This time of the year is when we start to think more carefully about what we need to do to make the coming year better than the past one. It’s a time for rethinking priorities and reevaluating values. Of course, contemplating change is far simpler than actually making change happen.
Churches occasionally go through this process of reflection, just as individuals often do. In fact, our church did just so this past year and came up with a vision for our future that we believe will propel us toward a most hopeful tomorrow. Vision 2020 enabled us to think seriously about how we can be even more effective for Christ’s cause in the days ahead. As you remember, it focused on six priorities: worship, outreach, discipleship, missions, fellowship, and structures.
Now comes the time to do the heavy lifting that’s necessary to make the vision become reality. On January 18, at our church’s Semi-Annual Church Conference, you’ll hear the names of the members who will comprise what we’re calling an “Implementation Team.” The Implementation Committee has actually already been working over the past month with our Ministerial Staff to determine the recommendations for Chairs for each of the Ad Hoc Committees recommended by the vision plan. Additionally, the Implementation Committee is looking forward to its half-day retreat on January 25th with Dr. Bill Wilson, Director of the Center for Healthy Churches, who was our consultant for the Vision 2020 process. Dr. Wilson will be sharing with the Committee guidance on how to provide the proper oversight and guidance during the implementation phase of our Vision 20/20 process.
The Implementation Team’s primary responsibility will be to offer general oversight on how we might best implement the aims and objectives of the vision. And they’ll need our help. As a part of the process of presenting the plan back in November, we distributed enlistment cards for members to register how they might feel led to assist with the implementation. We had a good number of our members who responded to that invitation and we have passed on those cards to the Implementation Team. But they believe that it would be a good idea to have a second pass at inviting people to participate in the implementation of the plan, and I wholeheartedly agree. After all, the more people we have involved in bringing the vision to reality, the more our church will manifest the vision’s hopes and dreams.
In addition, this Sunday I’ll begin a six-part sermon series on the “thumbnail proposals” that served as a digest of the aims and objectives of the Vision 2020 process. Those proposals were: (1) We worship God; (2) We follow Jesus; (3) We share Christ; (4) We serve others; (5) We love one another; and (6) We make ministry possible. My hope is that by revisiting these core values at the beginning of the year, we’ll be more motivated to keep them before us as we work toward the implementation of God’s vision for our church. In fact, I’m hopeful that every person in our church (even our children!) will commit these proposals to heart so that we’ll all be on the same page moving forward toward making our vision become reality.
So, as we move into this New Year, now is the time to be thinking about which of the six areas best represents your passion and gifts, and when the opportunity presents itself for you to get plugged in, make sure that you do so. There’s more than enough opportunity to go around and more importantly, there’s no reason why every member of Mountain Brook Baptist Church can’t find some place in the plan that makes them feel both a deeper connection and commitment to our church’s future, as well as to their own.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived the things that God has prepared for those that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).