Veni, Vidi, Vici

Reportedly when Julius Caesar wrote this phrase in his report to the Roman Senate, he was almost nonchalant about his military victory … ‘just another day on the job for an expert warrior like me!’

This week we began our work of Moving Forward as a congregation with Ministry Architects as consultants Mike Crain and MerLynne Byrne were on-site for a Quick Start Summit. During this on-site time, Mike and MerLynne worked with several groups and our staff over the course of two jam-packed days. Unlike Caesar, the work with us was not swift and decisive, nor was it intended to be (sorry if I just did a bait and switch with the headline). Instead, God has set us on an 18-month process that will help the church by embarking on deep listening, design thinking, strategic implementation and process coaching to experiencing the renewal and reinvigorate the Holy Spirit has in store for us as an entire church. 

For those new to the blog and those whose days are long and memory short, Ministry Architects started working with UMCG to renovate our Children and Youth Ministry in fall 2019 and that work was completed this past November. Impressed with the changes and improvements to that area of ministry, we invited Ministry Architects to assess the whole church and its ministry this past February and the assessment report demonstrated the strengths we possess as a congregation and things that keep us from moving forward as a congregation to reach new people and engage in new, relevant ministry in our local context. Our Church Council spent a few months discerning how to best address the assessment findings and felt the Moving Forward Process with Ministry Architects would be paramount to making the needed changes to improve our church. 

During the Quick Start Summit, stakeholders, staff, Church Council, and the Moving Forward Team (consisting of Sharon Anderson, Cheryl Johnson, Jami Johnson, Eric Manley, Keith Rawson, Ashley Tuma and Pastor Rob) engaged in audits of our welcome and hospitality ministry, our church governance structure, and church staff meetings. We started developing blueprints and job descriptions for an enhanced welcome and hospitality ministry to truly welcome guests into our family of faith. We also began training for ministry with new persons and planning for the Moving Forward Summit on September 9 & 10th. 

It is at the Moving Forward Summit that the entire congregation is invited to help define the purpose, values, and goals of UMCG. Please mark your calendar to attend the Friday session of Moving Forward Summit from 6-9pm at UMCG so that you can shape the work of Moving Forward process and the next chapter in the life of UMCG. Please also commit to praying for the Moving Forward Team on Saturday, Sept 10th as they seek the Spirit’s guidance and work with the data the whole church provides the night before as we make and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ to serve the community and the world! 

The work before us as a church is not quick or decisive like Caesar experienced in battle. Instead, we are called by God to experience the transforming work of Jesus’ resurrection first in our lives, then in the life of our congregation and finally into the world as the Spirit works through us. 

Thank you for your support of this process and UMCG by your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness!