On Sunday, August 2, I shared the five goals of our 2020 vision. On August 26, I’ll present the full details of our proposal. We’ll be throwing around a lot of terms and concepts that night, and I want to define a few of the words we’ll be using in our proposal.
Assessment- an online and print tool we will use to give us a baseline for our spiritual growth as a church. This confidential tool will be emailed to the church and provided in print on Sunday mornings in the welcome center. Each year, we will invite people to fill out this confidential survey to help us determine if the strategies have accomplished the objectives and to help us focus on the next year’s strategies.
Connected- someone who is active in worship, learning and using spiritual gifts, caring for and communicating with other people, and ready to share the gospel with others.
Disciple- someone who thinks, acts, and bears fruit like Jesus. A person fully surrendered to Jesus as Lord.
Goals- these are the five ways we think we can make a discernable, measurable difference in the kingdom of God. Like landmarks on the journey to the “city of God,” these are the places we’ll pass as we fulfill the vision. By setting these goals, we have to pack differently than we would if we were going another direction.
Home- a mission outpost in the community where Jesus is at the center of everything they do and say. Individuals and families who reach people for Jesus have strong homes.
Impact- caring for the least of these in our city by feeding and sheltering children, reconciling races, and partnering with other groups who care about these issues and want to transform Tallahassee through Jesus’ love.
Leader- someone who lives a servant lifestyle, not simply has a service project or performs a random act of kindness. Someone who uses spiritual gifts to build the body of Christ, serves in places of work and study, responds to God’s call, and influences others to do the same.
Mission- the unchanging, ongoing work of First Baptist Church. Our mission statement reflects our consistent presence here in our community and around the world. We’re recommending no changes to the current mission statement.
Objectives- these are the measurements we’ll use to determine if we’ve arrived at the goal. If you’re driving to Bainbridge, you can tell if you’ve arrived by looking at the sign. If your goal is to produce faithful disciples, we use a different criteria. We’re going to assess our goals based on these objectives. Some of these measurements are as simple as counting seeds sown in a field. If you want to reap a harvest, you know you’re going to need a lot of seeds. Most of these measures, however, are more like the harvest. We’re not sure exactly how many satsumas are going to grow on the tree, but we do know that we want the tree to be fruitful. Many of these objectives describe the quality of the fruit that we want to see in our church.
Strategies- these are the initiatives, programs, and staff we think that we’ll need from September 2015 – August 2016 to accomplish these objectives. These are the most pressing, urgent ministries that we think we need to start as well as a suggested list of current ministries that fulfill the vision. Because so many of our ministries and staff are already aligned with this vision, we did not feel it necessary to list everything we’re doing now. But we did want to highlight the most pressing ministries that are going to be necessary. These will be reviewed, revised, and changed annually as we fulfill the vision.
Structure- this is the structure we are recommending that we implement to accomplish the goals. New direction requires a structure that empowers more people to be involved and invested in the work of the mission. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, a coordinating team of will be charged with keeping us focused on the vision over the next five years. They will be chosen following the by-laws process for committees. Pending church approval, they will help the committees, ministry groups, goals, and staff to function together to fulfill the vision. This structure will guide us over the next five years.
Vision- the focus of our church for the next five years. Like the eye glasses you wear, our vision must be corrected, sharpened, and strengthened over time. This statement reflects the goals for the next 5 years of our church. We’re not planning a long range 20 year goal, but a short term focus for our efforts.