We are working on summarizing the Surveys
Thanks to all who turned in the questions that we used in the family huddle. We are in the midst of tallying and summarizes the responses, and will report on that in the future.
This is the second more in-depth response to comments and the discussion from the meeting itself on February 19.
This will be from the mission portion of the discussion, though as you will see there is overlap into other areas:
Clarity of the Mission
Overall the feedback was that we had clarity on our mission of continuing Jesus’ Revolution of Love by radically reaching UP; relentlessly reaching OUT; and regularly reaching IN. We might not always know the “r’s” but we do remember that Jesus has called us as participants in His revolution of love, and we continue His revolution through reaching UP, OUT and IN. So we have the revolution of Love part, and the UP, OUT and IN.
OK we know it, but how are we actually doing?
Again, we will summarize the surveys when we have them tallied, so this is a reflection of the meeting only and mainly on how we are doing this corporately. I’m convinced to be true revolutionaries of love there will be: corporate expressions of the UP, OUT and IN; there will also be small group expressions of UP; OUT and IN; and we will personally be living: UP; OUT and IN. Again this reflection is mainly on the corporate expression.
There seemed to be a general consensus that we are passionatly reaching up in love to God and we are growing in Loving each other within the body (reaching IN). While recognizing that there is of course always room to grow in both these areas, the general consensus seemed to be that God is inviting us to growth in reaching OUT to our neighbors with the love of Jesus. There was a particular focus on growing in local outreach, but also quite a few comments about needing to feel more connected to how we are supporting the mission of Jesus around the world.
There were a number of comments along these lines: “we need more ways of reaching out into our community.” And also quite a few starter ideas such as: The Coffee House used to be a good tool; Throw more parties; Involve the youth more; maybe begin a single mom’s outreach; need more non-churchy events.
I think it would be fair to summarize that we as a whole felt that there will always be an invitation from God to grow in all areas, but there is a particular invitation right now to grow in the OUT.
A few thoughts on how 101; 201 and 301; Holy Spirit Seminar; and Healing Prayer Seminar might help us grow in all three areas:
One of the comments during our time in thinking about our mission was that we need to keep our focus on “equipping the saints.” This is certainly in line with our Vineyard heritage, and also with what Jesus has been speaking to me regarding making disciples. As I’ve shared before, I have always known that Jesus has told us to make disciples, but over the past couple of years, I’ve felt that Jesus has been saying to me, “telling people to be disciples is not the same as making disciples.” Led by these promptings from Jesus we have worked towards creating a 101;201;301 path. This is a path that we believe will help us be and make lifelong disciples of Jesus. Now of course this path is not the end all be all in being or making disciples, but I do believe that it is in an important step in moving past merely talking about to being disciples.
A couple of thoughts on: OUT; growth; the budget; and the building and how these things are related
One thing that felt like a consensus from the huddle was that currently we as a church are growing: spiritually; in reaching Up, In and Out; numerically; and with that our finances have improved. But, even with the growth, we still have some growth areas: 1. Currently, too much of a percentage our budget is going to building mortgage and building maintenance expenses. 2. Coupled with the reality of our building expense is the reality our building is currently under-utilized. 3. Our building was designed for a congregation of about 350 people. We are currently around 180.
Last year we explored the possibility of selling our building. Through the process we really felt Jesus leading us to remain here in this neighborhood and to continue to use this building as our corporate gathering space. At the same time I believe that Jesus would have us be good stewards with our finances and the building, it would seem that Jesus truly is inviting us to reach out and prayerfully ask for Kingdom growth. Then I believe as new people experience the goodness of Jesus and put their trust in Him, that we will see a smaller and smaller percentage of our budget going to building mortgage and maintenance. And as we see more people experience the goodness of Jesus and trust in him for forgiveness and life we will grow as a fellowship that our building would experience greater use. And we as a people as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and carry our Jesus' mission, we will bring hope to our surrounding community.