The overarching goal of the Congregational Formation Initiative (CFI) is to nurture and support congregations committed to making lifelong formation and discipleship central to their life together. Toward this end, The Ekklesia Project has developed a number of resources and processes to help initiate and sustain congregational conversations about the fundamental identity and mission of the church.
The CFI was designed in response to frequent comments and requests made at EP gatherings. Over the years, scores of people confided that they themselves embraced the vision of discipleship, lifelong formation, and the church that is at the heart of The Ekklesia Project, but that they needed resources that would help introduce their congregations to these critically important conversations.
In response to this need and with the support of a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation, The Ekklesia Project designed and piloted the CFI in several congregations around the country. These resources and processes are now available for wider use.
The various components of the CFI were designed to be used in a particular sequence as part of a multi-year process of congregational formation. The titles of each of the components reflect this by alluding to the various stages involved in learning to swim. Congregations or study groups who plan to move through most of the CFI process as outlined in the following pages would do well to begin with the “Getting Your Feet Wet” series. Those groups looking to engage (at least at first) at a somewhat less intense level could also begin with one of the more conventional book studies in the “Going Deeper” series.