‘Okay, so what do we do now?’ I wonder how often you have found yourself asking that question. It is the question that many have been asking as we seek to move forward as a church. We have brought lots of ideas over the last few years but now we need to take some action so that everyone is clear about what we are doing.
I’m always a bit reluctant to keep banging on about vision, because it can become a diluted phrase that doesn’t really mean anything. But we have a vision that God has given us for the life and development of the church. What I think most people need now is more clarity about what that vision involves.
The vision that has guided us over many years is about transformation. Our Vision is to become a community of believers living according to the Bible’s teaching so that Christ’s redemptive purposes can be accomplished in the world.
Our Mission is to enable people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Those things are about transformation – lives changed by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit; lives brought increasingly into obedience to Christ; lives lived in community with God and one another; lives lived to demonstrate Kingdom values and to help others be changed.
Our summary of this vision: Deeper, Closer, Wider expresses this in terms of our relationships:
- Deeper in our relationship with God
- Closer in fellowship with one another
- Wider in influence in our neighbourhoods
What we need to understand is how that moves us forward. Two key ideas emerged from Garry’s ministry among us:
- that we needed to build discipleship through putting our faith into action (which we are calling the Missional Model of Discipleship)
- that Phase Two of the development of the site here needed to reach people who are feeling left behind, who are lacking hope, who are hurting, who are marginalised and feeling lost.
With everything that has been going on I do not want you to feel that these ideas have been lost. We are already planning ways to put the Missional Model into action and they will emerge as we move forward. In addition we will be clarifying the vision for Phase Two of the development, bringing some concrete ideas about what that will involve and how it will work. My aim is to have clear plans drawn up for Phase Two by this time next year. The Spirit is on the move amongst us and we dare not hold back; we must keep in step with Him.
So the answer to the question ‘What do we do now?’ (with which we started) is:
As we move forward as a Church the clear priority for us is not new strategy or better this, that or the other, it is prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil 4:6
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b
I ask you to commit yourselves afresh to prayer for the Church and for each other as we move forward. Please pray:
- for those responsible for seeking candidates for the Associate Minister’s position
- for those leading our youth ministry
- for future plans to be realised
- for the resources needed to accomplish all of these things
- for the Holy Spirit to stir our hearts as we seek to keep in step with what He is calling us to be.
Yours in Christ,