I had a former leader at work who liked to joke that our way of doing things was, “Ready, Set, Set.” In other words, we were more comfortable planning and talking than doing. Churches can be this way sometimes, too. Our tradition-steeped ways of doing things can be hard to change, even if we know we need a refresh. I’m heartened that Yates intentionally entered a visioning process. It’s a sign that our church is ready to “Go!”
We are now firmly focused on the vision statement that the church affirmed on January 13, 2019: A growing community, alive with Christ, energized to share God’s transforming love. Thanks be to God for the exciting vision He has given Yates!
Since the two community conversations in February, the VLT has been meeting regularly, prayerfully considering your feedback and how to best allow it, with God’s continued leading, to direct our next steps. On August 29, we presented our recommendations to the Deacons. With their support, we are excited for the whole church to move into this next phase of action. Teams will soon be formed to work on the following strategies:
Re-imagine how we grow together in Christlikeness
1) Launch ongoing small groups outside the Sunday School hour
2) Refresh Sunday School
3) Define a shared framework for discipleship training
4) Deepen our practices of prayer
Re-imagine our corporate worship experiences to reflect the new vision
1) Differentiate our worship services
2) Embed hospitality and welcoming in and around worship
Re-imagine what it means to be in community
1) Pursue whole-church fellowship
2) Use whole campus to engage community
Teams will be asked to complete initial work on these strategies by Thanksgiving. That is quick, and that speed is intentional. It will bring energy to our work, but most importantly, it will allow us to listen to, for, and with God and our neighbors sooner rather than later. It moves us forward on the path of responding to the vision and learning and growing from our efforts.
The VLT members are excited to enter this next phase with you. Please let us know how you’d like to be involved, or reach out to us anytime to stay up to date. Ready, Set, GO!
– Courtney Thornton
Visioning Leadership Team Members: Rachael Cruickshank, Sam Haithcock, Christopher Ingram, Tarvick Linder, Linda Mercer, Richard Poindexter, Courtney Thornton