In the New Year, Live, Connect, Grow, Go

01.11.22 | Shepherding | by John Jones

In the New Year, Live, Connect, Grow, Go

    Welcome to a New Year with new challenges and new opportunities, and new dependence on a Sovereign Father. Let me open our new Newsletter with some things to expect in our church family this year.

    Welcome to a New Year with new challenges and new opportunities, and new dependence on a Sovereign Father. Let me open our new Newsletter with some things to expect in our church family this year.
     
    I have so enjoyed preaching from Mark’s gospel but, alas, we will finish Mark at the end of February. But before diving into our next book series, from March 6 to April 3, we’ll look a little inward by spending some time looking at our ministry values.
     
    What is a ministry value? In the spring of 2020 our elders approved four ministry values to help guide new and existing ministry. While our church has a mission statement capturing our clearest divine mandate, and a vision statement to guide the local expression of that mandate as a church family, ministry values are more down-to-earth. Values are basic targets for day-to-day decision-making and review. Our four ministry values are selected and specifically articulated to help focus ministry and unify elders and deacons, pastors, staff, and volunteers. Together, we want to emphasize, pursue, and critique values that fit within our history, mission, and vision.

    These four ministry values can be communicated in a number of ways. We could say that these values are about how to liveconnectgrow, and go as a church family. We could also say they describe what we were created for, what we are drawn into, what we are renewed for, and who we are sent to.
     
    Our first ministry value is Worship, what we are created for: “In reverence and joy we ascribe to God His worth, corporately and privately, returning to Him all that we do and all that we are.” Our second is Covenant, what we are drawn into: “Adopted by the covenant of grace we are invited into God’s family to provide care and receive care in every setting and circumstance.” Our third is Discipleship, what we are renewed for: “Through the Holy Spirit we are enabled more and more to reorder our affections for Jesus alone in mind, heart, and actions.” Our fourth is Outreach, which is about being sent to others: “While awaiting the consummation of His reign we make Jesus known in word and deed, formally and informally, in everyday life.”
     
    We want every Covenant ministry to target not one, but two ministry values, a primary and a secondary. A Discipleship ministry can also be a Worship ministry by envisioning discipleship that is related to doxology. An Outreach ministry can be a Covenant life ministry when we are reaching out as a church family. We also want every ministry to be marked with three attitudes: hospitality, relationship-building, and hope. Tying this together, as a church family “we aspire to emphasize hospitality, relationships, and hope in all areas of life and ministry together -- especially in worship, our covenant family, Christian growth, and outreach to others.
     
    In the New Year, you will be seeing more of this. The five sermons just before Easter will be accompanied by rationale for each ministry value. The website is getting a facelift to reflect our values, and will include new graphics and short video clips. Print material will be distributed in our redesigned Welcome Center.
     
    What else is new? After Easter, we’ll begin a new preaching series in Proverbs. This book presents unique challenges to a preaching series, but plan to grow in your understanding and use of this beautiful collection of poetry.
     
    Last year we introduced and tested a new small group ministry called ConnectOur many Connect leaders have been participating in training meetings. This ministry was designed foster community (Covenant ministry value) and fortify our shepherding ministry through leadership development (Discipleship). In the summer, we hope to plan new Connect groups for the fall.
     
    New this year is a ministry called Conversations: a quarterly gathering around specific subjects relevant to following Christ at various stages of life. The first one will happen on Saturday, February 26, on Speaking God’s Word to Children. Meetings will always begin with a guest speaker who sets a biblical foundation. Next, participants are invited to breakout sessions on topics of special interest, where discussion and group learning happens. Finally, lunch will be provided, where the discussions continue around the table. The first Conversations guest speaker is Chris Ammen, Pastor to Children and Families at Grace + Peace Church. Other 2022 topics will address Youth, Middle Age, and Older Adults.
     
    As already mentioned, the New Year brings a remodel to the Welcome Center. New built-in bookcases and cabinets will store resources of various kinds. A built-in counter on one wall will become a permanent spot to highlight annual ministries like retreats, staffed by ministry leaders ready to provide information and take registrations. Bookcases will make available new copies of books, ancient and contemporary, that have been recommended by our pastoral staff and used in ministry at CPC. Coffee will be relocated to a counter on a wall, leaving most of the floor space in the Welcome Center and hallways open for fellowship and safe for children.

    The New Year also brings our regular ministries of Sunday School, Midweek, evensong, various church-wide socials, and activities designed by our various Ministry Teams. Welcome to the New Year.

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