At Bethel, it is our desire to build strategically. That means keeping both our purpose and our emerging vision before us. These two issues (purpose and vision) need to greatly influence the decisions we make regarding our staff, resources and facility. Without these two objective markers, we can quickly devolve into making decisions and prioritizing items based on tradition, personal preference or even on who has the greatest influence at a certain meeting.
At our most recent congregational meeting (February 3rd ‘09), I shared on the elders’ desire to move in the direction of hiring a full time Director of Family Ministries. We are grateful for the input and affirmation we received about this.
The following are three key questions as we think about this strategic hire.
1. What is our purpose and how does this hire fit into that purpose?
Our purpose statement that is rooted in Matthew 28:19,20 says, “We desire to love God passionately and serve others significantly.” We want this to characterize every generation at Bethel. However, there is one generation where the window appears bigger, and more receptive than in any other generation. That generation is our children.
“Research regarding all facets of moral and spiritual development- whether related to worldview, beliefs or behaviour- shows that such development starts as early as age two. The process then progresses rather quickly. Social scientists have known for years that the moral foundations of children are generally determined by the time the individual reaches nine. Our research confirms a parallel outcome in the spiritual dimension: By age nine, most children have their spiritual moorings in place.” (Barna)
The Implications are clear. As we work towards being a disciple-making church, a key investment area needs to be our children. What we create in a young person’s life determines that person’s behaviour as an adult.
2. What is the emerging vision and how does this hire fit into that vision piece?
A vision is a picture of a preferred future. Several years ago people from this church had a vision:
“On May 4, 1874 a group of 25 people gathered in a home to form the 2nd Congregational church to minister to a destitute and unevangelized part of the city.”
“Even back 100 + years ago Bethel did some things in unconventional ways – i.e. contrary to the practice of some of the churches of the day the seats were free…”
Note their vision! And that vision is still present. As I have talked with many of you, you have expressed your desire to see not only the people, but this building, serve the community. We do need to align our building with the purpose statement more and more - to serve others significantly. Our building should not be a relic of the past, but a tool of the present to embrace a needy world. This means ministry that not only services our people but looks at ways of investing in the community. A key hire in seeing this vision realized is the DFM.
- Every square inch of this building being used 24/7 to bless the community
- People from the community coming in during the week to be ministered to and to go out again with hope and healing
- Multiple ministries being offered to address the many unmet needs of our community
- A building that is a servant to the community, not an old relic of the past
- People engaged with culture and going out into the community as well as inviting the community into the body of Christ
This hire has everything to do with envisioning what could be and trusting God to provide the resources to realise that vision.
3. Based on the staff team we have what piece would help bring balance?
While it is the goal to one day hire an Associate, we believe that right now we have many of the functions of an associate being met in Bill Duffy – pastoral care, and Carmen - admin, policy making and a host of other responsibilities. What is lacking is someone to develop our children’s ministry with a full time focus.
Please feel free to provide any comments you wish. The IQ of the team is higher than the IQ of the individual.