Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let's Get This Party Started

Tonight, Church Around the Corner's S/PPRC meets for the second time. Last month's meeting was a listening post of sorts. They talked, I listened. And if you remember from my previous post, they had a lot to say.

Tonight, I'm going to lead a Bible Study about the C/church's purpose. They are so wanting to do "ministry," but it's a shot-gun (with an open choke) approach. Just aim and fire. The pattern is way, way wide and all spread out. You can't do ministry that way ... the louder voices get heard whether or not the issues/"recommendations" they speak are truly what needs to be done.

The PPR Chair invited folks to "suggest" ways the church can be in ministry. Of course, the main concern is increasing church membership and attendance, i.e. "survival." I'm trying to tell them that if the church is healthy, then growth is inevitable. "Church Growth" should not be the main focus of ministry.

Their last Mission Statement (done about 20 years ago) is a convoluted, rambling, wordy, run-on sentence. Tonight, we're going to get started on a new one. But first, we need to take a look and listen as Jesus spells out what he expects from his disciples.

The UMC's Mission Statement is "Making disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."

Our Conference's Statement is "to provide leadership, connection, and resources to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."

Our Conference's Vision is "to ignite and sustain a passionate, spiritual connection with Christ among all people in [our Conference's area]."

Our Core Value Statement: "Our core value is love: We love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. This value is commanded by Jesus, inspired by our Wesleyan heritage including to spread scriptural holiness over the land and witnessed through our integrity, accountability and inclusiveness."

Lofty words to be sure. I'm not looking for anything this profound, but tonight we will attempt to contemplate, understand and verbalize what Jesus expects us to do as CATC. It's a first step. Then we can plan ministry around what Jesus expects us to do.

Mission Statement making is not an immediate proposition. It takes time, discernment and a lot of prayer. I'm starting a "Pastor's Partners in Prayer," made up of committed prayer warriors, to cover this process in prayer. I've gotten four folks so far to commit to pray daily for the church, me and the church's leaders.

I'm really excited about empowering this church!

1 comment:

the reverend mommy said...

I'm reading "Strong, Small Congregations" right now -- he suggests ONE thing. Just one. Focus and do it well. Then after a while add something, but just start with ONE and make it long term.