Countryside Christian Church’s Renewed Vision

Imagine that your church needs a renewed vision and a daring new strategy to grow—so where do you start? That’s the place that Countryside Christian Church in Topeka, Kansas, found themselves.

The Countryside story began in 1950 when four elders with a vision went door to door selling bonds in order to raise the capital needed to build a church. At 88-years-old, one of these visionaries still worships at the church he helped start 67 years earlier.

Nate Bruns joined the church in 2007 to serve as student minister. He’d been working with the youth about a year and a half when Countryside’s senior minister of 20 years decided to leave. After giving it some serious prayer and contemplation, Nate stepped into the role of lead minister.

Nate recognized that the church had grown inwardly-focused and desperately needed to make a radical change. In describing the problem, Nate says that the church had developed into an “old country-club-styled church that only served the attendees. We made a big shift in leadership and vision by making the decision to reach out to the unchurched people in the community.”

To make this shift, Nate and Countryside needed strategic guidance. They needed someone with church leadership experience and perspective to invest in them. They needed Leadership Capital.

A mutual friend put Nate in touch with CDF Capital and Sean Morgan. In the next couple months, Sean was able to tap into Nate’s optimistic and visionary leadership style and help him drill into the church’s vision, mission, and values—ultimately creating some clarity and strategy around the church’s next steps.

“Sean has been overly generous,” Nate tells us. “He’s basically told the church, ‘Let me know what the church can do and I’ll make it work.’”

 

Nate goes on to say, “Working with Leadership Capital is an opportunity for church leaders who are willing to change.

If you’re ready for your church to experience healthy growth and dynamic, healthy, and outwardly focused ministry, this program is for you."

“As a young, naive leader, I thought we’d go through a transition and then our ministry would soar. What I learned was that we’re in a constant state of transition. What’s to be expected now is the unexpected, and we want to dream as big as God allows us to dream!”

One of the exciting programs to come out of conversations with CDF was “The Closet.” Focusing on the needs of local moms, children, and families, Countryside opened a location that offers children’s supplies for kids aged birth through elementary school. From there, The Closet refers families to helpful courses at Countryside like the new Families Count parenting class.

Sean also helped Nate build a strategy around his understanding of local demographics. Realizing that many families in the area have a Catholic background and are used to Wednesday and Saturday night mass, they’re planning a launch of Wednesday night programs in 2016 and three Christmas Eve services.

Through the relationship with CDF’s Leadership Capital, Nate and Sean have become good friends. Nate recently attended a CDF Ascent conference and continues to work with CDF.

Nate comments that, “Working with Leadership Capital is an opportunity for church leaders who are willing to change. If you’re ready for your church to experience healthy growth and dynamic, healthy, and outwardly focused ministry, this program is for you.

 

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

 

WE BELIEVE IN THE CHURCH

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