BEST DAYS—Behind us or Ahead of us?

Many of you can recall our TIMELINE that was in Fellowship Hall for months. On that Timeline were many things: significant events from the time we moved from Sixth & Brown till the present Intentional Interim period, some elephants & sacred cows were on that timeline, and facts & figures of attendance and finance. The Timeline was used to launch the Congregational Profile, small group Story Times, and Focus Groups which were ways of gathering important data about the congregation and your hopes, dreams, and concerns. During much of this phase of my interim ministry, I mainly listened and tried to feed back to you some observations. One of these observations was that many believed our best days were behind us and that many doubted we would ever be able to return to the era of 50’s through the 70’s when you were a large and powerful congregation. Also among many, there was—and perhaps is—a feeling of congregational depression about our future. You see the empty pews, but fail to see signs of life beginning to grow.

In the Leadership Retreat held 3/1, a group of over 20 leaders from the Transition Team, Board, and Elders met to look at our identity and to begin to set the stage for serious discussion regarding Central’s Core Values. Your leaders recognized, rightly so, that we are presently at the place in our Life Cycle where we need to be renewed/re-born or we will most certainly continue to decline until we cannot turn Central around. WE MUST TRANSFORM, AND WE MUST BEGIN THE PROCESS NOW. WE MUST CALL A PREACHER WHO WILL BE COMMITTED TO THIS TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS TO WHICH THE LEADERS HAVE COMMITTED THEMSELVES. Your leadership team voted 100% to set a course for transformation. You will be hearing me sound this “trumpet” in many different ways over the coming weeks.

Today, I want to leave you with one thought: If we are going to transform—change, be re-newed, be re-born—we MUST believe that our BEST DAYS ARE AHEAD OF US. This belief requires us to change from looking in the rear view mirror and focus on the road ahead. We are developing a list—a very short list—of Core Values, and we are discerning a VISION. This process is upon us and your leaders are stepping up to the plate—the plate of TRANSFORMATION. I am asking each of you to believe—based on your faith in God and what He is calling us to—that CENTRAL’S BEST DAYS ARE AHEAD OF US!! You must welcome a new pastor in the near future with a belief that the past is past, and what is ahead will be even better than the best of the past. This transformation will require much of you, but the results will be spiritually phenomenal. God told the prophets that in the years ahead he would do something so amazing it would be hard to believe, but that work would bring many into the kingdom. Now let us begin: our best is yet to be discovered!!

Cheering for you before God,

Doug