My last post was a brief spot about vision. As much as I am an idealist when it comes to what the vision of the Church should be, I know that there are some practical realities I have to prepare for. It is important to lead with purpose and direction while remaining open to the movement of the Holy Spirit for course correction along the way. So, I am beginningto develop a plan for the first six months (I'm still not exactly sure when we will hit the ground there…hoping for some confirmation soon)and here's what I have so far:
PURPOSE AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The Church: To join in God’s redemptive mission in the world.
Pastoral/Leadership: To faithfully proclaim the gospel and administer the sacraments. To equip God’s people for ministry.
- Trust in God’s provision
- Pray fervently
- Listen deeply
- Prepare well
(Identification) Be present and active in the community by serving as a volunteer at Bain Elementary School (a potential large gathering space in the middle of Mint Hill). Meet people by attending and participating in local community events (specific events are not yet identified). Become a familiar presence at local community gathering spots such as Jimmie’s Restaurant and Freshly Brewed Coffeehouse (also a potential small gathering space).
(Identification) Plant seeds for partnership relationships with local congregations who might provide prayer support, financial support and/or “missionaries” from their congregation to provide initial leadership and critical mass to begin
(Training) As potential leaders are identified we will commit to meeting regularly to pray and vision and identify practical steps forward.
(Facilitate) Establish clear, effective lines of communication for ongoing conversation, visioning, and planning efforts. The challenge is to get things done while not further “busy” people’s already busy lives. I will make every effort to communicate through one-to-one conversations, regular meetings, and through online technology.
AREAS OF FOCUS FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS
- Meet regularly with a spiritual director
- Remain committed to daily time in scripture/prayer/worship
- Remember the sabbath and keep it holy
- Begin a weekly home Bible study/small group worship gathering with those who show interest in being part of the church community.
- Model loving relationships by putting my family first and faithfully spending time simply playing together
- Invite families/individuals to spend time with our family in social settings…without focusing on “church stuff”.
GIFT ORIENTED MINISTRY
- Regularly encourage people to complete a “spiritual gifts” identification tool, followed up by visioning/dreaming about how they might use their identified gifts for ministry.
Other key action plans “the 1st 6 months”)
- The following initiatives have high priority in the next 6 months
- Identify a “person of peace” in the local community who God has placed there to be a welcoming presence in my life
- Get to know the community by walking the neighborhoods as an active observer. Use the Community Mapping Tool to help gather and process information.
- Begin to meet with other area congregations to build relationships with area clergy and begin to invite prayer support. Plant seeds for consideration of additional support (financial, people, etc.)
- Develop an internet community website (including a blog, podcast, community forums, social networking) to begin building relationships with people in the community and invite questions and conversation.
- Listen attentively to Holy Spirit and pray intently for the community, seeking how I might best begin to participate in furthering God’s mission in Southeast Charlotte.
That's what I have so far. It is certainly a rough draft and certainly a work in progress. I would love some input from those who have been out in the field. What is missing? What needs tweaking? What is way off base? What is good?