Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Planning for 2013 - Who is our mission field?

On January 13th more than fifty Trinity folks stayed after church, enjoyed a meal together, and then began to think about what the year ahead might look like.  We talked about our mission statement, our goals and Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations.  Around each table were discussions about where we had witnessed God’s grace and how Trinity was a part of that.  Together, we realized once again that we are indeed blessed in many ways, by the building that has been handed down to us as well as by the individuals who are here and the gifts and talents that God has given to us all. 

We didn’t get much farther than that when time ran out.

What remains to be done was left for another meeting which we hope to schedule soon.  In the meantime, however, I asked that everyone present (and now everyone reading this) spend some time in prayer considering who we are and where we want to go.  While Trinity isn’t tiny we are still far from being a mega-church and so our resources (both financially in available volunteers) are limited.  As I noted during the first planning meeting, I would like to avoid taking a “blind hunter” approach where we just fire randomly in hopes of hitting something.  Instead, I hope that we can identify what persons or groups that we hope to reach in the name of Christ and carefully target our ministries toward meeting their needs and showing them the love of Jesus. 

I realize that discovering and discerning such a careful plan for future ministry may well be a process that may take some time but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be doing anything.  The Program Committee is already planning many of the things that we have always done and is moving forward on a few new things as well.  Over the longer term, however there is a bigger question:  

 Should we spend the time, perhaps even by forming a special leadership planning team, to plot a course for the future?   

A group such as this might be able to spend some time examining what groups of people live in our neighborhood, what their needs are, and where our gifts and talents best fit to reach them for Christ.

I had already written my recent message comparing God’s words for Israel to God’s message for Trinity and as Patti and I sat in the Formational Prayer seminar we attended.  While there, I was impressed with a new thought and the response of many of you to that same message has solidified the idea in me.  

Is God calling us to spend time, carefully and deliberately, healing from the wounds of the last few years and preparing for what’s ahead before we plunge into a host of new ministries?

I ask that each of you join me in prayer as we consider these questions before we meet again.

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