Giving Legs to the Vision: Part 1

 
 

A good ministry plan charts the course for the church, creating a compelling and feasible vision for the future. It is rooted in current reality, but not stuck in it. It is the fruit of a prayerful and collaborative process. (To learn more about this process, read this.) A good ministry plan remains flexible, in order to take advantage of fortuitous, Spirit-given opportunities or unforeseen setbacks. The plan gives legs to the vision and life to shared core values.

What is our vision?

Transformed by the grace of Christ, and compelled by his love, our vision is to be a flourishing community marked by love for God and for our neighbor. Depending on prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit, we desire to radiate the good news of God’s grace in such a way that people are redeemed by the gospel, grow in the context of healthy relationships, serve the poor and needy around us, and partner with the global church to bring the gospel to the nations.

What are our values?

Values define the culture of a church, and provide guard rails as we chart the course for the future. While vision serves to describe a desirable future, values express who we want to be as we move toward the future. Over ten years, we have seen these five core values come to life in our community:

  Rich, God-centered worship; dependence on God in prayer; persistence and resourcefulness in the face of obstacles.

Rich, God-centered worship; dependence on God in prayer; persistence and resourcefulness in the face of obstacles.

  A place to know and be known, where I can bring my real self into relationship with others.

A place to know and be known, where I can bring my real self into relationship with others.

  Though we are more sinful than we ever imagined, we are more loved than we ever dared dream. The Christian life is lived out of freedom and love for God, not compulsion. The riches of grace are in the “drinking water” of all we do.

Though we are more sinful than we ever imagined, we are more loved than we ever dared dream. The Christian life is lived out of freedom and love for God, not compulsion. The riches of grace are in the “drinking water” of all we do.

  Helping each person take their next step toward spiritual maturity; making disciples; developing leaders.

Helping each person take their next step toward spiritual maturity; making disciples; developing leaders.

  We don’t exist only for ourselves, but for a needy world. We engage culture, we pursue the lost sheep, we are for the city, we create space for people to belong before they believe, and we have a hosting environment for guests.

We don’t exist only for ourselves, but for a needy world. We engage culture, we pursue the lost sheep, we are for the city, we create space for people to belong before they believe, and we have a hosting environment for guests.

What will it take to pursue the vision?

Just as a commercial airliner needs fuel to get to its destination, a church needs resources to move into the future. Sometimes we refer to these resources as “capacity” or “critical mass.” What resources do we need to fuel the pursuit of our vision?

Prayer:

Our most vital resource is the power of God. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, our efforts are in vain. Our dreams are beyond human power to achieve: hearts that are brought to saving faith; believers inspired to love Jesus and serve him; worship services and events where we experience the quiet presence of God. So we mobilize prayer through our weekly prayer alert, our church-wide monthly prayer gathering, in small groups, and in the August Prayer Initiative.

Healthy volunteer culture:

All churches, whether they have a building or not, depend on a base of inspired, dependable volunteers. Since 80% of our church serves monthly, we believe that we have a sustainable volunteer system. That said, our deacons will review our volunteer culture and search for ways to care for our volunteers, make our system even more effective, and engage others to serve as reinforcements.

Broad-based giving:

Our progress the last two years has been substantial, and we have finished both years in the black. We are working toward a continued broadening of participation in giving, because giving is an indication of spiritual health and vital to our future.

Leadership development:

We are at the stage where we need to expand the numbers of elders, deacons, and small group leaders. Behind the scenes, our hope is to create venues for both men and women to receive development in theology, leadership, and mission. This growing base of leaders is vital to our shepherding, our care, and our discipleship of our congregation.

Technology and communication:

We have made great strides over the years, but the world of technology continues to improve. Our office team is migrating our church database to a new platform called Planning Center Online. This platform will integrate all of our systems such as SPLASH check-in, online church directory, management of groups and teams, and giving. Timely, engaging communication is also vital in our increasingly mobile culture. It is like oxygen to the body of Christ. The past year has seen across-the-board improvement in our use of the web site, weekly update, Instagram, Facebook, and other forms of internal and external communication. Our hope and request is that all members stay abreast of our progress even while on the go, especially by reading the weekly update each Friday. The sermons follow a careful plan to build into the lives of our congregation over time, and the podcast will help you stay current if you’re on the road.

On-boarding of Joe White:

Our new assistant pastor will enhance our capacity to grow the church, with a focus on (but not limited to) young adults and the millennial generation. A capital fund has been established to make sure we don’t fall behind financially when Joe comes on board. We look forward to helping Joe, Tiffany, and their three kids get established in our community and ready to serve on the team. Joe’s start date will be June 19.

Hire new youth director:

As Fritz and Barbie Schalmo transition to their next chapter of ministry, we will be trusting God for the right person to lead our youth ministry in the future. The search process is beginning now, and we hope to have a new person in place by the summer.

Office makeover:

LBC actually does own valued property in Baldwin Park—our office/condo at the corner of Lake Baldwin Lane and Chatfield Place. This “ministry hub” gets near-constant use by small groups, leadership meetings, youth group, events, and vital admin work. After nine years of first rental then ownership, we are ready to enhance the appeal and usefulness of this facility with fresh paint, sturdy furniture, lodging for visitors, and technology/printer upgrades. If you’d like to take on a piece of this project, send a note to: hello@lakebaldwinchurch.com.


There's more! Stay tuned for part 2: Next Steps