“Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock…” (Matthew 7:24)
“Effective vision for the future always rises out of the realities of the present and past." That's a truth which has guided our church this past year as we embarked on the first phase of a 2-3 year process for us to become more effective in ministries and outreach.
That phase, you may know, has involved us seeking to better understand the realities of who we ARE as a church (our Mission/Purpose/DNA, if you will), so that next year (2017) we can begin the next phase to help us discover who God is calling us to BECOME (His Vision).
We began last March by inviting you to share your thoughts about our current identity in a congregational survey, of which 130 were turned in. The results of those surveys, combined with further research of our church’s history this past Spring and Summer, helped our church's leaders to realize that the mission statement we previously had did not adequately or accurately articulate the unique essence of our identity as a church.
Consequently, at its August 23 meeting, our Church Council adopted a new mission statement that we believe both clarifies and captures the essence of our specific identity – that as a church, we are…
“Christians SERVING, CARING, and SHARING
in our faith, family, community and world”
While this statement alone will not get people to visit us or grow our church, nevertheless it will form a firmer foundation (a “rock” as the scripture says above) upon which our Vision for the future (which – when implemented – will grow our church) can be successfully built.
So, “where do we go from here” you ask? The following are the steps remaining in our process to become more effective in our ministries and outreach:
● September-December: employ firm to begin work on new logo/”brand” graphic, and do preparatory work to lay groundwork for 2017 VISION process
● January-May 2017: VISION discovery and discernment, involving several distinct processes and tasks
● May-August 2017: VISION articulation, adoption, and sharing with congregation
● Fall 2017: beginning of VISION implementation
I wanted you to see where we were in this process so you can be aware not only of what has been done, but also of what is still to come. If you have questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to contact me either in person, by phone, or email. And remember that God loves you and I do, too!
(P.S. I invite you to read the “Reclamation” series sermons that unpacks the complete three phrases of this new mission -- readthese sermons HERE)