In August, I assumed responsibility for missions at the church where I have served the past 8 years as youth pastor. Missions, evangelism, and strategic planning have been added to my responsibilities (in addition to the youth). It is a load, indeed, but with excellent and willing volunteers and my commitment to the call to equip the saints, it is doable. I am in the prelimineray stages as I think big picture about missions and what that looks like for congregation. I have been working with our Missions Committee the past few months to develop a strategic plan for guiding our mission endeavors – both fiscally as well as all other resources. There are key ideas that are important to me and that guide my visioning for this particular congregation.
The first is related specifically to our community. I want us to continually ask the question, "Would our community miss us if we were gone?" Even beyond that – would they put up a fight to keep us here? In asking this question, we can assess the level of kingdom work we are doing in the community, the depth of relationships that have been formed, the amount of generosity that has been shown to our neighbors. It is a very humbling question yet a question that truly gets at the heart of what it means to be church in the community.
The second key idea is related to partnerships. I firmly believe that congregations should seek out partnerships with organizations and churches already at work. What is God calling FBC to do? Where do we sense the Spirit leading our hearts and passions? Who is already in the trenches and how can we partner with them? Right now, we are evaluating some partnerships already in exsistence and evaluating our efforts, or lack thereof, to date. We are also looking for other partnerships and ideas that will get us out of the pews and into the neighborhood with no other agenda than to love our neighbors, our peers, our community family.
I would welcome ideas, experiences, thoughts, etc, from any of you who have traveled similar journeys or have witnessed partnerships at work. What did they look like? Who did they involve? What do you still dream of becoming reality in the future?