Seven years ago, a circle of Converge leaders, church planters and generous donors birthed a region-reaching church planting movement. In those days it was called "Vision Florida." As it grew in size and scope, Converge released this daughter organization to the newly named “Vision360.” A bold set of city-centered initiatives was launched to rapidly expand church planting as an interdenominational effort.
Vision360 enjoyed a promising start with a number of strong churches planted in Orlando and other target cities. A training center in Orlando was built and dedicated as The Bill and Vonette Bright Global Collaboration Center. Over time, a series of leadership changes and challenges led to a financial crisis for Vision360.
In early November, the Converge board of overseers voted to accept the invitation of Vision360 to bring its organization and Collaboration Center under Converge oversight and ownership. As a result, God opened the door for Converge to reclaim the original dream. Converge president Dr. Jerry Sheveland made the following comments:
Converge assumes ownership of this ministry to issue a renewed collaborative clarion call for planting churches across North America. The process to reclaim the original vision of the “Collaboration Center” begins with a new platform to accelerate church planting within each of our partnering denominations and church planting networks. This call comes with a deep desire to help each partner organization maximize mutually-beneficial church planting systems.
Converge Worldwide leaders are passionate about coming together with like-minded church planting organizations to re-envision, re-brand and re-launch a collaborative church planting ministry. Over the next few months, church planting leaders from across the country will be invited to participate in summit gatherings in Orlando to dream and offer compelling insights to recreate a renewed vision and strategic plan.
Converge is committed to fulfill the original vision of those who generously contributed and sacrificially participated to make the Collaboration Center and its mission possible. An interim board of directors will be appointed by the executive committee of the Converge board of overseers. In addition, an advisory board of national leaders will set direction and design collaborative efforts for the various summits. To pray and listen to God and the people of God is our commitment.
It has been said that when God births a kingdom dream in a leader's heart, there is often a death of that dream before God resurrects it. We believe that is what we are experiencing as the Lord brings the Vision360 church planting organization and its Orlando Collaboration Center under Converge oversight and ownership.