7 Initiatives at My New Church
Using Acts 2 as our model, recently I shared my initial vision for the new church I began pastoring a month ago.
The seven initiatives of focus are:
- Impressions – We need to consider how we present ourselves to visitors. From the moment a person thinks “church” for the first time, until they are no longer considered a visitor, what impression are we making with them?
- Intergenerational – We are a multi-generational church, but we need to move toward intergenerational ministry. We need young people learning from older people. We need older people learning from younger people. We need to do life together with all ages. We have much to offer each other.
- Discipleship – We need to figure out how best to help people be more like Jesus. This is obviously the goal of every church, but I want us to consider how to do it with more intentionality than ever before.
- Stewardship – God has blessed Immanuel with tremendous resources. Our facilities, our location, and our people are incredible assets. We need to find ways to use what God has given us even more for the glory of God.
- College – Our 22 acre campus is located footsteps away from the University of Kentucky and other local colleges and universities. To not be actively investing in the tens of thousands of students in our vicinity would seem to be a sin. (He who knows the good he ought to do…). We have a mission field in our backyard that can literally play a part in changing the world.
- Prayer – Immanuel is a praying church, but I’ve never known anyone who was felt they were praying enough. I want my ministry here to be rooted in prayer. I want to see God do things which could only be done by God’s intervention. Let God’s people pray!
- Missions/Community Investment – I believe a healthy church is a going church. We need to leave the comfort of our Sunday seats and hit the streets of Lexington. We are going to explore the options available to us to partner with existing ministries in our community. We are exploring options to be involved around the world. We want to be known as a church on the move in missions, making a huge impact in our community.
With each of these initiatives I’ve formed (or am forming) an initiative team with the intent of exploring ways Immanuel can grow in each of these areas. These teams will have a volunteer leader. Several will have appropriate staff members assigned to them. I will not be “doing” this work, but available to help them as needed. One key to this working is it gets more people involved in the process and builds energy as they explore new ideas.
To aid in brainstorming, I’m challenging the teams leading each of these to think in terms of:
- Immediate – In each of these areas we need some quick “wins”. To keep momentum in these areas growing in the church, we need people to see some movement toward each of these. What are some things we can do quickly to realize growth in each of these initiatives?
- Midrange – What are some things we can do in the next few months to a year to move each of these initiatives forward?
- Longterm – What are things we can suggest as long-term ideas? These may not happen for a year or more, but we can set them in our sights and work towards them?
- Temporary – These are usually one term or short-term commitment projects. They aren’t likely to be repeated. They can be doing a one day event or one series of days, but they aren’t expected to continue forever.
- Permanent – These are changes that, for the foreseeable future, will become part of the culture of Immanuel.
I’ve been asked for specifics for each of these, and frankly, I’m hesitant to do that. I like for teams I appoint to start with blank slates and have freedom to dream on their own. That way they own the vision. I have a list of my own and I’ll be sharing them along the way with the teams, but I want to make sure they understand what I’m asking them to do, then release them to brainstorm. We are just getting started with this process and it is not expected to be a quick process. I’m simply sharing these to help others as they think through transitions needed in their own ministry setting.