THE WAY FORWARD (Part 2)
Our mission as a church is “Becoming like Christ and sharing Him with others.” Put in terms of this year’s theme, this means we want to go both “deep and wide”—“deep” by growing in our relationship with Christ and “wide” by reaching out and including others.
Last week I talked about the goals we have set to go “wide” as a church. (We want to see ten people reached for Christ and be enfolded into the church.) This week I want to talk about the goals we have set to go “deep” together.
One thing that makes for a unified (therefore, “deep”) church is a crystal clear vision and a shared commitment to that vision. So, this year we plan to express our mission and values more memorably than in the past, underscore these things in multiple ways, and publicize these visionary statements regularly. To accomplish the latter, we will propose a new logo that captures the essence of our vision, refresh our back wall with our updated statements, and roll out a new bulletin format that will contain our mission, vision, and values as a regular feature.
Pastor Ryan will be especially responsible for two of our goals: Maximize our small groups for disciple-making, and create a discipleship pathway that has everyone moving toward deeper Christ likeness. He has already invested heavily in each of these.
In regard to small groups, Pastor Ryan is supporting existing small groups, while calling new groups to become “house churches”—that is, small, home based, New Testament-like expressions of the church. In regard to the discipleship pathway, Ryan, I, and others have already developed growth strategies for “not-yet,” and new Christians. We are working on new ways to guide older, more mature believers into growth.
The Reveal survey has found that, when it comes to growth individually or together as a church, there is nothing that compares with being steeped in the Bible. So, we also will make a concerted effort to embed the Bible in everything. Also, we plan to highlight our council leaders’ spiritual practices so that these growing believers can model for us all what growth looks like.
I wish I could detail for you every goal we have that is aimed at taking us deeper in faith, but that is not possible. As the year unfolds, you will hear more about the individual initiatives we have undertaken.
The most important thing, though, is not the goals we have made but the growth itself. Each of us needs to be growing closer to, and more grounded in, Christ. Let’s pray for that and invest ourselves in that.--Pastor Tom
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