Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the benefits of becoming a Participant in the Nurturing Communities Network?
The resources on NCN’s website and relationships within the network are available to everyone as well as the larger “everyone come” retreats and conferences. Participating communities will be pinned and listed on theinteractive map .
Along with these benefits are the following ones as well:
We are connected to and get to know brothers and sisters who likewise are seeking to witness to God’s reconciling good news through intentional Christ-centered communities.
We receive encouragement, resources and friends for this journey.
Our imaginations are sparked by the Spirit in our association.
We are better able to assist others who may be seeking community in other cities.
We gain from the wisdom of those who have lived in community longer.
We can gain courage to engage challenging topics, efforts and directions by the example of other intentional communities.
2. How is Nurturing Communities Network distinct from Shalom Mission Fellowship and Ekklesia?
NCN, SMC, and EP are kindred spirits sharing a similar vision for the church (or communities) of Jesus Christ. Some communities or individuals are engaged in all three.
Nurturing Communities Network is a loose network of Christ-centered communities and supporters seeking to encourage the formation of newer communities and the nurturing of existing ones. “Participants” commit to being in relationship through visits, phone calls or attending NCN gatherings as they are able.
Shalom Mission Communities is a more formal association that has had a membership at various times of three to six communities from across the United States. SMC members share a list of common values and practices, mutual aid between communities, a commitment to regular visits and reunions with each other, and specified dues that have helped support some common missional efforts.
The Ekklesia Project is a network of academics and practitioners who see the church as the primary place that Jesus's social, political, economic, and spiritual vision is enacted. This network strives to bring questions of theology and practice into conversation with each other in fruitful ways that support local church communities.
3. What theological beliefs are communities agreeing with by joining the network?
As a network we do not seek doctrinal conformity of the participating communities. Instead, our one common character is that we are all Christ-centered communities, seeking to model Christ’s teachings in our day-to-day living, ministry, and witness.
This life is characterized:
• love of neighbor and enemy
• sharing of resources so that none would be in need among us
• care of creation
• offering of hospitality
• servant leadership
4. What is the money collected from Nurturing Communities Network membership used for?
Funds are used to support travel for visits to fledgling or struggling communities and strategic networking communities. No one is compensated for their service in NCN.
5. What does financial accountability for Nurturing Communities Network look like?
Funds are held in a separate bank account with Everence Federal Credit Union. The account is reviewed by one of the NCN steering committee members. Regular financial reports are provided to the steering committee and are available to any member of the public upon request.
6. How is NCN’s leadership chosen?
The Nurturing Community Project (NCP) was created by David Janzen of Reba Place Fellowship in 2009 in response to the need of newly formed communities for mentoring and guidance from more experienced communities and individuals.
As the project took shape, David asked others to form a steering committee to serve as a sounding board and provide guidance for his activities. In 2017, David asked Joe and Nancy Gatlin to take over his leadership role. The Gatlins in turn asked the steering committee to consider adding a third person to their team. After some discernment and with prayer, Elizabeth Turman-Bryant who had been a member the steering committee joined the leadership team. The network continues informally with no bylaws and no term limits for either the steering committee or the leadership team. Individuals are asked to renew their commitment to serve on an annual basis.