Weekly Word from the Fold, Jun 16, 2016

Hello Strategic Planning Process

At the annual meeting in February, church member Lorraine Summerfelt called for a Strategic Planning process to get us beyond the short term thinking that governs much of our life together at Good Shepherd. The Holy Spirit was listening to her plea and so was the Vestry. At a recent all day retreat, vestry members discerned a short list of folks who would, when blended together, work well as part of an intentional strategic planning team.

So why do we need a Strategic Planning Team? Isn’t this Vestry’s Job?

Here’s my spiritual answer (hey that’s what I get paid for) to a practical question.

  • The Holy Spirit leads us and calls us to participate individually and collectively as a church body.
  • The Vestry is part of the body that meets in-between annual meetings to do the day-to-day work of managing our resources.
  • To fully meet the opportunities that God is calling us into as a church (note the future tense, here) requires careful and intentional planning that goes beyond the day-to-day blessings of simply being church.
  • With this in mind, it’s time for Good Shepherd to find a fresh focus and prioritize how we want to respond to God’s future call to ministry and mission as a congregation and as a church in the community.

    So why now? What’s the big deal?

    Over the last decade or so, much has changed:

  • In our congregation (such as turnover of membership, changes in attendance patterns, declining membership).
  • In greater ethnic/cultural diversity in our neighborhoods.
  • The general population has less apparent interest in joining churches, less time to commit to voluntary and community groups.
  • Mission outreach both global and local, needs to be focused, responsive and “time-limited” (for busy families and individuals with, “a lot going-on.”)
  • All churches are being asked, “to do more with less” (sound familiar?). The cost of “doing church” continues to rise and our income is not keeping pace with everyday expenses.
  • It costs about $900 a day to “keep the lights on” at CGS. Capital expenses not included!
  • Accordingly, the time is right to look ahead to determine the future vision and direction of our church and figure out how best to get where God is calling us to go. Put it another way, we need to ask ourselves where, as baptized members of the body of Christ with a variety of collective and individual gifts and skills, we are heading. And to put it as clearly as possible:

    We are at A and we want to get to B. We need to figure out where B is. We need to look at what resources we need to get to B.

    To begin to this process Lorraine Summerfelt and Jon Panek have been asked to lead a team to develop a Strategic Plan over the next year. The members of the team are: Bridget Chamberas, Chuba Udokwu, Barbara Magee, Dave Hazen, Gary David, Kevin Gross and Lynn Nixon. They will work in conjunction with the Vestry and present their findings in the Fall of 2017.

    See you Sunday at 8:00 or 9:30am,

    Gareth

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