Written by Peter Blanch
Today we come to the end of our sermon series on the vision that captures our church family – focusing on the 5 purpose areas that God has for every church: Magnification, Mission, Membership, Maturity and Ministry. It has been an important series of Bible talks for a number of reasons. Firstly, we have been reminded of God’s agenda in His world – His plans and purposes and how He works in his world to bring these about. This has helped us to know God better, to know what really matters to Him. It is always for our good to grow in our knowledge of God with an increasing depth of insight. Secondly, focussing in on God’s purposes for church is essential for our clarity together. We can know clearly what we are doing as a church and also why we are doing these things.
This sermon series has also been important as a starting point for our review of our church’s ten year plan. Whenever plans are written or reviewed it is critical to start with a clear vision for the future. Plans that are made without clear goals end up as “maps to nowhere”. We do not want that to be the case for our church family as we embark on the next 10 years together. This has been a critically important opportunity to restate our vision so that our whole church family is clear on our direction and goals.
Having been reminded of our vision, now is the time to move into the next phase of our review process – where we can critically think through the plans we need to have in place to reach the goals we have set. Everyone in our church family will have the opportunity to give input – starting with our growth groups in the coming two weeks as they set aside a night to review the ten year plan.
As we review our 10 year plan together, it is helpful that we have in mind a method of review.
At the start of any review it is important to be clear on what you are aiming for. We have to revisit our goals for each of the M purpose areas. Having clarified what we think we should be aiming for, we then need to do a “reality check” – being brutally honest with ourselves in the current situation of our church family life together. Of course, having seen what we want to aim for and where we currently are, we are in a position to generate new ideas for how to move towards where we want to be in God’s grace. Brainstorming ideas at this stage is critically important to amending our church plans. Of course, we won’t be able to implement every new idea – we will need to carefully consider all the options to refine our plan, realising we have limited resources and cannot implement everything.
Having settled on the way forward, it will be important to outline how we are going to put these plans into action.
In all of this review process, we are not talking about abstract goals or ideas. This process is like our church family holding a round table discussion after dinner one night. Everyone is involved, because everyone will be needed to play their part in the implementation of our plans. We have been richly blessed by God in so many ways at WWEC – we want to work together for His glory in the time he has given us before Jesus returns.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re not sure where our church is heading, or how to get involved, if you’ve ever wondered why we do what we do, then now you have a great opportunity to play your part as a brother or sister in the family – to be involved at the ground level of what is happening in our church family.
So as we together undertake this review, we need your participation and your prayers. Pray for wisdom and discernment, clarity of thought, the ability to distinguish between what is good and what is best, pray asking God to provide the resources we will need to meet our goals, pray for patience and generosity towards each other as we work together through this review process. Copies of the current 10 year plan have been available on the table at the back of church over the last 5 weeks and will continue to be available – can I encourage you to take a copy home with you to read and to help you in your prayers. We earnestly desire to work together as a church family to magnify our God in all that we do, including how we plan, under Him, for the future.