This morning at First Central Baptist Church in Chicopee, MA, we held a mini-leadership retreat. It was the first step in developing a 2020 vision, or what we hope to accomplish by the year 2020. I explained that vision helps us know what direction we are going in and how to get there. In addition, vision helps us know what to say “Yes” to and what to say “No” to.
I began by sharing my observations about the strengths and weaknesses of the church. I went into that discussion with a fair amount of trepidation as to whether or not my assessment was correct. Several said that my observations were accurate and spot on. I then laid out our biblical goals and core values, taken from Acts 2:42-47, Ephesians 4:11-16, and Acts 13. I also introduced a new way of looking at our purpose statement and path of discipleship.
We spent some time discussing where our various boards and committees fit into the process and what each one contributes to our goals.
Possibly the biggest “Ah ha” moment came when I shared a demographic study of the region within a 10-mile radius of the church. We have a population of 461,736, 38% of which have no faith involvement. We live in a significant mission field.
In light of what we believe and where we are going (vision and values), and in light of where we live (demographics), we then brainstormed how we can become more effective in reaching our goals. Now we will take time to pray about which goals God would have us to pursue.
I ended the session by sharing my personal dreams for FCBC. Whether or not they become goals and reality is yet to be determined. But they are my dreams for the church.
By 2020, we will . . .
- Be a church of 500-1000 people (since there is no evangelical church over 500 in the region, this will take God’s power to accomplish)
- Half of our growth will come through evangelism—new believers
- Plant 2-6 churches—locally (1-3) & internationally (1-3)
- Adopt 1-2 unreached people groups and see a church planted among those people
- Have at least two annual short-term ministry trips for adults / both domestic and international (I stressed adult trips because the youth are already doing them)
- Increase the length of our worship service from 60 to 75 minutes
- Strong small group ministry – 1/2 to 2/3 of all adults in small groups; strategy for discipleship
- Children’s & Youth ministries will be the strongest programs in the church; they will be central in attracting and reaching the community; the nursery will be the gem/jewel of the building in order to communicate to young moms that we care for their children
- Become a regional center for church-based theological education
- Internship program
- Train and raise up our own staff