Project 250 is a set of five priorities to guide BIC U.S. towards our 250th anniversary in 2028.
The Brethren in Christ can trace its history back to the late 1770s in Central Pennsylvania where a small group of believers broke from convention and baptized each other in the Conoy Creek. They had come to realize their understanding of Christian life, focus on scriptural obedience, and passion for discipleship didn’t fit within the faith groups of the day.
Today we stand strong in those same values and are ready to pursue the call God has placed on us. Looking towards the future, we asked our leaders and pastors to pray and reflect on how they would like to see BIC U.S. grow and step into God’s calling in the coming years. We identified five key priorities from their feedback that will guide us towards our 250th anniversary in 2028.
1. Reaffirming Our Identity as a Community of Christ-Followers
Our identity in Christ precedes every other aspect of who we are and what we are called to do as God’s people. We are committed to keeping Jesus at our center, going directly to the Word of God for guidance, and teaching our core values as guiding principles for life and practice. Our objectives are:
- Increase understanding and awareness of our core values
- Update the Focusing Our Faith book, including core practices
- Have BIC U.S. congregations use the core values and their supporting materials in congregational life
2. Making Lifelong Disciples
We live in a post-Christian world, yet Jesus calls us to a lifelong journey of discipleship and to invite others into intimacy with Christ. We are committed to enabling our congregations to engage in this work by providing teaching and resources for those at all points of their faith journey. Our objectives are:
- Increase understanding and awareness of the nature of discipleship from a BIC identity and perspective
- Increase understanding and awareness of disciple-making principles
- Have BIC U.S. congregations develop a contextually-specific process “roadmap” for developing lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ
3. Multiplying Missional Congregations, Movements, and Leaders
Our congregations are called to impact and invest in their own communities. We are committed to strengthening and multiplying leaders and congregations of all sizes to be healthy, thriving, and reproducing. Our objectives are:
- Have BIC U.S. congregations better understand the nature of healthy and reproducing congregations
- Train assigned ministers in servant leadership and equip them to teach others
- Multiply sites of missional vitality that draw people into a lifelong relationship of knowing, loving, and following Jesus
4. Increasing Global Awareness and Impact
BIC U.S. World Missions has been active in cross-cultural ministry for over 100 years and has built a network of pastors, churches, and ministries all around the globe. We are committed to providing education about our global footprint and building relationships between our congregations and missionaries. Our objectives are:
- Have BIC U.S. assigned ministers and congregations become more aware of the need for and challenges of cross-cultural ministry
- Have BIC U.S. assigned ministers better understand the global reality of the BIC Church
- Have BIC U.S. congregations better understand and connect with BIC U.S. missionaries
5. Growing to Reflect the Demographic Realities of our Communities
The communities that surround our congregations are diverse, and we want our congregations to reflect that. Additionally, we want to increase the number of qualified women and people of color serving in BIC U.S. assigned ministry roles and governing boards. We are committed to providing resources, encouragement, and accountability as we grow in this area. Our objectives are:
- Have BIC U.S. congregations better understand the demographic realities of their congregation and community
- Increase the number of appropriately-qualified women and people of color serving in BIC U.S. assigned ministry roles
- Increase the number of appropriately-qualified women and people of color serving on BIC U.S. Regional Conference and General Conference governing boards
- Increase the number of appropriately-qualified women and people of color serving/advising on the BIC U.S. Leadership Council
To learn more about Project 250, read the full report from Leadership Council.
Project 250 Q&A
Read our conversation with national director Alan Robinson about how he hopes these priorities will shape the denomination in the coming years.