Some people don’t mind getting in a car and just driving, with no actual destination in mind, no arrival target time to hit. Where they are going is not nearly as important as what happened along the way. They want to know “What are we doing now?” Others like to have a plan. They don’t start moving until they know where they are headed. The journey is the process that gets them to the ultimate destination. They want to know “Where are we going?”
Many of us probably fall in between those two extremes. I admit. I am a “Where are we going?” kind of girl and I want to know “How are we going to get there?” Once I know where we are headed I can break down all the steps needed to actually get there. It’s how I’m wired.
I believe in the life of the church, it’s important to err on the side of “Where are we going? There are too many precious resources the organization is asked to take care of and too many people searching for something for the church not to be clear on what it’s supposed to be doing and how it’s going to do it. In other words, we need to have a clear sense of mission and vision.
Boone UMC, I’m exited to say, we have both of those. This past Saturday, around 70
leaders from across the church came together to talk about the next year in the life of the church. We were reminded by the Vision team that our mission the church has been striving to accomplish for a couple of years is loving our community and inviting all to discover life in Christ. But then the Vision team shared the vision statement that they have been working on all last year. After pressing pause to navigate a change in Senior Pastors, it’s time to roll out the vision for the whole church to begin to learn and be guided by. A vision paints a picture of a preferred future. The vision for Boone UMC is that all will be deeply transformed disciples living for the transformation of hearts, the Church, our community and the world. This is what we are striving to do over the next 5 years or so. To become a community where everyone recognizes the transformation within themselves that following Jesus has brought about. That sounds super exiting to me!
So if we know where we are going than how are we going to get there? That’s what the other part of Saturday was about. Our approach is a very bottom up and organic process. Instead of a handful of leaders telling everyone in the church this is what we are going to do, we have instead cast the vision and pointed the way and then we asked each of our ministry teams to identify what is their piece of the Vision pie. What is their puzzle piece that they can contribute. Each of our ministry committees and teams spent some time identifying 1-3 goals that they can do to help our church align to our vision. It was so exciting to hear the ideas from groups like our Worship and Mission Team as well as our Trustees and Nominations and everyone else that was present. We had 14 different groups represented! Our Administrative Council will keep tabs with our church leaders and we’ll see how they are progressing with their goals. Then 10 months from now we will take time to celebrate the new things that have happened. And along the way we will help each other get unstuck if a stumbling block has hampered progress. But together we will begin to align our resources, focus our energy, and begin to make decisions that move our congregation towards becoming transformed disciples living for the transformation of hearts, the Church, our community and the world, by loving our community and inviting all to discover life in Christ!
One exciting thing that began on Saturday was the introduction of VOMO, a volunteer sign up app that our church is now using. We also introduced this to our whole congregation on Sunday morning. We are excited to have a new way in which our church folks can sign up for service opportunities so that we don’t have to depend on pulpit and bulletin announcements to share these opportunities with you. But let me address a concern that we have heard. VOMO’s policy (which we have in writing) is that they do not share data with outside companies, there are no ads on their platform, and they have no third-party vendors who have access to any user data. Your email address is safe with them. We would never share your information without that promise.
So we hope that you will respond to the email invitation our congregation received on Sunday morning so that you can sign up and see at your fingertips the various ways you can share your own time and talents. It’s pretty easy to do. You can either download the free app by responding to the link on the email in your inbox (might have to check the spam folder), download the VOMO app on your smart phone or you can go to VOMO.org on your computer. Click on “Join Your Organization” and enter the code BOONEUMC (all caps, no spaces.). Please join our congregation in using this app so we can make it easy to point folks towards the many ways our church loves its community and nurtures transformed disciples who are serving others faithfully.
This is going to be an exciting year in the life of our church. Our leadership left here energized about the future. We believe that our whole congregation will begin to feel that energy and excitement as we all begin to see where it is we are going and how we are going to get there. Even those of you who aren’t looking for a destination point. To be part of a church that has clear direction and purpose is the chance to see the Holy Spirit at work. And the Holy Spirit is doing some amazing things through the body of Boone UMC.
Let’s be God’s vessel this year and be part of the transformation. I promise, this journey will be quite a ride!
Grace and Peace,