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Three Challenges. And how to approach them. Three Challenges. Broken Community Financial Stress Mission Focus. Broken Community. There is no one who has not been affected There has been a loss of trust There is tension created by wondering “whose side are you on?”. Financial Stress.

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Three challenges

Three Challenges

And how to approach them

Three challenges1
Three Challenges

  • Broken Community

  • Financial Stress

  • Mission Focus

Broken community
Broken Community

  • There is no one who has not been affected

  • There has been a loss of trust

  • There is tension created by wondering “whose side are you on?”

Financial stress
Financial Stress

  • We experienced rapid growth in both membership and staff in a time when the economy was expanding rapidly

  • We are in a new reality now and have to face it with a new approach

  • How we got to where we are is far less important than where we go next

Mission focus
Mission Focus

  • Emphasis on decline, conflict and lower revenue has caused us to lose focus and to not celebrate the gifts we have

  • God calls us to a mission that binds us together as a people even in the midst of our differences

  • Our unity as the church in this place does not depend upon uniformity

Some family systems concepts

Some Family Systems Concepts:

We are more than the sum of our parts

Three challenges

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. Acts 1:12-14

Some family systems concepts1

Some Family Systems Concepts:

Anything that affects one part of the system causes change to the entire system

Three challenges

In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Acts 2:17-21

Some family systems concepts2

Some Family Systems Concepts:

Members of the system tend to react emotionally rather than respond effectively

Three challenges

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm.

Matthew 8:23-26

Some family systems concepts3

Some Family Systems Concepts:

The higher the level of anxiety, the more likely members will react in self-defeating ways

Our first objective then is to reduce anxiety

Our first objective then is to reduce anxiety

And we do that by focusing on our core values and primary purpose:


Three challenges

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Three challenges

for the renewal of God’s CovenantTeacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 22: 36-40

Three challenges

Go community buildingtherefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

Three challenges

To transparencyone is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

Three challenges

For transparencyjust as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

1 Corinthians 12:8-14

Financial stress1
Financial Stress transparency

  • Renew our understanding of Stewardship beyond an annual fund drive to a year-round mission of caring for that which has been entrusted to us.

  • With a move from a staff-driven to a volunteer driven model we may need even greater emphasis on stewardship of time and talent

Financial stress2
Financial Stress transparency

  • The vision is not “my” vision, or even “our” vision – it is God’s vision manifested in who we are and what we do.

Three challenges

For transparencywe do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.

2 Corinthians 4:5-8

Financial stress3
Financial Stress transparency

  • The vision is not “my” vision, or even “our” vision – it is God’s vision manifested inwho we are and what we do.

  • As clay jars, bearing treasure, we need to focus on dividing up the pieces of our multiple ministries and empower others to let the light shine

Financial stress4
Financial Stress transparency

  • The “Planetary Model” utilizes the Congregation Council as a conduit for multi-level conversation to assess and celebrate progress, generate and empower new ideas and retire ministries as they have completed their missions

Mission youth and family
Mission – Youth and Family transparency

  • Mission Yard Sale – Andrea Hunter

  • Mission Talent Show – Jayne Peterson

  • Feed My Starving Children – Janine Skinner

  • Habitat for Humanity – Chuck Yount and Calena O’Meara

  • High School Youth - Johnstons

  • Head to the Heart (H2H) Confirmation ministry – youth and adult group leaders

Mission youth and family1
Mission – Youth and Family transparency

  • Broaden intergenerational participation in Sunday Church School

  • Become students of the Bible in multiple settings

Mission here in the foothills
Mission – here in the Foothills transparency

  • Explore renewed partnerships with other congregations to develop ecumenical projects

  • How can we partner with area schools, especially across the street?

  • What other organizations exist here in our community?

  • Children of Hope Child Development Center (preschool)

Mission neighborhood church
Mission – Neighborhood Church transparency

  • Hospitality

  • Diversity

  • Contemplation

  • Discernment

  • Worship

Mission neighborhood church1
Mission – Neighborhood Church transparency

  • Consider working with “Healthy Congregations,” a multi-denominational organization that consults, trains and assists congregations in focused mission.

Healthy congregations
Healthy Congregations transparency

  • Accept differences rather than deny

  • Focus on strengths rather than weaknesses

  • Focus on mission rather than “getting along,” survival, the past, the pastor or some other issue

  • Respond to anxiety and change instead of reacting

  • Manage conflict rather than deny it

Healthy congregations1
Healthy Congregations transparency

  • Act flexibly and creatively

  • Have leaders who promote health through their presence and functioning rather than techniques or skills

  • Challenge people

  • Provide immune capabilities rather than enabling disease

  • Respond graciously and truthfully (no secrecy)

Healthy congregations2
Healthy Congregations transparency

  • Develop caring relationships

  • Empower others

  • Recognize God’s interdependent design

  • Practice stewardship gratefully and willingly

  • Combine money and Christian life

  • Share their lives

  • Offer hospitality

  • See beginning again as a way of life

Three challenges

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injury ,pardon ;where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope ;where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen