Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What Our Church Staff Are Saying About Our Vision Plan (part 2)

Steve Burghart – Pastor of Connections (pictured)

I’d like to take a few moments and give you my initial reaction to the 5-year Vision Plan which you presented to the Ministry Team Leaders on 17 December.
First, thank you for providing the visionary leadership that Grace Church needs as we seek to move forward in God’s plan for this local body. Too often, I have seen churches that are doing lots of “good” things for the Lord and His people, but they lack direction and focus. As I consider the plan which you have laid out, I see prayerful consideration of God’s will, both general and specific, for our congregation. It clearly focuses on all key aspects of our ministry, from “temple courts” to “house to house,” from “fathers” to “little children,” from “Jerusalem” to “the remotest part of the earth.”

This is not a “safe” plan. This plan is not an appraisal of what we think we can achieve by the strength of our own hands, but a declaration in faith of what we believe God is calling us to accomplish by His power. This is the type of plan which will compel all to sing honor and praise to our Father. It will teach the babes in the faith that with God all things are possible. It will quicken the ones who have grown weary in the faith and remind them of a time when they consistently saw the Lord at work in them.

Specifically, this plan says that the monuments that the Lord is interested in raising, the ones which bring Him glory, are made of flesh and bone, not brick and mortar. It is easy to get caught up in the competition for the biggest, most spectacular facilities. But when I think back upon the history of the church, to the time when we had the most significant positive impact upon the hearts and minds of individuals, families, communities, even empires, it was a time where the ministry of the church intentionally and exclusively focused upon meeting and moving people. It was the era characterized by the creation of inanimate monuments that led to the impotency of the church.

Finally, when I consider the impact of this plan upon the activity of the members of Grace Church, I see the potential for incredible growth in faithfulness. Monuments are beautiful and make us feel good, but require us merely to provide the financial resources for their construction. It remains the work of the “clergy” to do all aspects of ministry. However, with this vision for meeting and moving people, ownership of the ministry belongs to the people of God, and the work of the pastors becomes equipping the saints. In order to achieve these goals, we will need the help of everyone who has committed his or her life to serving God here at Grace Church.

After experiencing the excitement of our Ministry Team Leaders and in anticipation of that excitement spreading throughout our church community, I look forward to this next season of ministry. I look forward to the redemption of lives and families and communities. I look forward to our growth in unity and faithfulness. I look forward to praising God for all He has accomplished in, through, and around us.

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