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Vision for our church

1 A vision for our church...


2. Identifying three goals.
3. Strategies how to reach these goals within a time line and a person or group who actually makes it a reality.
The vision of the church for the next 3-5 years is as follows:
We are a people who are small in numbers but welcoming to all. We seek to spread hope and encouragement,
regardless of race, economic well being or other human condition. Our prayer is to be God's servants in a warm and
friendly atmosphere.
Goals for the next 3-5 years are:
1. To establish a vibrant prayer ministry. Under the leadership of the Session this program shall be put in place by
Lent. Peggy Price-Papp was asked to lead this group.
2. To increase the attendance of the worship service by 7% per year over the next 5 years.
a) To attain the second goal, a study shall be done during the year 2001 to start a contemporary worship service at a
different day and time, to begin on an experimental basis for three months in 2002 under the leadership of the
Evangelism and Worship committee.
b) A study shall be done to establish a series of special programs (music, theater etc.) that shall be attractive to
members, friends and the community at large.
3. The third goal is to put in place a program to involve the youth of our congregation in the ministry of our church
and throughout the community.
The strategy for this goal will be to initiate a new youth program for this year to serve the needs of the church
(accompanying deacons on visits and cookie patrols, helping distribute Christmas packages etc.) and the community
(helping with Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchen etc). Pastor Letizia will be in charge of this program.

Enhance Children's and Youth Ministries.

For all Children’s and Youth Ministries to be prayerfully based: We will encourage leaders to meet and pray over
their programs on a weekly basis.
To purchase a multi-media projector that can be used by all ministries as needed.
(Girls Brigade, Kidz Biz, Gateway, & Youth)

IMPACT - High School Student Ministry


To develop small group leaders (leadership team) in discipling and mentoring students outside of ministry
programs.
To begin a weekly student outreach (FRIDAY NITE LIVE) program that builds a bridge into the student community
of Bendigo.
To increase our weekly consistent attendance to 50 students.
To conduct a student mission awareness trip in July 2002 with Mobile Missions Maintenance.
To conduct monthly youth services.

GATEWAY
To train and equip the leadership team through fortnightly meetings.
Conduct an annual leaders retreat each year.
To increase our weekly consistent attendance to 45 children.
To establish a bus ministry to children by the start of Term 3, 2001.To have at least 10 extra children regularly
attending as a result.

PLAYGROUP
To increase from 2, the number of sessions offered by Playgroup as we grow.
To continue growing and nurturing the leadership team as we meet regularly.
To seek to build a further bridge into the community with various outreach activities.

KIDZ BIZ
To continue teaching and nurturing the children the truths of God’s Word
and laying a foundation for them to make a personal decision for Christ in the future.
GIRLS BRIGADE
To train and equip new and old leaders for coming year 2002.
To increase the number to 40 girls who are consistently attending.
To nurture a greater involvement of parents in girls brigade.

YOUNG ADULTS
To continue with regular meetings at University with the goal of having 50 students in attendance by December
2002.
To conduct three outreach events by December 2002 at University.
To enhance bonding & cohesion of the group by having 3 weekend events by 2002.
To develop key members as future leaders of this ministry.

Outreach to meet community needs.


Our outreach will respond to the whole community.
Encourage people to share their faith regularly.
Train 20 people to be counsellors to seekers.
Support existing teachers and encourage 5 extra people to teach Religious Instruction in schools.
Continue a Seniors ministry in the Church.
To visit homes in the Junortoun area and the Caravan Park next to the McIvor Highway property.
Hold 4 practical seminars.
Support those with short term needs. ie: meals.
To purchase a 21 seater bus to transport at least 15 youth and others to Gateway, Church and other activities.
To run holiday youth programs.
To increase the number of people participating in Piecemakers to 30.
People to be taught and encouraged in how to share their faith with Colleagues and Friends.

Needs and Joys shared in our Sunday services.


There will be a greater involvement in prayer and sharing of joys and needs in our Church services. To see at least
one person saved per week.
To increase the average attendance at the 8.50am service to 120.
To increase the average attendance at the evening service to 200.
Opportunity will be given for the congregation to participate in prayer during services - silently, audibly, formally,
and informally.
Opportunity will be given on a regular basis (e.g. 2nd Sunday of each month) for the congregation to participate in
sharing testimonies, joys, and needs.
To develop a Bible reading Roster, of people who are gifted readers, for each service.
To encourage the congregation to read autobiographies and other Christian books and literature.
To establish a drama group.
Opportunity to receive prayer will be given after each service where Elders and those especially appointed will be
available to minister.
Increasing our practical and financial support for our Cross Cultural Partners.

Existing Ministries

Grow in our relationship with God Serve our wider community Communicate the message of Jesus Build the church
community Resourcing the wider church
Worship Service
- Sundays
- Seniors

Children’s Ministry
Sunday Morning Groups
- Crèche
- Pre-School
- Infants
- Junior Primary
- Senior Primary

Youth Ministry
- Junior and Senior High

A.C.E. (Advanced Christian Education)

Bethel

Small Groups *

Young Adults Ministry

Mission Trips *

Healing Services

Cassette Ministry

Bookstall

Prayer Chain

Music Ministry *
Southern Community Welfare Inc.
- Counselling
- Coping
- Dispute Resolution
- Scars on the Inside
- Divorce Recovery
- STAKS
- Homosexual Recovery
- Pre-marriage Counselling

Solo Mums Group

Ray Lee House

Preschool

Play Group

Koinonia Fellowship Group

Turner Lodge Retirement Housing

Children’s Activity Day


- Kids Activity Day
- Boredom Busters

FOCAS
Outreach Worship Services

Specialised Outreach Events

Christianity Explained Course

Alpha Course

Children’s Outreach Activities


- ZARK
- Big Saturday Night

Primary School Scripture Classes

Carols by Candlelight

Web Page *

Music Ministry *
Small Groups *

Ladies Coffee Mornings/Evenings

Craft Nights

Introducing Gymea

Emerge *

Leadership Training
- Children
- Youth

Fishing Group

Tennis Club

Golf Games

Seniors Ministry

Pastoral Care Team

Young Adult Suppers

Church Newsletter (quarterly)

Weekly Bulletin

Business Leaders Breakfast Group

Internship Program *

Web Page *

Music Ministry *
Emerge *

Youth Ministry Team *

Mission Trips *

Missions Ministry

Staff Speaking Engagements

Internship Program *

Web Page *

Music Ministry *

Areas of Growth and Development

Grow in our relationship with God Serve our wider community Communicate the message of Jesus Build the church
community Resourcing the wider church
Build constant growth into the life of our church so that in five years we have 1400 in the church family, 500
members and 700 attending each Sunday on average.

Add an extra AM service and build average attendance to 150 in that service by 2004.

Path of Growth in the Life of the church


- Church Member Manual
- Church Membership Classes
- Gifts Discovery Courses

ACE as Accredited and Regional Program


- Distribute pamphlets about ACE
- Write Long-Term Curriculum for ACE
- Explore the option of offering ACE on other days
-Explore Accreditation of ACE.

Growth of Small Group Ministry


- Database of Small Groups and Small Group Leaders.
- Higher profile of Small Groups and opportunities to get involved.
- Committed Small Group Coordinators

Build our Music Ministry


- Integration of new musicians/singers
- Foster the writing of home-grown material
- Develop music ministry in children and youth areas
Southern Community Welfare Inc.
- PBI Status
- Administrative help in place
- Develop community profile

Initiate a Third World care project that we are committed to.

15 – 20 people involved in community focused ministry

Family/Parenting Seminars or Workshops


Develop a Path of Inquiry
- Build a large and profiled Alpha Program
- Response, Follow-up and Prayer Team for Church Services.
- A more focused Baptismal Program

Multiple specialised Outreach Ministries

Train Individuals in Evangelistic Ministries

Release Three New Missionaries

Plant 3rd World Church in cooperation with another mission organisation.

Impacting presence in our local school scene (Primary and Secondary)

Look for an overall Mission Development Program (especially in the Young Adults Age Group)

Offer Integrated and On-Going Mission Experiences.

Build Profile of Evangelistic Ministry as a year’s theme.

Provide opportunities to respond to the gospel and small group discipleship for children.

Creation and Development of an off-site outreach ministry to Young Adults.


Improve Communication across the whole church

Develop a more recognised committed and informed core team

Whole Church Events:


- Camps
- Carols
- Picnics etc

Photo Ministry
- Church Year Book/Video Year Book

PowerPoint Display Announcements

Internship:
- Write up outline of program
- Start intern as a pilot
- Start two extra interns
- Profile program externally

Family targeted Ministry

Create discussion and provide resources to support families as they nurture and disciple their children Publishing
Arm:

- Team to develop ideas


- Collect and develop manuscripts
- Financial Backing
- Publish 1st Product

Church Strengthening Ministries:


- Individual Staff Ministries
- Develop Outreach Youth Team
- Publishing Arm
- Cassette Ministry
- Possible Conferences developed around Gymea

Long Term Commitment to Grays Point Church

Open to explore supportive relationship with a second local Baptist Church (Year 2001 onwards)

Encourage networking of ministry and support open discussion re developing effective churches at a local,
denominational, state and national level.

Building the Church as a Community Marketplace


Acts 17:19-32 contains the archetypal biblical model of stepping into the marketplace to confront a hostile culture
with the gospel of Christ. Here we have recorded Paul’s speech at the Areopagus in Athens in which he reaches into
the very heart of Athenian culture. (For passage, see Addendum).

The culture that Paul was seeking to reach seems much like the post-modern Australian culture of the 1990’s: an
intellectual society hungry to explore spiritual concepts without becoming locked into one religious world view.
Paul’s method of evangelism has rightly become a model for how we approach the task of reaching our community.

In this brief passage, we notice three things about Paul’s method. First, Paul took his message to the Areopagus,
which was the central place for ideas in Athens. He didn’t wait for them to find him in the synagogue. Second, Paul
begins with their polytheistic world view, before introducing them to the "unknown God". Third, Paul quoted their
own thinkers and philosophers to engage them in the process of communication. In doing so he took his listeners
from their philosophical position and drew them to the gospel.

As church theologians and leaders have reflected on this passage and others like it, there has been a corresponding
shift in the way the church has done evangelism. The Church has moved out from behind the high and foreboding
walls of our buildings to meet the community in the community. We would all wholeheartedly agree with this
movement and yet I wish to assert that this is only half the story.

I want to suggest that the Church is not only called to go into the marketplace but also to become a marketplace in
our communities. This second movement is most important and long overdue if the Church is to have any impact in
the nineties and beyond.

The Church’s efforts have been hindered by marginalisation. This marginalisation from our community has
happened in several ways. We have been marginalised by being labelled fundamentalists and written off as irrelevant
and irrational. We have also been marginalised by segregation. Rather than engaging in holistic ministry we have
been told to look after "the souls" of our people rather than involve ourselves in the political, economic, or scientific
arenas. Finally, we have been marginalised by isolation. We are no longer involved in the rights of passage of those
in our communities. Few are christened, and even fewer are confirmed. There is a declining number of couples
getting married in churches and many funerals are held in crematoriums.

These factors combine to result in very few of our community members actually coming through our doors. Very
often in fact, the members of our community can pass by our churches on a daily basis and never have any reason,
desire or need to enter and interact with us as Christians.

An essential task for the Church is to re-capture the ground it held for many centuries; that of being the marketplace
for the local community. The Church needs to re-invent itself as a community marketplace if it is to be effective. It is
essential that we become a place where the wider community can interact daily with the community of faith. It is my
belief that the Church must once again become the place where people are helped, encouraged, inspired and rebuilt
through the power of God and interaction with committed Christians.

If the Church is to redefine itself as a marketplace then we need to understand what our marketplaces are like.

WHAT IS A MARKETPLACE?
To help define the characteristics of a community marketplace let us use the example of a large retail mall. When we
reflect on the nature of this community marketplace we discover five characteristics which, though not exhaustive,
mark out the territory for us.

Services are defined by success, not sentimentality or tradition.


If the service is not successful it is cut. The key issue here is how do you define success? Obviously in the retail
sector success is defined by profit.. For the Church we need to be sure how we define success for our marketplace.

They are specifically targeted.


Large retail malls such as Westfield have many speciality options for the customer. These speciality shops are not
offering the same services but together give an enormous range.

Everyone is catered for by the marketplace’s multi-faceted nature.


Everyone is catered for by producing as wide a range as possible through specialised options. From an interest, age
or economic perspective, no one is missed. Families and individuals are valued and catered for and readily find
something to be a part of.

Accessible and convenient.


These marketplaces are open seven days a week with convenient hours of business. They have suitable parking,
information desks, disabled parking, etc.

High community profile.


Everybody knows about the marketplaces because they keep their profile high. They have lots of involvement with
local events, and often have a high profile in the local paper. They position themselves carefully with well-thought-
out marketing campaigns.

In the process of re-inventing local Churches into community marketplaces we must keep in mind two major issues.
The first involves defining our drive and direction. The vast majority of retail marketplaces (and others in our
communities) are driven by profit. Facilities and services are maintained only if they produce profit. The direction
(i.e. what is offered) however, comes from community needs and/or desires. These needs and desires will also give
the Church marketplace direction. The difference is that we are driven by a completely different force: the gospel
message, and more specifically the Great Commission to "make disciples of all nations." It is important that we are
not driven by crowds but by a commitment to the holistic gospel message contained in God’s Word. The parameters
of how we go about building our churches into local marketplaces are given in the gospel of Christ.

The second issue is exploration of community needs and evaluation of local resources. The Church must understand
what the needs are of their local community - targeting specific needs that other organisations are not responding to
with a holistic gospel perspective. The Church must also evaluate its own resources. These include: staff, buildings
and volunteers. These tasks of exploration and evaluation are not just a marketing exercise, but a spiritual discipline.
Church leadership, through prayer and under the leading of the Holy Spirit, can gain a fresh call to ministry and
direction. Tools of research and strategic planning are combined with fervent prayer and spiritual wisdom to
discover a truly God-given path.

This whole concept of reinventing the Church as a community marketplace may seem beyond the scope of the small
under-resourced Church. The question for these Churches is to consider what specialised area in the community they
can become involved in. This approach is the same for the larger Church. The size of the Church only defines the
number and scope of options they can offer, it does not, and should not, preclude the smaller Church from making an
impact.

For the church of the 1990’s to find its way back into the community we must not only go into the marketplace but
become the marketplace. The marketplace that we build as a Church must therefore be:-

Committed to and driven by the gospel.


Specifically targeted.
Multi-faceted
Accessible and Convenient
High community profile

In the process of building Churches committed to making an impact for the gospel in the community by becoming a
marketplace we will need to face several questions about the leadership and structure of these Churches.

What will the leaders of these Churches look like?


Leaders of churches committed to building the Church as a community marketplace must be multi-disciplined and
multi-skilled. Without neglecting the indispensable gifts of spiritual leadership and biblical competency, today’s
leaders will need to excel in the following skills:

Setting and casting clear vision


Communication
People-management
Change-management
Organisational strengths
Strategic planning
Staff development and management
Community consciousness
Community connections

What will the staff teams of these Churches look like?


The classic method of adding church staff has been that when the pastor-minister becomes too busy and overworked
another pastor-minister is added. The new church environment, committed to building itself into a community
marketplace, will need staff teams with specialised abilities. This will lead to new directions in how churches will
add staff.

High percentage of non-ordained or pastoral staff


All staff involved in community ministry as part of their role
Some staff committed to community ministries alone
Staff contracts with specifically targeted job descriptions
Part time staff becoming an important option.

What will the Church look like?


For the Church to re-invent itself as a community marketplace it must become entrepreneurial at heart. For this to
happen the church and its leadership must work towards:

Re-inventing organisational structures to allow for quicker decision making


Releasing staff to take active steps in ministry development
Relaxing its hold on ministries which do not match the driving passion of the gospel and the community
marketplace mentality
Developing buildings that are multi-purpose and more community friendly.

What will become of the relationship between these Churches and denominational leadership?
Churches committed to becoming community marketplaces will be organisations with specialist resources focussed
on responding to the changing face of their community.

There is a major clash of cultures between these progressive, multi-faceted, churches and denominational leadership
structures. Denominational leadership is often, though not exclusively, locked into a 1950’s model of the Church:-

Institutional
Centralised control
Slow change
Focus on long-term key Church functions

Due to this clash of cultures these new marketplace Churches of the 1990’s will look to new networks to find
encouragement, support and models. This whole process is causing a shift of influence away from denominational
leadership structures towards the new networks that offer a place for these churches and their leaders to interact.
Denominational leadership will find itself increasingly isolated from the local church scene. This does not have to be
the case. Denominational structures have an invaluable and stable role in this changing Church environment if it can
find its specific contribution. Their role must become one of resourcing Churches and helping in the process of
strategic thinking.

While the new networks have many positive features they are also a potential liability. The positive aspects of the
development of new networks are:-

Getting away from the old structures


New church models
New coalitions
Cross-denominational networking
Breaking down and bypassing staid structures and forming new coalitions.

We need to recognise though, that these new networks pose some dangers as well as the above positive aspects.

One potential danger of these networks is that often they are personality based and/or focused on a narrow
theological position. The result of this can be a network that becomes self-serving. They exist to promote their own
network and the key personalities involved. They become committed to selling product and building profile. These
networks can also be tenuous in their ability to survive long term. The loss of a key personality or a change in the
church landscape could mean the collapse of any of these networks.

The end result of all of these factors may be that the new networks might actually make it more difficult for the
church to work together on large scale events (city wide). These new coalitions may actually end up being more self-
serving than the old denominational structures.

As we draw all of the material discussed in this paper together, it leaves the church of the 1990’s with four key
issues to face.

The Church must not only enter the marketplace but must reinvent itself into a marketplace where they can
positively influence the community with the gospel. These marketplaces must be gospel-driven, specific,
multifaceted where resources allow, convenient and accessible, with a high profile in the community.
Local church leaders will need to build their skill base so that they can build their churches into marketplace
organisations.
Denominational leadership must reassess their role so that they can become an important resource base for the local
Churches. If they do not they will be left dealing with struggling churches and maintaining their institutional
structures.
New networks must develop a greater sense of responsibility to the wider church environment rather than just being
narrow-focused, personality based and self-interested organisations.
The movement of the church into the marketplace and the strategic re-inventing of ourselves as community
marketplaces are faith-building and mind-expanding. If we are to boldly step towards these options, we must do so
recognising the changes that this will bring to how we organise and manage ourselves at a local and denominational
level.

These steps must be taken prayerfully, recognising the empowering of the Spirit in all our endeavours.

The future holds exciting opportunities if we can embrace the challenge of change without losing our focus on the
Gospel.

Karl Faase

"Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what
this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know
what they mean." (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking
about and listening to the latest ideas.)

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very
religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this
inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to
you.

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built
by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and
breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth;
and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men
would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

"Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an
image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people
everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.
He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you
again on this subject."

Acts 17:19-32