Written by Stephen Cox
In the third commandment (Exodus 20:7; Deut 5:11) God warned His people not to take His name in vain. By this He does not mean just avoiding profanity. More than that, He is saying, “Don’t take My name upon yourself, don’t claim to be my follower if you’re not going to live like one of Mine.” That, no less than profanity, would be taking God’s name in vain. In living as one of God’s people, we are to display the glorious Gospel of God – His grace and mercy – to His creation through our amazingly different personalities He has blessed our church with. That is, the way we relate to one another displays His glory. That’s what we’re called to – we’re called to display God and His character in a glorious way to His Creation (Ephesians 3:10). In His goodness, God has called us to live out the Christian life together.
I personally have grown as a Christian within church because of God’s work through my brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, I believe this is God’s plan for each one of us – that through the work of His Spirit, we are committed to one another, encouraging one another in our Christian life. We all know that any relationship involves commitment, and relationships within our church family are no different. We are to bring Him glory by our lives together.
To help WWEC achieve this aim and be intentional in our efforts for 2015 we have put together some specific goals (consistent with our 10 year plan formulated in 2010). Setting goals is easy but achieving them isn’t. That’s why we’ve attempted some SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
Three things we are thinking about this year:
1. Evangelism and growth:to see as many people as possible saved by the blood of Jesus and adopted into his family
The Gospel itself contains an invitation. An invitation of a fresh start with God. As Christians we have the privilege to invite people to meet the true and living God in Jesus. Behind this inviting is an inviting God – in Isaiah 55:1,6 we read:
“Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters;
Seek the Lord while He may be found;call to Him while He is near.”
Jesus himself came with the offer that “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink!” (John 7:37) In the parable of the banquet in Luke 14, God sends out his people to go and invite others to come and sit at the table of eternal fellowship with Him. The call is not to go and perform, not to go and give all your money, not to go and try and make yourself acceptable to God, but to “come for everything is ready”. What a wonderful privilege we have to be able to go out with the word on our lips, ‘Come’, inviting people into God’s Kingdom.
- Growth of 15% in our Sunday meeting services (average attendance to be over 185 people weekly by the end of the year)
- Work towards a second WWEC congregation plant – this process involves such things as data gathering, training current church family members, deciding on parameters and so on.
2. Finances: to increase our financial investment in God’s kingdom
We believe that God calls his people to a life of cheerful generosity. Generosity, with all that we have, is the right and appropriate response to the God who is, and will always be, generous towards us. Therefore, a Christian’s desire to give towards the growth of God’s Kingdom at church should spring from this generosity, and not from feeling pressured or forced to do so.
- An overall increase in our church’s giving10%
- Effective ongoing communication to the church family of the church’s financial position
3. Planning for the future: to be clear on how to live for God’s glory as we wait for Jesus’ return
In Romans 1- 11, Paul labours to firmly establish a theological foundation from which the Roman Christians could operate. Then, from chapter 12 he instructs his brethren to apply that theology in a principled yet pragmatic way into their lives. One aspect of this life is that the brethren would “have a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5 – 6).
Strategic ministry plans should bring our theology and our practice together. A good plan will be theologically principled and it will be pragmatically structured to ensure that ministry of the gospel happen in an intentional way. Developing the plan together will help our church live in harmony, and with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
– Effectively review the church’s 10 year plan
– Give effective ongoing communication of the church plan
– Implement the pathways in each of our “M” purpose areas (Mission, Membership, Maturity and Ministry)
We know from our recent series in the book of Revelation that God has wonderful things in store for His church and His creation. Our role is to display the character of God to His creation. This burden of display is our awesome responsibility and our tremendous privilege. May God make our church actively involved in the growth of His Kingdom, and may He pour out His Spirit on churches across Australia and around the world to do the same, for His glory.