This text continues to guide us in our efforts to create a long-range ministry plan for First Lutheran. I don’t think we can hear it too often. Back in May I wrote about what we had learned thus far:
“What the numbers and stories tell us is that our congregation has a special opportunity. The pieces are in place for First Lutheran (with our high energy and high satisfaction) to be a source of transformative Christian ministry. We are not in chaos. We are not in recovery mode. We are not interested in being a static Church who is satisfied with who we already are. First Lutheran is interested in becoming… So, what shall we become? What kind of transformative presence are we being called to be? That’s the next step: to figure out exactly what God wants us to become.”
Since that was written, ten teams of three to five people each have been busy putting meat on the bones of our plans. These teams are coming up with specific ideas for how to address how First serves the community, hospitality, evangelism, learning ministries, property concerns, worship, stewardship and more. Ideas have been flying around all summer without much concern for exactly how they will all get done. Now that we are naming the places we want to go, the next step is for our staff, leaders and all our members to figure out how to get there.
I know many of you want to know about all these destinations that are being named. “Where are we going?” is a question I’m hearing more and more. This month, all our teams will gather to present their individual reports full of ideas, goals and objectives to each other. It is the last step in their summer-long process which has included much prayer, many meetings and a good bit of time. Thank you to all who served on these teams! Once they’ve presented their reports, Brian Narveson—who has some experience at long-range planning through his work—and I will gather all these team reports into one coherent (we hope) long-range plan which will prioritize and clarify timelines, benchmarks and other details of how to implement the plan. That clarified, final coherent plan will be presented to the entire congregation in September. We haven’t nailed a date down yet to present the report—stay tuned—but I am very excited to have the whole congregation in on the effort.