This August marks two years since my arrival at Redeemer as interim senior pastor. It’s been an incredible blessing to lead and serve among this congregation and to have been called as senior pastor. In two years, I’ve gotten to know many of you individually, and I’ve gotten a sense of who we are as a congregation, and how God is calling us to serve him and our neighbors in this place and in this season of Redeemer’s life.
As a congregation, we have many opportunities to worship God with acts of service that honor him and bless those around us. We have opportunities to share God’s love and the good news of new life in Jesus Christ with those who haven’t yet encountered that life-saving, life-changing message. And we have opportunities to partner with other churches, organizations and missionaries for deeper, broader kingdom impact. In these ways, we’re like every other Christian church.
However, we sense and believe that God also has a particular call to us as Redeemer Covenant Church in 2018. With this in mind, our Leadership Team (LT) is embarking on a several-month strategic planning process, and we ask for your prayers. Bill Phillips (LT Chair), Rob Anderson (LT member and experienced consultant) and I will co-lead these efforts as the Leadership Team, along with staff and a number of additional, invited church members, prayerfully explores God’s call to Redeemer in 2018 and over the next 3-5 years.
This strategic plan will provide a roadmap for our congregation’s journey ahead, and will communicate a compelling common vision and mission that help align our shared efforts in ministry and focus our energies. It will honestly assess our strengths and weaknesses and determine the most promising opportunities for our gifts, passion and “DNA” to intersect with God’s call to Redeemer. We also recognize that as we hear that call, we may be required to beef up certain capabilities, and to shift, narrow or expand our ministry focus.
Over the next several months, the team will meet regularly to gather and assess data related to both Redeemer and our environment (our neighbors, our community, other churches, etc.), to prayerfully discern how our history and current reality can and should shape our future, and to listen for God’s call to our congregation (through the pages of Scripture and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit) as we develop specific strategic objectives and goals that will guide our ministry in the years ahead.
There will be opportunities for you as members and friends to speak into this process along the way. The team will build on the valuable information that was gathered during the pastoral search process, and will be reaching out for additional feedback and insights from you throughout this process. Please be in prayer for the team and this important work as it’s developed over the next several months and completed for presentation at our November congregational meeting.
I’m excited about the many ways I see God at work in and through Redeemer Covenant Church. I’m excited and hopeful, too, about the days and years ahead. THANK YOU for your partnership in the gospel and in our shared ministry. We’re a body of individual Christians, but we’re a BODY that’s inseparable from one another and from our head, Jesus Christ. As we move forward in our shared faith, I ask you to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11).