The 11th chapter of the book of Acts tells the story of Barnabas visiting the church at Antioch.
Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. (Acts 11:20-26, NIV)
The 2017 North Alabama Conference emphasis was on the Conference priority of Church Health. Throughout the day on Monday of Annual Conference, Executive Director of Healthy Congregations Rev. Bob Alford was joined by local church leaders to highlight different tools available to help congregations grow healthier. One tool introduced is called the Antioch Project based on the story of the Antioch Church found in Acts 11.
The Antioch Project is a process for aligning a congregation’s vision, mission and accountability in context toward church health and growth. Churches invited to participate will go through a process of assessment and self study. Eventually, three to five “prescriptions” are identified to help them grow healthier. At this point, if 70% of members vote to proceed at a called Church Conference, they will be coached to implement their prescriptions.
Rev, Alford provides an overview of the process in the video below:
The next group of churches will begin the Antioch Project process this fall. The goal is to increase the number of participants each year.