Notes from Tuesday night’s DDP meeting…5/22 – by SJ

A good vision for FGCC, that we have had around us, but didn’t name and recognize until now, goes something like this :

“FGCC is a part of the body of Christ,
gathered together, growing disciples
from curious onlookers
towards spiritually mature ministers.”

As a foundational part of this vision, we see creating a scope and sequence of growing disciples at FGCC through teaching, preaching, and open discussion inclusive of diverse opinions.   Where scripture speaks we speak, and where scripture is silent we will  prayerfully with love and conversation embrace our diversity together.

This means we support inclusive coverage of scripture (entire OT and entire NT) in sermons in tandem with guided group studies.

Suggested topics for the “back to basics” which is envisioned as the first part of the scope/sequence –  basic faith foundation kinds of topics:  for example, if Ken could take some of the creeds and preach a series on each thing mentioned there – not as a statement of faith for us, but as a guide for a topic list, and we could also in tandem study them in SS.  Also, interpretation of scripture, and an overview of the Bible were mentioned.

After we cover the basic faith foundation topics, moving on to difficult topics is desired as an additional part of scope/sequence. We feel guided, small group discussions/studies done in tandem with the sermons are a necessity (or highly recommended) – We do not want to tiptoe around difficult topics (based in 2 Tim 4:1-5), and we seek a deeper prayer life together.   An authentic, shared prayer life that is spiritually stirring is desired.


Let’s let the topic of spiritual gifts rest for awhile.  The group feels that topic has been covered more fully than other topics in recent memory.
For summer, and perhaps longer, maybe a year? – basic belief sermon series and guided study series
After that – move to advanced topics built on the basic beliefs, inclusive of difficult topics that are pervasive in our culture.
Additional suggestions for next week’s agenda:
Revival in the fall?
CA and CK to continue to work out details of their ideas for hospitality, etc. so we can implement those soon.

Dream Discovery Process Update from 05152012

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:

Living our diversity by being part of the wider church

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.



Dream Discovery Process Conversation – 05012012

Jeremiah 29

The Lord promises that he will redeem and restore the people of God. In the meantime, we are called to bless those around us –for “your welfare depends on the welfare of your community around you.”


Our Quest From Numbers 1-3 & 13, we are instructed to “take a census of the people” (making an assessment of our group/congregation), and to “scout out the land” (making an assessment of our neighbors).

  1. Taking the Census: Compile the congregational data on internal needs, resources, and current energy focus.
  2. Scouting the Land: Gather community demographic information from Link2Lead and other sources. Survey the community regarding “ministry gaps” and untapped resources – door to door in the surrounding neighborhood, among our own neighbors and friends and our circles of acquaintance.
  3. Articulate a focused vision: within this vision diverse folks can find a place to be served and to serve.
  4. Determine how to live into that dream: In light of the needs and resources of congregation and community, (#1 & #2 above) how will we fulfill God’s call on our congregation (#3 above) – God’s dream for us of “a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11)? This will be a concrete plan with action steps to be carried out by a variety of smaller teams (the ministry and administrative committees, for instance) gathering probably monthly for celebration and calibration to keep on track.

PRAY: All of this of course is bathed in prayer and guided by biblical and theological reflection.


  1. Internal
    1. Needs – CA and CK
    2. Gifts – GP and TF
    3. Energies – KR and JM
  2. External
    1. Gather Demographic Info – KC
    2. Describe the “Door to Door” survey process – SJ & GW

*** Meet on Tuesday, 5/8 from 6:30-8pm at FGCC to share our results of this work and decide what’s next

In the meantime, we’ll keep in mind: a) How to get buy in from the congregation? If we are engaging them fully in the process, this won’t be a problem because the vision will be shared by them and grow from what God has placed in their own hearts and minds. B) Don’t take on too much. We will need to understand how the vision honors the capacities of the congregation – an honest assessement of “Internal Needs and Resources” will take this into account. C) Getting “back to basics”. The essence of our life of faith together is represented by our ministry areas – Worship, Fellowship, Member Care, Discipleship, Evangelism and Outreach – each of these need to be lived out deeply. D) To be “fed spiritually”. We need to recognize that this means different things for each of us. How do we help each person take responsibility for their own spiritual growth while also attending to the needs of one another?

THE DREAM: What do we recognize now as a part of God’s Dream/Vision for FGCC? Whatever else is true, it will be marked by: 1) a strong and central commitment to serving those outside the congregation – the church exists for the sake of the world. It will also be 2) rooted and grounded in a comprehensive life of prayer, bible study and theological reflection – the basics of formation for Christian discipleship.

Dream Discovery Process Conversation 05012012 pdf

Dream Discovery Process Discussion – 032812

“What would you do for Jesus if there were no limitations?”


Imagine that over the next three years we have lived into this question. How would you complete the following (Read them all and then answer the ones that most speak to you):


The ministry of Forest Grove that most impacts our community is:


The thing Forest Grove is known for in the community is:


The major ministries of Forest Grove, besides regular Sunday morning worship and bible study, are:


We share the gospel with our community by:


We integrate new people into the life of our congregation by:


Our worship service is:


Our leadership is:


Our facilities are:


My favorite thing about FGCC is:


The thing I am most excited to tell others about our church is:


My ministry is:


Shorter Version:

Dream Discovery Process Discussion –
“What would you do for Jesus if there were no limitations?”

Imagine that over the next three years we have lived out our answers to this question.

How would you complete the following:


The ministry of Forest Grove that most impacts our community is:


We share the gospel with our community by:


The thing I am most excited to tell others about our church is:


I have grown in my faith at Forest Grove because:


My ministry is: