The Last Word…

Over the past month, many of us participated in brainstorming and goal setting sessions for our church. The program itself was written by our Board Chairperson, Margaret Lyon, who has done similar work as a consultant for many businesses and large corporations over the years. How fortunate we are to have such gifted and knowledgeable leadership!

One of the exercises I found particularly helpful was trying to imagine what we would like to see and feel in our church three years from now. In other words, as you picture the church in the future – what is your experience? Are there lots of people participating in worship? Are there programs for children and youth? Is there a “happy hum” of activity?

The next step, which will be presented this coming Sunday, is to take concrete actions toward our vision of the future. A goal of increased membership and an active, healthy congregational life is our long term goal – but what steps can we take this year to begin to make that happen?

There was no shortage of good ideas generated in our small group sessions. Those ideas, collected from groups representing members of all ages, were sorted, discussed, and prayed over.

In order to be faithful to the common vision of our church, our leadership team looked for repeating ideas and themes and from those created the goals for the coming year. Of course, we understand these goals will be a living document; they will be subject to change and adjustment as we go along. But, as you will see, many of the ideas in the report are so good they are already being implemented!

The great preacher and pastor, Harry Emerson Fosdick, once wrote, “Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.” We have taken the first step of envisioning the future we believe God desires for Central Christian Church. We have set goals that will take us in the direction of that vision. Our next step is a step of covenant and faith. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” In other words, it isn’t a failure if we don’t arrive tomorrow. But we will never arrive if we don’t take these first initial steps.

I look forward to joining you this Sunday as we continue our journey of faith together and as we pray and seek together the will and purpose of God for Central Christian Church in this time and place.