Hopefully others will also weigh in, but since I’m leaving town Monday I’ll jump back in now.
I’ve just sent two statements,
one is a proposal for the summer sermon series centered in “Back to basics”
the other is my read on where our conversation was headed when we finished Tuesday, called:
We are on step one of the four step process –
Taking the Census: Compile the congregational data on internal needs, resources, and current energy focus.
As a part of that, we have had some of our congregational needs identified and some recommended action items identified (step 4 of the process).
We do not need to wait to take any action on those foundational needs that have been identified. I think they point to where we may be headed, which is to begin addressing those basics even while we are continuing the dream/vision conversation.
These action items are, in a way, a living out of Jeremiah 29: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.
Only as we take care of one another will we be able to “7 seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” which will be the outgrowth of step two – scouting out the land.
So, my suggestion is this:
1) we continue to refine and add detail to step one – taking the census – needs, resources and energies
2) we move on those actionable items related to caring for the congregation and integrating visitors and new members
3) we outline a path to “scouting out the land”
4) in the coming weeks we identify some foundational conversations in each area of congregational life that need to happen during the summer in order for us to “get back to basics” during the coming year. An example would be to resume the “What are we going to teach, how are we going to teach it, to whom, and by whom?” conversation.
Please share your thoughts. Since I will not be at the meeting on Tuesday, 5/22, I look forward to hearing the progress that you all make in my absence.