“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”
-Romans 12:2 (The Message)
Good things are happening at Wieuca. As we start a new year, we have a lot to celebrate. Sometimes the new year marks a new beginning. Sometimes a new year marks a change of direction. Sometimes a new year marks a shift in priorities. And sometimes a new year provides an opportunity to expand the vision. 2014 is a year to expand the vision.
In 2013 we were intentional about harnessing God’s vision for our church, and we made some big changes to align ourselves with that vision. We re-launched our website and established new social media channels. We “re-branded” Wieuca with a new logo and a new look.
We thought about what worship and Bible study and service would look like at Wieuca in the future if we were faithful to God’s vision. We established covenants in our Bible study groups (Covenant Groups) and gave renewed attention to how our volunteer service teams (Ministry Teams) accomplish the ministries of our church. And in the process we clarified our vision and our mission and developed a simple strategy for deepening the faith of our members and reaching our neighbors (Worship. Connect. Serve.).
In 2013 we not only took some big steps forward in marketing and technology, we also built a full worship team for the first time in several years, and we took big steps forward in a number of our ministry areas surrounding worship. As God’s vision unfolds in 2014, our goal is to take the next step in the process of becoming the people God has called us to be. And at Wieuca in 2014 the next step is discipleship.
As we build on the progress of 2013 we are ready to take the next step in God’s unfolding vision by focusing on the “Connect” portion of our “Worship. Connect. Serve.” strategy. We plan to do that in several ways.
First, we will renew our focus on Covenant Groups in 2014. We’ll return to the language and commitments of our Bible study covenants from last spring over and over again as the year progresses. Expect to see a more active and visible Christian Education and Sunday School Committee. And remember that we approved the creation of a new Christian Education Director position in our By-Laws changes in November. Filling that position will help us maintain a relentless focus on discipleship over the next twelve months.
Second, we’ll begin to experiment with home-based discipleship groups beginning Feb. 2nd with our 40 Days in the Word emphasis. We’re asking all our leaders to consider hosting six in-home Bible study sessions to reinforce our worship emphasis from Feb. 2nd to March 9th. All you need is a DVD player, a few friends and a willingness to follow a simple guidebook for exercises and discussion. (For a testimony about the effectiveness of small groups, click HERE.)
Third, we’ll begin a church-wide Sunday morning Bible study emphasis leading up to Easter on March 16th called The Story of Jesus. The series will last from March 16th until the Sunday after Easter. It will allow all Wieucans to engage God’s good news together and will follow our Sunday morning worship themes.
Finally, we will continue to emphasize the discipleship responsibility that all of our leaders have toward those they lead. All of our leaders (committee chairs, council members, deacons, directors, teachers, team leaders) should understand that they are more than administrative and managerial leaders. Each is a spiritual leader and has a responsibility to invest in the discipleship development of those they lead through prayer, encouragement and relational intentionality.
In 2014 we’ll grow closer to one another as we all grow closer to God. God’s vision is continually unfolding. As we become more like Christ in 2014, our church, our neighborhoods, our offices and our homes will begin to look more like God’s kingdom. That’s exciting!
God is preparing us to do great things together in 2014. We are here for a purpose. I look forward to loving God, connecting people and changing lives with each of you in the year to come.