Grace Church Connections

Grace Church Connections

Relationship, not Religion.

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Stepping into Our Future

October 11, 2017

A group of sixteen Grace leaders gathered at Melanie Geist’s office last Saturday to think, plan and pray for the next stage of growth for Grace Church. Their focus was to create a vision of what and who for Grace’s future. It was a fun and interesting process led by Brad Hunt, a business consultant and Christian who has served as a leader in two different church plants.

We began the day with a Bible study on John 15:1-17 and discussed what it meant for us, as individuals and as a community, to abide in Christ. Then we spent some time in prayer. This encounter with God’s Word and God’s Presence prepared us to seek God in the midst of our work together.

Thus prepared, Brad led us to envision our ultimate goal: Grace Church with 600 vibrant, active partners in the gospel. And while the national average for worship attendance is 40% of your active members, we envision 400 people at worship, which is 66%, because we want vibrant, active partners not boring pew fodder.

He then asked us to imagine WHAT that would look like, this Grace with 600 partners and 400 people in worship. We filled up a white board describing this future Grace. It looks like this: White Board

You would think the natural next step would be to work on how we were going to get to our new vision. But because we are a faith community and not a business, Brad led us in a different direction. He asked us to envision WHO we would need in our community to flesh out our WHAT. For example, if you are going to start a restaurant (what) then you need a cook, waitress, busboy, cashier, hostess, and bartender (who). So we asked ourselves who we would need in leadership, as volunteers and on staff. We came up with over a hundred different ideas for WHO.

Then we grouped them into categories to help us think about it strategically. The list we came up with looks like this: Green Cards

Lastly, Brad called us to rate the importance of all the different WHO categories. This would give us a clear picture of where we should start to pursue our new WHO. Each person got two votes, except for Ron. Sixteen leaders, two votes each, total of 32 votes.

The results were interesting and encouraging. There was a clear delineation in the answers. Check it out:

  1. PR/Marketing/Visibility – 14 votes
  2. A More Impactful Youth Ministry – 6 votes
  3. Women’s Ministry – 3 votes
  4. Children’s Ministry – 2 votes
  5. Worship Producer – 2 votes

These are the core concepts our leaders have chosen for us to focus on in 2018. These core concepts will infuse our stewardship, impact our budget, and guide our planning. These concepts are not Jay’s ideas, or the Bishop’s ideas, or some scruff we found on the internet. These concepts are what our leaders have chosen as we seek to abide in Christ.

Our next steps are to develop some next steps and to pray. The Bishop’s Committee, working with a few key outside leaders, will develop a strategic plan that answers the question HOW for our WHO and WHAT. This process will take a 3-4 months to complete. In the mean time, we each have a next step to take now. We must begin to pray for the future of Grace Church. We must turn these words on paper into words of prayer.

Our prayer becomes: “Lord, bring us people who will improve our PR/Marketing/Visibility to others. Lord, bring us people who will create a more impactful youth program. Lord, bring us people who will serve as key lay leaders in children’s ministry, women’s ministry and worship production. Lord, bring us people  to grow into a community of 600 vibrant, active partners in the gospel. Lord, bring us people, by the power of your Spirit and to the glory of your Name. Amen.”


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