Monday, October 3 is our annual staff-planning day. We’ll spend the day away from the church facility, looking ahead to 2017. The agenda for the day is to seek God’s heart, plan for the future, and enjoy the journey of ministry.
As we spend the day together, what do we get to do? What are the desired results of the day?
1. We get to spend time in prayer. We’ll pray together several times during the day. We’ll pray for one another, for the church family, and for our city and country. We plan to visit the observation deck at our State Capitol. It’ll be my first time to see our city from that perspective. “Lord, revive and renew your people.”
2. We get to study the Word. In our staff meetings, we’re studying the “Fruit of the Spirit.” On Monday, we’ll be looking at “kindness.” It’s painful to meet people who profess to be believers but are unkind, hostile, and mean-spirited. As you and I mature in Christ, kindness reveals a tender heart and tough skin. I’m thankful that our staff-planning day will be Word-centered.
3. We get to hang out with one another. Relationships are vital in a church family and among staff members. I love and appreciate Bradfordville’s staff team. We’re planning activities that will allow us to know one another better. Hanging out together for the day will be insightful, fun, and heartfelt.
4. We get to practice strategic planning. Declining and dying churches rarely give time to strategic planning. At the end of the day, we want God’s plans to be our plans. Getting in a room and prioritizing time for strategic planning is a worthwhile endeavor. We’ll give considerable attention to children, student, and adult ministries. Intentionality is the goal.
5. We get to celebrate God’s activity. Planning for 2017 is a beneficial exercise. However, it’s prudent to stop and celebrate God’s activity in 2016. We’ve seen growth in attendance, finances, and involvement. Our membership class on Sunday was well attended. The baptistery is being used almost every week (Hallelujah!). We’ll celebrate God’s activity in our personal lives, too. Our God is at work!
6. We get to be stewards of time and resources. Stewardship is more than a conversation about money. God calls us to be stewards of our time, talents, treasures, and testimonies. Planning for 2017 allows us to consider people’s time. We don’t want to plan ministries or activities that compete with major community events. And we don’t want to place dates on the church calendar before considering the big picture. Stewardship unifies the church and glorifies the Lord.
7. We get to focus on our vision statement. Bradfordville’s vision statement is about “making disciples that love upward, inward, and outward.” We recently finished our annual staff evaluation process. We discussed the church’s vision statement in our conversations. As we plan for 2017, we’ll sift ministries and events through that statement. Will this ministry or event help us make disciples that love upward, inward, and outward? May the Lord give us discernment and courage to say yes or no to that question, allowing us to plan accordingly!
8. We get to model unity. I recently enjoyed lunch with a gentleman that’s been coming to Bradfordville for several months. What a blessing to eat barbeque and enjoy conversation with another brother in Christ! I frequently ask guests two questions. (1) Did you find the church helpful? (2) Did you find the church friendly? The gentleman talked about the unity he sees at Bradfordville. I rejoiced with his feedback. My prayer is for the staff to experience and model unity.
9. We get to listen to God. I learned a valuable lesson early in my ministry. Listening to God is foundational for life and ministry! God continues to speak. Are you and I listening? As the staff and I lead the church forward, we’re fully aware of the need to hear God’s voice. “Speak, Lord, for your servant(s) are listening (1 Sam. 3:9).
10. We get to involve all ages in ministry. One sign of a healthy church is the presence and involvement of various generations. I walked the hallways on Sunday and talked with children, youth, college students, and adults. Bradfordville is a diverse church. God loves to use all ages for His glory. As we plan for next year, it’s Spirit-led that we involve all ages in the Gospel ministry. Bradfordville is growing because we’re spiritually investing in people of all ages.
As we pull away on Monday, I appeal for you to pray for our staff team and me. May the Lord give us wisdom and discernment! Thank you for your gracious and generous support and prayers!
YOU’RE THE BEST!
He’s Our Rock and Redeemer,