New Center for Congregational Imagination Launched at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2018

GEORGETOWN, KY — Flourish: Center for Congregational Imagination launches today with a website, podcast and blog (flourish.bsk.edu). This new center at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky (BSK) focuses on helping churches and ministry leaders find paths toward flourishing. Over
$110,000 has been raised in 2018 to begin the center.

BSK President, Dr. David Cassady, explains, “Flourishing is a way of describing a congregation that understands itself to be energized and focused on participating in God’s work in their setting. Flourishing may mean numerical or financial growth, or it may not — in fact, it may mean a tighter focusing of more limited resources. Flourishing for one church may look quite different from another church.” Cassady continues, “The Flourish Center is an expression of BSK’s love of the church and commitment to be a resource for it in challenging times.”

Churches face challenges arising from changing communities and culture. As such, many are increasingly considering their focus and purpose in their various settings. They may be asking questions like these:

  • We know why our church was started, and our journey since then, but how are we called to be shaped and focused in a rapidly changing setting?
  • Our resources are stretched, both in terms of time and finances. If we can no longer offer the full range of common ministries, how do we choose where to focus?
  • We believe God is at work in our community. How do we better recognize God’s work so we can join in (even if it takes us on paths never before traveled)?

The Flourish Center seeks to encourage questions like these by gathering stories, connecting congregations and providing resources for congregations on this journey.

The initial phase of the Flourish Center focuses on collecting and sharing stories. As stories of congregations are heard, processes, values, approaches and habits may arise that can be helpful to other churches. The goal is not to develop a system or program, but rather to encourage churches to discover their own journey to flourishing in their places.

The Flourish podcast is the first way the center is collecting and sharing stories. Most episodes are only 30 minutes in length and each episode focuses on a single church and their story. New episodes are published monthly. The first episode of the Flourish podcast is available now and features Zach Bay and lay leader John Parker of First Baptist Church Middlesboro, Kentucky as they describe the church’s innovative “Appalachian Immersion” ministry. The podcast can be found at flourish.bsk.edu.

Later, the Flourish Center will offer events where churches and leaders can connect, share and encourage one another. BSK students and faculty will be developing creative ways to listen, study and share the discoveries from congregations. In time, the center anticipates publishing resources to assist churches.

Since 2001 the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky has prepared women and men sensing God’s leadership for life and ministry in faithful witness to Jesus Christ in the church and the world. Located in Georgetown at Georgetown College and in Louisville at Simmons College of Kentucky (HBCU), BSK is committed to theological education affirming the God-given gifts of each student and grounded in spiritual, moral and intellectual formation in the Christian life.

For more information, visit flourish.bsk.edu or contact:

Stephanie Fryman, Assistant to the President
Stephanie.fryman@bsk.edu
502-863-8300