Ann M. Philbrick has been named the new associate for Church Growth and Transformation for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s General Assembly Mission Council.
“Anne’s work will encompass the small, rural, and urban church ministry office,” says Philip Lotspeich, director of the office of Church Growth. “We are primarily made up of small churches. Most of what we do in transformation will be with them in mind.”
Philbrick brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She has worked on both transformation congregational development and new church development, as a consultant and as associate general presbyter at National Capital Presbytery in Washington, D.C. “The future of our churches is developing capacity for our leaders and congregations to listen God,” she says, “to hear what needs Gods wants them to meet in their communities.”
Philbrick will work at expanding the “new beginnings” program, which provides assessment and consulting to churches that are in the later stages of their life cycle. “Ann will help congregations identify what changes need to be made,” says Lotspeich, “as they embrace God’s call into new ministry, of not just surviving, but thriving.”
Philbrick will also develop coaching systems and clusters of coaches to work together for mutual support as they take on the difficult task of transformation. “In a world of constant change, many people want the church to be the one place that stays the same,” says Lotspeich. “But the mission and ministry of Jesus compel us to give what we want in order to help others connect with the God who has transformed our lives with the good news.”
Philbrick, who has a doctor of ministry degree in Revitalization of Church and Community from McCormick Theological Seminary, adds, “Helping congregations let go, as they embrace the changes that need to be made to live into a new day of ministry in their communities and neighborhoods, is what I like doing best in service to the church.”