Grace and Peace to you!
For this year's annual report and message I would like to share and reflect on six items for growth I identified in mid-2018 at the annual Deacon & Session joint meeting. I have learned that little growth comes from comfort or from being static; growth comes from being willing to stretch, enter into discipline, and praying for the wisdom and courage to name challenges and crises (big and small) to overcome.
As I serve the church, I also try hard to observe, witness, and treasure in my heart how the church operates as a multi-faceted and dynamic system to name areas for growth.
These moments of observation are done most faithfully from what I call "the balcony." Imagine with me that the church and all of its ministries, programs, committees, opportunities, and most importantly its people are on a big dance floor. The music is playing and the system is in motion. I love to serve and make relationships (to dance and mingle in this metaphor), but I also love to soak it all in at once and observe. How does one observe a big dance floor with a hundred some people moving on it? It takes stepping up to the balcony to see it all and soak it all in. From time to time I ask session to "step up to the balcony" with me when we work to name areas for growth or examine systematic issues.
From some of my most recent time spent on the balcony I've observed, identified, and named six items as focus areas of faithful growth for the church. I have taken on the task of naming and claiming these items and reframing them as goals, because I believe they are important footholds for the presence and future life of FSPC.
The six goals are:
1. To find synergy in our ministries and engage, equip, invite, and inspire the ministry of members so all may participate in living out their faith.
2. To identify the difference between charitable giving and sacrificial giving and teach why the difference matters for the present and future of the individual member and the collective church.
3. To go deeper with new members when they join the life and ministry of the church.
4. To name, claim, and live out our essential ministries, and break away from placing our attention on busy work or resolving technical issues.
5. To learn to speak fluently the Language of Legacy and embrace the call to create a foundation for the future generations.
6. To get creative with our current worship, ministry, and educational spaces through imagination and ingenuity.
My enthusiasm and excitement grow as I imagine the church working together, utilizing each member's spiritual gifts, to stretch and grow into our common call to be the faithful church. Here's to one more year of dancing for the Lord!