Mission/Vision Update

Developing ourEvery once in a while I am reminded that there are many behind-the-scenes things that happen in church life. Often, there are ideas that are percolating in my brain, or perhaps discussions that take place in the Leadership Team or among Ministry Teams. Some of these things surface, others may not go anywhere. I wanted to take a moment to give you a look behind the curtain of my mind regarding one area that surfaced recently.
A couple months ago, several of us gathered together for an informal visioning meeting. The idea of clarifying/redefining our church’s vision has been around for several years. With our 125th anniversary coming up, it felt like the right time to move forward. The meeting was designed to be pretty entry-level. We weren’t going to be making any decisions; just get the mental juices flowing and get some thoughts on where our church is at. It was designed to be the first of several meetings. Then several conversations and an opportunity derailed the process.
You see, I connected with Jon Kramka (Director of Congregational Vitality for the Northwest Conference of the ECC) for resourcing, as he assists churches in this process. He happily gave me some resources and suggestions as I continued to imagine the next steps of our process. Shortly thereafter, though, Jon approached me with an opportunity to take part in a workshop called Navigate. Navigate is a workshop designed by the ECC for churches that are undertaking the Congregational Vitality pathway called “Veritas” (See below. I know this is a lot of info, but bear with me!). He had some sudden openings, and offered me a spot. From our conversations, I discovered that the Veritas process (again, see below for more info) is designed to culminate in a church being able to do the work of visioning. I have since agreed to participate in Navigate (Oct. 30th-Nov. 4th), which will allow me a better understanding of Veritas and connect me with other churches that are going through it, as well.
Beyond that, I’ve also had conversations that lead me to believe that there is more work for us to do as a church. We have remarkable servants in our church and we have a heart to reach people with the Gospel and care for people in Jesus’ name. At the same time, there are often elements in any church that undermine that desire. The culture of a church, communication issues, how we relate to one another. These are all “under the surface” issues that sometimes plague churches; things that we don’t always recognize or address.