“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6 NIV)
Anytime I’ve talked to someone about where we are in our vitality journey at Creekside over the past few months, I have found myself talking about how we are in the process of “landing the plane.” This is what I mean: We have been in a season of transition and assessment. Some would say it’s been since the fall of 2017, while some would say it dates further back than that. And during this season there has been a lot of prayer, discussion, and discernment. We have had to rise to a “30,000-foot altitude” in an effort to get clarity on the big picture of what God is calling us to in the season ahead. A vitality team was formed… church workshops were held… a relational covenant was created… and a clarified mission and vision was prayerfully determined.
All of these are very important, but the question on most lips has been: But what are we actually going to DO? We know there is a reason for the existence (and history) of our church. We believe God brought us to the corner of 173rd and 24th with a Kingdom purpose. We believe that God wants us to be “a community where people ENCOUNTER JESUS, BECOME like JESUS, and IMPACT our world for JESUS.” But what is this all actually going to look like?
That is why our Leadership Team, Vitality Team, and ministry staff met this past Saturday for a retreat day, surrounded and lifted up by so many prayers from our church family (thank you!): to try to start to land this plane. With ALL of the work of the Vitality Team in front of us (which was substantial) and the feedback from congregational workshops… with our clarified mission statement and vision work as our focused lens… and with lots and lots of prayer leading into the day… We sought to clarify what would be the top 2-3 areas that we believed God wants us as a church family to focus on in a strategic way for at least the next 12-18 months.
And clarity came! While recognizing that many areas of ministry are very important (some already going…some that may still get started), we believe the three main areas where we as a church are being called to be very intentional about and focused on in the season ahead are as follows:
We commit to continuing to develop a pervasive culture of prayer in our church.
We commit to being very intentional in our local mission outreach… especially in the immediate community around the church building.
We commit to having a very intentional and clear process for helping people not only encounter Jesus but especially to grow in becoming more like Jesus (i.e., how we go about discipleship and spiritual formation).
The plane hasn’t fully landed yet, but we’re getting there. Over the course of the next few months the Leadership Team and staff will be continuing to work on detailed steps and actions plans in each of these areas. We will definitely continue to clearly communicate with the congregation about this, but we also want to continue to hear from you to include your ideas/feedback in this discerning work. We heard a lot of practical ideas in these areas at Dream Again, but if you weren’t there (or if you have more to share) you can do that by going to a Google Form here.
As we head into our 20th anniversary this March, there is so much to be grateful for! But there is also so much to be excited and expectant about as we follow God’s lead into the future. I am personally so very grateful to be on this journey and shared mission with you all!