Cooperative Parish Ministry (Definition)
Several congregations that share a common ministry area or region covenant together to envision that parish area as the place in which Christ is calling them into cooperative planning and ministry. While each congregation maintains its own board or session, the covenanting lead to the sharing of ideas, energies, leadership and resources in ministry. The goal of a cooperative parish is to maximize and focus the ministry of the participating congregations. A cooperative parish may be ecumenical in nature.
The cooperative parish is a means of enabling congregations, especially small membership churches, to become structured for mission. The term “parish” in this connection describes the geographic bounds of a group of congregations that are formally organized into a mission unit.
The Cooperative Parish Manual can be used in conjunction with the Cooperative Parish Directory and Building Your Own Model for Cooperative Ministry, by Carl Geores.