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-thoughtout 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 selfserving 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