Showing God’s Love – a unified vision and plan for Goshen CRC
Last summer we began some important conversations that will sharpen and improve how Goshen does ministry. It was around the time we installed new deacons and elders. Guys were just starting up their new terms all asking the same questions – “what are we supposed to be doing” – or “we’ve spend my last few terms putting out fires, dealing with damaging conflict, now we seem healthy… what should we be doing?”
We’re already doing a lot as a church, but we lacked functional structure and vision. To add to the momentum, we discovered the dusty archived ministry manual from almost 20 years ago. We used to be really good at leading a big church. Back then we had working committees with detailed tasks and almost 30 pages of instructions on how our church can work well introduced by the now ironic 20-year-old statement “as culture and church life change, this document should be revised frequently.”
So in August 2015 we started imagining how to do this. A vision committee formed: John Amels, Ron King, Bouwe Lenstra, Jim DeBlock, Henry Vogel and myself (Pastor Sam) faithfully met for over a year trying to discern and articulate a plan and a vision for Goshen CRC. It started with a wall covered with post-it notes representing ministries of this church. It was overwhelming when we realized how big of a job it was for council whose job it is to nurture these ministries. We have some great ministry and some amazing leaders, but we lack structure for council to adequately help ministries function well.
The vision committee has come up with a plan that we believe will help our church do more better than we have in a long time. Over the last months we’ve presented this to council with a warm reception. Our hope is that by sharpening our structure we’ll be able to 1) Do more ministry better. 2) Nurture and support ministries and leaders as a council and 3) Create easy on-ramps for all of you to effectively use your spiritual gifts to serve God’s mission.
Simply put – because of God’s glory and all the reasons we have for gratitude, we Show God’s Love to our church family, to those in our community and to the world.
We show God’s love through Deeds of Faith and Work – Our faith leads to action. Some of that action happens to make our facilities welcoming and useful so we’ll form a building and grounds team. Some of that action takes place through international, domestic and local partners in ministries, so we’re forming a team that supports our partners and informs the congregation of needs and opportunities.
We show God’s love by Offering Compassion and Care – We are forming a team that is called to care for people by visiting shut-ins, sending cards to college kids and providing meals for those going through difficult times… or simply praying for people in need.
We show God’s love in Worship and Outreach – We’re forming a team to create memorial events where God’s glory is on display. From worship service details to a team that helps craft accessible communication and media we want to show God’s love to others.
We show God’s love through Cultivating Community: We are looking for a team to help small groups – from the Bridge to Seniors Bible Study – we need to encourage adults to form relationships that help them grow in their walk with Jesus.
We show God’s love as we Teach Kids about Jesus: We’re forming a planning team to help all of our kids’ ministries from nursery to catechism and youth group function even better.
Our plan is to take the end of September to start introducing this vision to our congregation as well as recruiting and training committee chair people. Then on October 2nd, we’ll have a Launch Potluck – (similar to our usual Sunday School Kick Off) – where you’ll have the opportunity not just to enjoy fellowship and a fantastic meal, but to talk with leaders and see how you can get involved in whatever way you’re gifted in Showing God’s Love through the mission of the church.