Congregational Planning Retreat

The Sixth Annual Congregational Planning Retreatwe-are-all-invited-graphic

Saturday, January 23, 2016

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How Does the Church Make a Plan?

Have you ever thought about how our congregation makes decisions?  For those of us who work in a hospital, or in a police department, or a fire department, decisions are made through a highly structured hierarchy.  However, our church family has chosen to order itself in a non-hierarchical manner – otherwise known as a flat organizational system. In such a system decisions are made by a representative group in face-to-face conversations. For example, twice a year the Voters’ Forum gives the members of the church an opportunity to discuss the work of the congregation.  In addition, monthly Board of Directors meetings are open to all confirmed members. Of course, the church staff is available to discuss the work of the church with members on a regular basis.

However, the Voters’ Forum, and the Board of Directors meetings are more about managing a budget and providing oversight to programs. Where is the overall ministry plan created that the Board manages? Where is the ministry plan created for which the finances are budgeted?  At the Congregational Planning Retreat, that’s where.

The Blessings of a Mediated Open Forum

 In order to provide a pattern of communication that allows all participants to provide input, our church calls on the services of a professional mediator.  Pastor Jon Braunersreuther of the Texas District is one such professional mediator. He will be facilitating this year’s Congregational Planning Retreat as he has expertly done for the past couple of years.  Last year those participating in the Congregational Planning Retreat discerned that it was the Lord’s will for a Director of Children’s Ministry position to be created and staffed. Six months later the Lord blessed our church with Miss Jackie Wiebold. In other words, the Lord inspired His people, brought about consensus, and effectively filled the new Director of Ministry position. The results of past Congregational Planning Retreats have included similar positive results: Congregational Ministry Teams, the Hispanic Ministry Team, and the Family of Faith – Fairfield.

This Year’s Agenda

At this year’s Congregational Planning Retreat we will review the four strategic priorities we have developed over the last five years: one family working together; two dimensions of ministry (depth and breadth); three ways into ministry (hands, hearts, and heads); and four multiples (e.g. multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-gender, and multi-site). This last priority, multi-site, will be informed by a brand new feasibility study that our congregation sponsored last fall. The results of the study ought to be in so God’s people may continue the conversation, prayer, and the seeking of God’s will.

A Priesthood and a Pastor Coordinated in Christ

God has made each of us priests (1 Peter 2:5). The Lord has made us priests to serve Him in the royal priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9).  Our Savior also saw fit to institute the Office of the Holy Ministry (1 Timothy 3:1).  Like a pair of scissors  that only works when the pair moves in a coordinated way around a single pivot point, so the Priesthood of All Believers and the Office of the Holy Ministry  work best when coordinated around the person of Jesus Christ. Come and join the work of the Lord this year as we gather to coordinate around Christ at the Fifth Annual Congregational Planning Retreat.