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Online Catalog of the Congregation’s Impact

Engaging the Past - Activity  (PDF)

Create an online catalog of the congregation’s impact on its community and the world. 

A similar activity is the Online Book of Congregational Memories in which memories and experiences can be shared. You may want to read/review both activities before deciding which one would best fit your congregation. You might also consider combining these two activities in some way. 

Time needed for activity

about a month, but could be ongoing

Group size

any number of current members and regular visitors   

Steps for Activity

  1. Create a dedicated website/space for people to post memories specifically related to the church’s efforts to reach its neighborhood and the world for Christ (through missionaries, special offerings, mission trips, etc.).
  2. Encourage church members, regular visitors, and others who have been affected by the church’s ministries to submit pictures, written records of memories, audio files, videos, etc. that can help others experience the memories they value. Locate these items on a map of the neighborhood and/or a map of the world.
  3. Appoint a curator to review all submissions for appropriateness, to organize them as needed, and to ensure a fruitful user experience.
  4. Make the site available to all so that people can use contributions as prompts to individual or corporate praise, thanksgiving, confession, lament, etc.
  5. Decide when to “close” the opportunity for making contributions.

Option: Keep the material posted for a designated period of time.

Option: Create a paper timeline map that corresponds to the online timeline map, and place it in a prominent location in the church building.

Facilitator’s Questions

As you work on the catalog, consider some questions like these:

  1. What values/virtues/passions do you see in your past that you can carry into the future?
  2. Which people or groups from your past do you need to honor?
  3. What mistakes, misuses of power, and conflicts should you acknowledge and/or confess together?*
  4. With whom do you need to reconcile?*
  5. What hardships do you need to lament?*
  6. What do you need to thank God for?
  7. What are some key moments when you saw the Holy Spirit lead you into something you wouldn't have been able to do yourself?
  8. How has your community been transformed in big or little ways because of God’s work in and through you? 

*If this question leads to a sense that there is work to be done in the areas of reconciliation and/or healing, then the group should feel free to seek assistance from Pastor Church Resources.