not yet exist—for the frightened and embarrassed, for the poor and the generous, the uneducated and the wise, for the incarcerated and the addicted, for the hat-wearing and the tattoo having, for the sensory-sensitive and the differently abled, for the perceptive and the skeptical, for the difficult and the lonely, for the impolitic and the disruptive, for the very young and the very old. The call is to give this welcome form in local places and to practice it together so that the Christian faith might be lived and fed and shared in every community and neighborhood to the glory of God.

Could this work be for you? We’d love to talk with you about it.

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