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A Pathway to Flourishing

April 1, 2024
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I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
–Philippians 1:3-8

As Paul’s beautiful introduction to the Philippians indicates, there is something very different about the transforming power of Gospel-centered partnership. His words call us, as both leaders and as churches, to a place of greater surrender. Such a place allows us, in both the good and challenging times, to jointly participate in the fullness of God’s amazing grace as co-laborers. Yet, unlike the partnerships that we find in the business world, our work together in God’s Church is something far more intimate … far more sacrificial … and far more dependent. 

The Bishop has boldly called us toward a grand vision of 50 flourishing churches in the next five years. Candidly, it is a goal that many would suggest is simply unattainable. Yet, through a renewed and vibrant partnership between the Gulf Atlantic Diocese and each of its highly determined parishes, we have already begun to see amazing evidence of the Lord’s flourishing work amongst us. The Diocese is brimming with the potential for new church plants, exciting collaborations within our MLA groups, and practical workshops and conferences to both initiate and strengthen ministry work at the parish level

At the Bishop’s direction, we have launched a new take on our strategy of strengthening congregations in order to more fully pursue a vision of flourishing. This concept will more intimately engage with each church to help define and pursue flourishing ministry within its respective context. Our hope is to consider and engage with six distinct, but interrelated, flourishing components found within a Gospel-centered church:

  • Healthy Community
  • Inspiring Worship
  • Intergenerational Discipleship
  • Equipping Leaders
  • Evangelistic Mission
  • Wise Stewardship

As a Diocesan staff, we recognize that our role is to support and serve your local visioning, to offer invaluable resources to further that visioning, and to encourage you and your church families as you pursue the work. To this end, our new process will ask church leaders to spend time with a member of the Strengthening Congregations team to continue your pursuit of flourishing ministry in your community. The primary team leaders spearheading this effort are Fr. Craig Brown (Associate for Congregational Health) and myself (Bill Krizner, Canon for Congregational Development).

Prior to a regular episcopal visit, a member of this Team will meet (via Zoom) with your Rector. We will fellowship, share information about the current life of your church, identify specific areas of ministry support that the Bishop’s visit may be able to best offer, and, most importantly, pray together. After the bishop’s visit, we will meet again to collaboratively identify specific goals, resources, and points of collaboration with the Diocese that can be pursued together (with Diocesan staff where appropriate) in ways fit your church’s context, gifts, and calling.

This new process asks more of our Rectors and church leaders. Yet, we believe that this work will allow for us to better live into the type of Gospel-centered partnership that we see described in Philippians – partakers of God’s grace, both during difficult times and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We most certainly welcome any questions or feedback that you might have regarding the coming work. Please simply email me at or Craig Brown at and we will be quick to respond.

Finally, to further explore the Bishop’s six components of a flourishing church, we will be providing a series of Communiqué articles beginning next month. These articles will not only explore the critical importance of each of these components but will also spotlight some of our very own churches that are flourishing in that area. The articles will also always provide some practical suggestions, including offering a variety of resources to support each of us in the work within our local church.

May we all be assured that “he who began a good work in [us] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Our team looks forward to the adventures that the Lord has for all of us in the months and years ahead.

Header/Featured Photo Credit

Photo by Veronica Reverse on Unsplash

Additional Photo Credits

Gulf Atlantic Diocese