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2018 Long Range Planning Report

2018 Long-Range Vision Team Report and Recommendation

The church is the body of Jesus Christ, which is called into being by the Holy Spirit, and guided by that same Spirit through the ordinary means of Word, sacraments, and prayer. Some things about the church are eternal. Other things adapt, even as our cultural context shifts dramatically. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22, I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. Thus, we must be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Part of this process, I believe, includes providing godly vision for our congregation: Where are we going?

In 2015, we had a series of meetings, open to the congregation, in which we discerned our vision (to know Christ and to make him known) and our mission (we pursue our vision through worship, spiritual growth, congregational care, and outreach).

Following this, we created a Mission and Vision Implementation Team, which resulted (in part) in the call of Ben Ruyack in the new role of associate pastor.

With the vision (where we’re going) and the mission (how we get there) in place, Session commissioned a new team in May, 2017, to discern our congregation’s core beliefs, and our core values (what makes FUPC unique). Along with these tasks, this team was asked to determine a challenging goal in line with our vision to provide focus and direction to our ministries over the coming years. This is sometimes referred to as a “BHAG” (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). According to Jim Collins, a “BHAG” is “simple, clear, and emotionally-compelling.” It serves as “a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines” (Collins and Porras, Built to Last).

The idea here is to have a clear idea of our vision (to know Christ and to make him known), and then challenge ourselves to pursue that vision through a specific goal that will both stretch and energize us. The goal should be very difficult, but just doable, with God’s grace.

To that end, the Long-Range Vision Committee, after much prayer and study over the past year, believes that God is calling FUPC to plant a church in the Quad Cities area by 2022.

Presentation to Session – June 30, 2018