Vision Update: November 2017
Last September the RE:Focus process we began in February culminated by gathering to discuss our new mission, vision, values, and commitments, as well as sketch a path forward for implementation. It was an encouraging gathering, filled with so many helpful insights and questions, and marked by a spirit of unity, humility, and eagerness to see God work.
We want to share a few revisions we made as a result of the feedback, and give you an update on the first steps of implementation, specifically the formation of our Local Outreach Development Team, which is currently under way.
REVISIONS FROM FEEDBACK
We’re so thankful for the helpful feedback we received, and made three small changes in the wording of our core values as a result:
- Dependence upon God >>> Dependence on the Holy Spirit
While our previous mission statement specified the Holy Spirit’s power as necessary for accomplishing our mission, that aspect felt left out in our revision. We thought it was therefore important to be more specific that our dependence is on the Holy Spirit—he is the presence of God among us to guide, equip, strengthen, and accomplish God’s work through us.
- Grace-driven Relationships >>> Grace-fueled Relationships
The language of “driven” can seem antithetical to the idea of grace. Our point is that relationships within the church should be marked and motivated by grace, and “fueled” captures this idea a little more cleanly.
- People over Programs >>> Loving People
The original wording created an unnecessary divide between using programs and serving people. We don’t want to run programs for programs’ sake, but a positive statement seemed more fitting and to the point we were after—that our aim is serving and especially loving people.
For a full summary of our mission, vision, values, and commitments, follow the links above.
As we continue vision casting this fall through our current preaching series on our Core Commitments and the reading plan through Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ (by John Piper), we are also beginning to take our first steps in implementation.
Since our strategy for moving from mission to vision is expressed through eight core commitments, we are organizing our implementation according to each core commitment. Five of those commitments are associated with existing, healthy ministries: God-centered worship, biblical exposition, prayer, Christ-centered community, and global missions. For these core commitments, it will be the responsibility of existing leadership through the normal course of their work this year (2017-2018) to evaluate, align, and set goals for advancing the vision through that particular commitment, in communication with the elders.
But three of our core commitments are in significant need of development: life-on-life discipleship, local outreach, and church planting. For each of these core commitments, the elders will form a team of godly and gifted individuals from among the congregation (including 1-2 elders and any appropriate staff) for the purpose of developing a plan and bringing recommendations to the elders for implementation. These teams will be staggered in existence, lasting approximately four to six months each. Our projected timetable:
- Local Outreach Development Team: October 2017 –February/March 2018
- Life-on-Life Discipleship Development Team: February/March – June 2018
- Church Planting Development Team: September 2018 – January 2019
LOCAL OUTREACH DEVELOPMENT TEAM
The elders are in the process of assembling the Local Outreach Development Team over the next few weeks. The purpose of this team is to evaluate and align our current outreach efforts with our vision, and to develop an overall local outreach strategy that will help mobilize Westgate in helping our neighbors and friends treasure Christ above all things.
We’re looking for more than looking for a technical fix to our outreach problem (i.e. find the right program or technique that already exists, plug it in, and go); we’re asking this team to do the hard work of understanding not only the nature of the challenge before us, but the kind of change that must happen within us to adapt to that challenge in a healthy and sustainable way. This will take time, prayer, God-given insight, and creativity for the team, as well as a willingness for all of us to trust God and embrace his call to lay down our lives for the sake of seeing Christ treasured in our neighborhoods and towns.
As we build the team, we’re looking for team members with godly character, biblical convictions, gifting in evangelism and/or a passion for local outreach, and an excitement about our vision to see Christ treasured above all things here in Metrowest Boston. If you resonate with that, or you have someone in mind who might, please contact Pastor Brandon or one of the elders to share your recommendations as we assemble this team over the next several weeks.
We count it a privilege to serve Christ together, and we look with faith and eager expectation to see what he will do for his name in and through us.
On behalf of the Elders,