To my Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Hello, my name is Pastor Melissa Fain. I am the minister of Fig Tree
Christian. Fig Tree Christian is a new online congregation within
the Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ). Having an online focus
has created new and exciting means of communication. The church is
the website. In this environment we envision ways the online
community will do worship and service. One wouldn't merely record a
worship and put it online. Instead, the clickable tabs become like
stations where a congregant can participate in worship, in the order
they wish. Each area of worship can be a unique expression of
biblical understanding and relationship.
From behind the scenes we can see where the traffic is going.
Imagine the webpage is our version of a physical building. Unlike a
physical building where the leadership might have little to no idea
which rooms are being utilized and which are mostly being passed
over, Fig Tree knows exactly which tabs people are focusing their
energy on. If a tab doesn't see much traffic we know we need to
delete it, change it, or advertise why that tab is important. In
that way, we can change our “building” in ways that express God's
call. A physical building could cost up to a million dollars to
change or 'delete' rooms. For Fig Tree Christian, it just cost a
little time. The world wide web is our oyster.
The Good Samaritan Project is the outreach of Fig Tree Christian.
Part of the mission of Fig Tree is to reconnect and recreate
relationship. Therefore, outreach should meet the mission of the
worshiping body. The Good Samaritan Project takes a $100 offering
and asks a congregant to go out throughout the month, find a need
and help the need. At the conclusion of the month the congregant
reports back and shares how the need was met. The Good Samaritan
Project is an outreach meant to help us not only help those who need
help but discover who they are in the process. Heal the body through
helping others and rebuilding relationship.
Being a new congregation and an internet congregation is
exciting, but not always easy. A physical congregation still has
certain traction in some areas. Offering is the big area where
guests and congregants still give to the physical church when they
visit or worship. On the internet, it works a little differently.
People go online to find a free product. If they do give money they
want something physical back in return. (This is why places like
Kick Starter are so popular. A company or group want to get a
project going and they offer a product to get the project
kickstarted. Genius.) Online congregations cannot hope to be viable
with just a 'give' option. We must also have a product to offer in
return. Think of it like this: During the Medieval times, monks
brewed beer and sold it to raise money for their monasteries. There
are monasteries even today that sell wine, fruit, candy, and other
goods in order to pay for their ministry. Online ministries must do
the same. Over the next two months, Fig Tree Christian will open
their online store as one of the means to fund the ministry.
The internet is the wild wild west and Fig Tree is blazing new
trails for the future of ministry. Us, along with many other new
church starts, both online and physically meeting, could use your
help. One-Hundred percent of the Pentecost offering goes to help New
Churches. Half will go back to your region to help new congregations
near you. Half goes to the General Church to give training and
general support to new congregations across the United States. As a
minister in a new church start, I wish to say in advance, thank you.
We can gain so much when we choose to work together.
Rev. Melissa Fain
Fig Tree Christian is a new congregation in formation in the Hiram
Georgia area. At the moment Fig Tree is an online congregation at
the web address
www.FigTreeChristian.org. Pastor Developer Melissa Fain contact:
Rev. Melissa Fain
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)