Worship Together, Serve Together, Grow Together
“Here we grow again!” I don’t know how many times I have penned that statement in 30 plus years, but I am grateful to be part of a group of people who understand the Church is a living, breathing organism, not a fixed institution.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will GROW to become in every respect, the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him, the whole Body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, GROWS and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:15-16
Since July 2016, your session and members of your staff leadership team have been working with The UnStuck (Consulting) Group to discover God’s next for Pathway Church. We are calling the plan, Pathway 2.0. We believe this four prong Vision initiative will give us a clarity of direction for the next 10-20 years. Below is a snapshot of 9 months of prayer, research, more prayer, discussion, more prayer, conversation, more prayer, vision casting and more prayer:
– Expand our reach by multiplying to ten locations in our region and globally, constructing a new worship center with additional capacity, and launching an online platform for services and next steps.
– Celebrate changed lives by sending the body into the world to connect with 1 million people for the purpose of sharing/demonstrating the love and grace of Jesus Christ, connecting them to the Body of Christ, resulting in at least 2,000 coming to and or back to Christ as Savior and Lord.
– Equip families to be healthy by coaching people to love and lead well, constructing expanded Family Ministry Space where 1,000 children and 500 students gather each week, opening a parenting and counseling center, redeveloping the apartment complex (Thomas Street) for single parent housing and raising up 200 marriage mentors, who among other initiatives, provide premarital counseling to 10% of Johnson County newly married couples each year.
– Impact our community by developing a destination or “third place” on our 15-acre campus that draws people together, encouraging diversity so our church and staff reflect our multicultural region and mobilizing our people to live their lives on mission for Jesus in their families, neighborhoods and workplaces.
I get both excited and a little overwhelmed every time I review this big vision, but I am also emboldened because we have a big God. Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” For the past 30 plus years God has been doing the impossible in our midst, and I am convinced, “here we grow again!”
Achieving such a vision requires lots of prayer, solid leadership, planning, execution and congregational buy-in. In the coming weeks, we will be speaking in worship to the first five strategies that we believe will create momentum towards Pathway 2.0. Here is a glimpse of the five strategy teams, consisting of staff and laity, and their charge.
1. Optimize Weekend Services: At 9:30 and 11:00, our facility is operating at maximum capacity plus. This team, led by Chris Bohon, is considering how we can increase our weekend capacity without building or renting additional space. Changing and/or adding Worship service and age appropriate small group times are only two of the current considerations. The goal is to execute some portion of this initiative by September 2017.
2. Student Ministry Strategy: Led by Josh Fortney and Cheyanne Davis, this group is reassessing all of our Wednesday night and Sunday night student programs/structures through the lens of how we can better connect this generation of students with their cultural challenges to a life-giving, relevant relationship with Jesus. Launch Goal: September 2017
3. Spiritual Formation: Jeff Gehle , along with a group of new and mature Christians are working on a clear “Next Step” path for those who choose to make Pathway their church home and desire to Grow in Christ. Launch Goal: December 2017
4. Leadership Development: Judy Madden and Leslie Lummus have assembled a group of leaders to consider how we can better create a culture of training, mentoring and developing staff and lay leaders. John Maxwell said it best, and Jesus proved it best, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Launch Goal: December 2017
5. Systems & Infrastructure: Allan Mink is working with a group who grasps the importance of simplifying the capture and access of data as needed for purposeful ministry. This team is exploring software systems that will allow us to integrate and simplify membership records, kids check-in, online giving, accounting, event registration, facility use, website, app, you get the point.
Launch Goal: May 2018
These five strategies are the first steps toward the fulfillment of Pathway 2.0. As each strategy is up and running we will take another step and then another step and another and…
Achieving such a Big Vision will require lots of prayer, solid leadership, planning, execution, congregational buy-in and lots and lots of servants. I urge you to be open, ask questions, be ready to serve and most of all, pray for God’s will to be done.
I am praying for you. Please pray for me.
“Connecting people to people and people to God.”