Dawnings: visioning, forming, and engaging

By Megan J. Pike, CBFAR Associate Coordinator
and Randy Hyde, Pastor of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church

Harry Rowland, Director of Missional Congregations, of CBF Global led members at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock through a Dawnings Retreat recently.

Harry Rowland, Director of Missional Congregations, of CBF Global led members at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock through a Dawnings Retreat recently.

Over the first weekend in February, more than thirty people gathered in Hicks Fellowship Hall at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock for a Dawnings retreat led by Harry Rowland of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Dawnings introduces the process of visioning, forming, and engaging, whereby churches discern their ministry journey through prayer, preparation, and discovery. The Dawnings retreat serves as an initial look at how a church can move from the usual predicting, planning, inventing and selling of programs or ideas for years ahead towards the process of visioning, forming, and engaging as a church relevant to its community right now.

The idea for Dawnings emerges as CBF and its partner churches find themselves in a time of unprecedented change. Dawnings suggests that the people of God have historically navigaged this type of paralyzing change by recalling God’s vision for the world and faithfully participating in God’s mission in the world. Dawnings recognizes in Scripture a way of navigating this unprecedented change – a rhythm modeled historically by the people of God and Jesus himself. The basic idea behind Dawnings is that God is already at work in our churches and communities, and our task is to notice that work and participate in it. God’s activity in a time of change may often occur outside the traditional structures and approaches we tend to expect.
— http://cbfdawnings.org/discover/

So what's next for Pulaski Heights Baptist Church? The church has an opportunity to enter into a ten-week period of follow-up discussions open to those who attended the retreat and those who did not. During that time participants will ask the questions, "Lord, what would you have us be? Lord, what would you have us do?" These questions will be considered individually and corporately in the days ahead. 

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Dawnings is a process for churches and individuals to consider how to connect with God's vision for a particular congregation in a particular community. During the Dawnings process churches and individuals take this vision to form through discipleship; individuals and the church will share in spiritual disciplines and practices to be formed by God and each other. The Dawnings process emphasizes God's vision and the process of forming by God and others to lead individuals and churches towards meaningful engagement in their community. 

If you or your church would like more information about the Dawnings process, please visit the Dawnings website to learn more about Dawnings Retreats: www.cbfdawnings.org/about-retreats/.