Gaylord E-Free is a church with a purpose. We desire to be used by God to meet as many people as possible right where they are and help move them to where He wants them to be. At the beginning of this year, we launched into a 3-year Vision Plan with the ultimate goal to saturate Otsego County with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to then let that bleed over into all of northern Michigan.
This is a vision that we believe God gave to us and He has already blessed us in opening doors far ahead of our anticipated time-schedule. For example, our 9am service each Sunday morning is now being aired live each on The Eagle, 101.5 FM.
Realizing that many who are attending E-Free are new to our church since we introduced our 3-year vision plan, here is a quick overview of what we believe God has called us to do. The vision plan focuses on the following areas:
The first area is that of our worship services and technology. This will no doubt be the greatest way that we can saturate our county with the Gospel. The vision includes a technology upgrade with new lighting and cameras that will allow us to broadcast the message down to the Classic service. It will also open doors for us to stream our services on the internet and continue to utilize radio and even television to meet and move people all over northern Michigan.
This technology will also equip us with state of the art environmental projection which will allow us to change the entire front of the auditorium in both our Contemporary and Classic services into multiple scenes and displays. To be able to accomplish all of this and to utilize this new equipment to its fullest potential, the vision plan also includes the addition of a Technology Director to our staff
Another area of emphasis in our vision plan is in the area of connecting people. We don’t just want to attract people to our church, we desire to also see all of these people connected into our church. Our goal is to see 80% of our average Sunday morning adult attendance plugged into a Life Group or into one of our Equip-U Classes.
With multiple services we know it will become more of a challenge to connect with people on Sunday morning. That’s why our vision plan includes the addition of a café here in our facility where people can take time before, in between, and after services to connect with each other.
A third area of emphasis has been a focal point here at E-Free for decades and that is our ministry to children and youth. Our vision plan calls for the addition of a full-time Director of Children’s Ministry. This is another area where God is already at work as we are now just a few weeks away from introducing this new staff member to our church family.
Currently our nursery areas are in two separate locations in our facility. The vision plan calls to relocate and expand our nurseries so they are all in the same location and are large enough to handle the growth we are experiencing.
As a church we are unique and blessed to have a counseling ministry that includes having a licensed Christian counselor on our staff. Our vision calls for this area to be expanded through adding a female counselor to help minister to more woman, children and families.
Being outward focused is the heart of our vision. That’s why this plan calls for us to return to seeing 20% of all of our offerings going
back out to into our community and around the world. In the same way that individuals are called in Scripture to tithe their money, we see this 20% as a way our church tithes from the resources God has blessed us with.
The final area centers on our facility. God has blessed E-Free with an amazing facility, but over the years the wear and tear has taken its toll on our building. Our vision plan calls for much needed maintenance and updating so that we can continue to use our building to its fullest potential. Due to the increased usage and demand on our building, we also are looking to add a facility manager to our staff who can give full-time oversight to the stewardship of our building.
Through making these steps of faith in these areas, we believe that we can fulfill our purpose of meeting as many people as possible and moving them to where God wants them to be. But to see this vision become reality, we need you to be involved.
First, we need you to pray. Nothing of eternal importance happens apart from prayer. The creation of this vision plan was bathed with prayer and we want to be sure that its implementation is carefully wrapped in prayer as well.
One of the things we ask you to pray about is how you can be involved. In the back foyer we have a Vision Tree which is filled with green apples that represent areas of our vision plan as well as their associated costs. As God leads, you can actually pick one of those green apples through your gift for that item. Under each green apple is a red apple which will visualize that God is taking the dream He gave us and turning it into reality for His honor and glory
This vision plan is aggressive and will challenge us as a church as it pushes us out of our comfort zones. We believe that this is a good thing because there is always a challenge between the comfort of where we are and the potential of where we could be.