A Refresher in Grace’s Refreshing Refreshment
It's been almost exactly a year since I shared a six-week series on the Vision and Mission of Grace Christian Fellowship, so this was an appropriate time to give a 'refresher' concerning who we are as a church and the direction we are heading, as well as an opportunity to introduce newer people to what we believe the Lord has called us to. We reviewed that the overarching theme or 'story' of our church is that of a healthy Thanksgiving Dinner in which family is gathered around the table to eat a nutritious meal (hear the Word preached); as well as encouraging fellowship, prayer, gratitude, love, laughter and tears, so that family will be encouraged to bring others to the table for the next meal. The image that we have used for the past year to visualize our vision and mission can be seen here:
Without going into great detail with each aspect of this visual, suffice it to say that in this message we summarized points, issues, and ministries that we believe that we have been growing in through this past year as we have focused our attention more specifically on our mission and vision as a church – to Repurpose lives by sharing God's refreshing grace!
1. Painted the building
2. Re-worked the sound booth by updating equipment
3. Installed security cameras outside the building
4. Resurfaced the parking lot
5. Replaced two A/C units and repaired the other five units
6. Encouraged small groups on Wednesday night (youth and adult)
7. Encouraged small accountability groups that meet outside the church
8. Men's ministry more consistently meeting each month9. Established a men's bible study on weeknights
10. Continued growth in our women's ministry
11. Incorporated prayer on a monthly basis for the wholebody on Wednesday nights
12. Transformed Wednesday nights into a more complete servicewith a full praise team, sound booth technicians, Bible teaching,prayer, and small groups
13. Updated our Grace's Welcome booklet
And other areas that we have worked intently on the infrastructure of the church to prepare for the future:
1. Thorough review and updating of our church bylaws
2. Preparation of employee handbook with documented policies
3. Preparation of emergency procedures, which includes evacuationplans, and trained personnel to deal with safety and security issues
4. Modified the church loan and set up a line of credit
5. Documented compensation and benefits package
6. Hired professional management of marketing/website/social media
7. Established a consistent rhythm of meetings for spiritual direction,music ministry, and administration
8. Developed a succession plan
And then some ideas or prayer requests for the future:
1. Looking to purchase the property cattycorner to the northwest side of the church on 9th Avenue SW for possible parking area or relocated retention pond.
2. Making tentative plans about the possibility (no definite plans) of placing a building over the current retention pond on the west side of the property for youth, offices, and classrooms.
3. We desire to see more young families with children attending Grace, and one way that we can encourage that growth is to reach out to Mildred Helms Elementary School, which is just up the block from us.
I opened the sermon, as well as closed it, by referring to the apostle Paul's words from 1 Corinthians 12:11-27 about every Christian being a part of the body of Christ, and no matter what 'part of the body' they are, every part is essential. We all need to examine our hearts to determine what the Lord may be speaking to us about how we can best be utilized within the covenant community of believers at Grace Christian Fellowship for the sake of the Kingdom of God and for His glory!