Obtain Services for Your Ministry.
Through the Woodbridge Project, pastors can obtain resources for ministry (often at no charge) in a number of areas as well as dialog with a former pastor who has lived the small church experience and enjoyed it even while the church remained small by contemporary standards. Don Calvin who established The Woodbridge Project has an unusual blend of experiences which include:
- Twenty years of rural/small church pastoring in a town of 7,000 people,
- Many wonderful experiences with Hispanic churches in the USA and Latin America, and
- Over Twenty years of executive management in industry.
Don has a heart to encourage both small church pastors and Hispanic pastors by offering assistance and resources in the areas of:
Vision Development and Communication
- Don has experience with numerous processes by which a pastor can seek from God definition of the sphere of influence and unique vision for their local church. One currently successful process is called the Acts 2 Journey (acts2journey.com) is described in the book by Alton Garrison, “A Spirit Empowered Church (An Acts 2 Ministry Model).
- No matter how good the vision is, if attention is not given to certain potential pitfalls, what started out for good can end up a very negative experience. The greatest potential problem probably lies in the communication of the vision. Assistance is available to identify potential problems and design ways to overcome them so no one is left behind.
Leadership, Discipleship, Pastoral Care and Small Groups
These subjects are combined because in the view of the author small groups are the best way to facilitate discipleship and to deliver pastoral care.
The pastor is unburdened and people are better served when they are cared for by committed and trained small group leaders. These leaders can be in much more intimate contact with a few people than is possible for the pastor to be with many people, even in a small congregation.
Accountability is maximized in the small group setting, and therefore progress can be maintained in discipleship.
Training materials are available.
A detailed plan and content is available for a leaders weekend retreat to accept the mantle of responsibility for leading and caring for people.
A sustained commitment to prayer (supplemented by fasting) is critical to the success of any church. Actually because of the degree of intimacy in a smaller congregation, such churches may be able to achieve a greater degree of participation in prayer than in a larger congregation.
A detailed plan and guide for 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting for the congregation is available complete with a personal journal, instructions, and prayer topics, along with instructions and forms for reflection on the insights gained during the 21 days. One outcome of the use of this process is the development by each individual of a new personal prayer list that is the result of 21 days of seeking God's direction.
The Lord’s Prayer is a powerful model for prayer straight from the lips of the Master. Guides for using this model and teachings concerning the Lord’s Prayer are some of the resources available through Woodbridge.
Weekend Retreats to Experience God
- The Book of Acts can come alive as people dedicate time away to seek the presence of God. Individual lives will be changed as they realize how intensely practically and powerfully the scriptures can work in their lives.
- It may be difficult for pastors of smaller churches to devote the time necessary to prepare both the ministry materials and the organization necessary for a successful weekend retreat.
- The retreat package includes detailed plans, schedules, list of resources, and teaching guides for a powerful retreat that allows participants to experience the presence of the Lord and the Living Word. The original basis for the retreats was provided by Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, La. (www.bethany.com). These original materials are no longer available.
Planting Churches Anywhere in the World
- There is a huge sense of fulfillment when a church can facilitate the planting of another church somewhere in the world.
- In many places in the world with a few hundred to a few thousand dollars an individual or a church can support a new pastor and his family for the entire first year of a new church plant.
- Through connecting with the SURGE Project for global church planting (www.surgeproject.com) many small churches have planted several new churches that may eventually grow to be substantially larger than their own.