7 Initiatives at My New Church

Using Acts 2 as our model, recently I shared my beginning vision for the new church I began pastoring a month ago. You can watch the message where I unveiled this vision HERE.

The seven initiatives of focus are:

Impressions – We need to consider how we present ourselves to visitors. From the moment a person thinks “church” for the first time, until they are no longer considered a visitor, what impression are we making with them?

Intergenerational – We are a multi-generational church, but we need to move toward intergenerational ministry. We need young people learning from older people. We need older people learning from younger people. We need to do life together with all ages. We have much to offer each other.

Discipleship – We need to figure out how best to help people be more like Jesus. This is obviously the goal of every church, but I want us to consider how to do it with more intentionality than ever before.

Stewardship – God has blessed Immanuel with tremendous resources. Our facilities, our location, and our people are incredible assets. We need to find ways to use what God has given us even more for the glory of God.

College – Our 22 acre campus is located footsteps away from the University of Kentucky and other local colleges and universities. To not be actively investing in the tens of thousands of students in our vicinity would seem to be a sin. (He who knows the good he ought to do…). We have a mission field in our backyard that can literally play a part in changing the world.

Prayer – Immanuel is a praying church, but I’ve never known anyone who was felt they were praying enough. I want my ministry here to be rooted in prayer. I want to see God do things which could only be done by God’s intervention. Let God’s people pray!

Missions/Community Investment – I believe a healthy church is a going church. We need to leave the comfort of our Sunday seats and hit the streets of Lexington. We are going to explore the options available to us to partner with existing ministries in our community. We are exploring options to be involved around the world. We want to be known as a church on the move in missions, making a huge impact in our community.

With each of these initiatives I’ve formed (or am forming) an initiative team with the intent of exploring ways Immanuel can grow in each of these areas. These teams will have a volunteer leader. Several will have appropriate staff members assigned to them. I will not be “doing” this work, but available to help them as needed. One key to this working is it gets more people involved in the process and builds energy as they explore new ideas.

To aid in brainstorming, I’m challenging the teams leading each of these to think in terms of:

Immediate – In each of these areas we need some quick “wins”. To keep momentum in these areas growing in the church, we need people to see some movement toward each of these. What are some things we can do quickly to realize growth in each of these initiatives?

Midrange – What are some things we can do in the next few months to a year to move each of these initiatives forward?

Longterm – What are things we can suggest as longterm ideas? These may not happen for a year or more, but we can set them in our sights and work towards them?

Temporary – These are usually one term or short-term commitment projects. They aren’t likely to be repeated. They can be doing a one day event or one series of days, but they aren’t expected to continue forever.

Permanent – These are changes that, for the foreseeable future, will become part of the culture of Immanuel.

I’ve been asked for specifics for each of these, and frankly, I’m hesitant to do that. I like for teams I appoint to start with blank slates and have freedom to dream on their own. That way they own the vision. I have a list of my own and I’ll be sharing them along the way with the teams, but I want to make sure they understand what I’m asking them to do, then release them to brainstorm. We are just getting started with this process and it is not expected to be a quick process. Some will move faster than others. That’s expected.

As with other posts in this transition process, I’m simply sharing these to help others as they think through transitions needed in their own ministry setting.

What questions do you have about this process?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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12 thoughts on “7 Initiatives at My New Church

  1. Thanks for the post, Ron. I am always enlightened and challenged by them. I am at an old and very traditional church and each of the items you have mentioned need to be addressed. Some have been pressing heavily on my mind and heart. And as providence would have it, a list that I can share has been presented to me.
    Thanks again.
    Grace and Peace
    Martina

  2. Intergenerational! I love, love, love that you put that in as an initiative. I would love to see God trump our cultural trends in the Bride of Christ by putting an end to two ages where people are made to feel “invisible” and of lesser value by our culture and also in many churches…. That is middle school age and senior age. May God bless you huge in this and may your church start a national trend to shatter the “invisible” and make all people feel valued and needed.
    Twitter: kmac4him

  3. Ron, I am curious what prayer looks like in your schedule. How much time do you spend in prayer daily/weekly? Being a small church pastor, I have the luxury of praying a lot, but I have always been curious of how pastors of larger churches do it. Thanks for your reply!

    • Well, as I said in my message where I introduced these, I never feel I'm praying enough. Only a few times in my life have I put a time to my prayers…such as I'm going to pray for 30 minutes…etc. I start the day in the standard list type prayer discipline, but years ago I started living more trying to “never say Amen”. Not that I don't say “so be it”…I do, but I'm trying to live my life as the Paul said and “pray continually”. I'm trying to incorporate prayer into all that I do throughout my day, rather than segment it out. I want to live a lifestyle of prayer. I try to do the same with the Bible also…so that throughout my day, apart from the time I'm reading scripture, which I also do everyday, I'm being reminded of His Word through the situations of my life.That's a quick response, but basically as I'm continually developing my relationship with Christ, I hope I'm continually talking with Him more.

    • I hope you don’t mind, if I add a thought on your question: I think for me God is asking me to learn to cling tighter to HIM in my prayer life, by learning what it is like to have a "constant conversation" with Him during the day. Relationship with God sometimes demands a deeper dependence, and in doing that I find myself taking regular Omnipresent Reality Checks, and breaking down the compartmentalizing I did for so many years where God could be a part of this, but I did not need Him to be a part of that!

      Twitter: kmac4him

  4. Ron, God knew you would be the leader for this group even before you knew….what an awesome thought of a
    mission field' for the UK college campus! It's excitement like that that will change the world one person at a time!

    Praying for, and looking forward to what God is sharing through your ministry. I feel like I'm attending there even many miles away. It's exciting to work for the Lord!

  5. Great thoughts! As always, I am challenged by your wisdom. As the new pastor at our church, this is a great framework to begin a similar discussion. I particularly appreciate the balance of the initiatives; the focus on in and out-side the individual and the church. Thank you, and God's blessings as you begin your ministry at Immanuel.