Howdy All!

Our church wide ministry and mission assessment through our partners at Ministry Architects is almost upon us.  They will be here in just two days.  I’m thrilled with the sign ups for the listening groups.  Thanks to you all who have signed up for making this a priority.  Please remember to attend your listening group and if you have forgotten the time for which you have signed up, please call Lynda in the office and she will remind you.

Here’s what to expect this weekend.  When you arrive at the church for your listening group on either Friday or Saturday proceed to the Sanctuary where we’ll have some tables set up for the conversations.  You’ll find the two Ministry Architects consultants – Jen and Missy – there along with the other participants of your small groups.  Jen and Missy will direct the conversation and will be taking copious notes.  You’ll have the chance to reflect on Gardens’ mission and ministry and it will give you the opportunity to both dream and (if needed) vent.  (There will also be some snacks and refreshments in case you need an energy boast!)

Once Jen and Missy have met with all the listening sessions they will be meeting with me for lunch on Saturday afternoon.  I’ll have the opportunity to do exactly what you all have done in your listening sessions and I’ll share with them my hopes, dreams, and thoughts regarding where God might be leading us.  Then Jen and Missy will spend the remainder of Saturday synthesizing the information they gleaned from the small groups and writing their report.  The report will contain a history of Gardens Presbyterian Church and ministry context and will largely serve to “mirror” back to us the things they heard from us during the listening sessions.  They’ll provide us with an assessment of our assets and strengths.  These are things we’ll want to build on for our future ministry.  The report will also give us honest evaluations of some of our limitations and things that are holding us back as a congregation from achieving the missional future God wants for this church.  Lastly, the report will give us an action plan.  They’ll identify some issues that need to be addressed immediately and then they’ll provide us with a  three year timeline that will create achievable and actionable steps towards becoming the missional church God is calling us to be.

On Sunday morning, I’ll meet with Jen and Missy before worship, and they’ll share the report with me.  I’ll provide some feedback to them and let them know if I feel like there’s anything that needs to be tweaked or edited.  They’ll spend the rest of Sunday morning finishing the report and getting it ready to present to the congregation.  Following worship on Sunday we’ll have a congregational fellowship meal on the patio.  Immediately following our meal together all are invited to head back into the sanctuary to hear from Jen and Missy.  They’ll share with us both the written report and will make a presentation regarding their findings.  Afterwards, Jen and Missy will be available to answer any questions you might have.

I’m excited this weekend is here.  I’ve worked with Ministry Architects in the past in previous calls and have found their partnership invaluable. I believe that this weekend will be the beginning of the next chapter in the life of Gardens Presbyterian Church.  Please be in prayer for this time in the life of our congregation.

Peace +++