By Cory McCaig, Pastor of Scottsville Road Baptist Church
For us, Activate has opened our eyes to the true reality of our church. For years we knew something was wrong, but we just couldn’t put our finger on it. The tools provided by Activate allowed us to evaluate where our church was in her health and in her interactions with our community. Activate also provided for us the tools to find the path God has designed for our church to take together. This allowed the Holy Spirit to turn our hearts from the anxieties of what was wrong to the hopes of what great things God has in store for us. We are just a year into the Activate processes, but I can see a change in the mindset of our people. No longer are we doing things just out of preference, but now our people are being mindful of the activities of the church with respect to those outside our walls. We are becoming intentionally outward focused with all our choices. We still have a long way to go, but God has used Activate to stir a change in the hearts of our people.
I actually learned about Activate from Scott Attebery, Executive Director of DiscipleGuide. Our church had hosted Scott a couple of years ago for a weekend revival. During that time Scott shared with us a new consulting ministry DiscipleGuide was working on that would help local churches that were in decline. During the BMA National Meeting the following year, I learned that this program was called Activate. Realizing our need, Scottsville Road perused the help of Activate at the beginning of last year.
The process Activate has sent us on has been both corporate and personal. By selecting a cross section of people from our congregation, we formed an Activate team. First, our team did some groundwork and helped promote a church-wide inventory that surveyed what our folks really thought and believed about Scottsville Road. Later, our Activate team met at various times to unpack what we learned about ourselves and our church’s history. We then began a process to help our church develop some first steps. Those first steps eventually led to us finding God’s vision for our church, devolving our core values, and rediscovering God’s mission for each of us.
Personally, I have gleaned a huge blessing from the Pastor Huddles. Monthly, pastors from different churches meet to discuss which part of the Activate process we are currently in. We share our victories and our challenges, but it has proven every time to be a great time of encouragement. There is not a sense of competition, but a sense of comradery. I usually leave those huddles fired up and ready to take on the next challenge.
At first, I think our people were a little intimidated by Activate. I could tell some were wondering, “What is this crazy thing our pastor is putting us through now?” However, as our team began catching the hope, I noticed it started to spread. Not everyone is all on board just yet, but I can definitely tell that the majority of our church has become eager to find out what God has next, thanks to Activate.
I would definitely recommend Activate to any church truly hungry to find their full potential for the glory of Christ. What I love about this process is that it allows and encourages each church to discover who they really are. It is not a cut-and-paste program. It does not tell your church that they need to be and act like so-and-so. It simply gives you the tools and the nudge needed for any church to start a wonderful journey. So yes, I do encourage any church to check out Activate.