Prayer and Vision Featured Image
Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekly Connect

Pastor Brian talks about recent answers to prayer and the Vision Team.

Hey Church! 

Well, I am tired. I admit that because my post might be short and slightly incoherent. We moved into our new house, but the renovations we are working on aren't quite done. Let's just say there is a dryer vent hanging out the window and we are doing dishes in the bathtub. Things are getting done one at a time. 

One the New Journey side of things, I am absolutely thrilled. Here's a bit about why.


Prayer

We began a prayer walk ministry Thursday Nights at 6:30pm. We've had a beautiful group of people--a little different each time--that includes every age group from toddlers to teens and young couples to grandparents. It's hard to measure the impact of our prayers around us, but we can definitely measure the transformation of those who have joined us on the prayer walks. I wanted to share a couple:

  • We prayed for those in need of jobs in Wabash and later that week a "virtually unempoyable friend with a disability" (quote from the testimony of someone on the prayer walk) got a job. (Prayer Walk 1).
  • We laid hands and prayed over a mother between jobs at the end of the second prayer walk. She had an interview scheduled the next day or two. However, she got sick and couldn't make the interview. But Thursday a different employer called and offered her a job with no interview. God was closing and shutting doors--just like we prayed.
  • Compass Rose, a ministry out of White's Residential Center has began prayer walks spawned out of our ministry.
  • On the third prayer walk we marched around the Wabash City Junior and Senior High Schools. We were joined by the Youth for Christ leader, Aaron French. When we were done, we laid hands on him and prayed a blessing over him and his ministry. Get this story he shared:

Two years ago I read The Circle Maker book. That prompted me to pray circles around the schools. As I walked, I felt God call me to pray for an army of prayer warriors to intercede over this place. And today, I marched with that army.

Whhhhhat.

Join us this Thursday at 6:30pm at New Journey Community Church front parking lot as we pray seven circles around our building. I had a picture in my mind from God, sort of like the featured image on this blog post--a dirt rut. The image represents a prayer circle path I believe we can form around New Journey. After work, stop out and pray a circle. For your evening exercise or Saturday dog walk, come pray a circle. Form the rut! Pastor Megan Cox (Next Gen Pastor) led our Junior and Senior High students in starting the rut last night at Elevate. I am so pumped!

Oh, and after the prayer walk James Dalton talked with a friend and said "I feel like God is telling me He wants me to sing a song at church". The friend replied "Well, go talk to Pastor Brian" So I got him plugged in and it was amazing.

Not only was the singing beautiful, but the message that Sunday was about Daniel and his prayer life. What song did God ask James to sing? Hold to the Promise (I think it was called), a song all about praying like Daniel prayed. You can't make this stuff up.

All I know is that God is doing something in our church, and it is because we are praying. It isn't easy, it doesn't feel natural all the time, it doesn't feel supernatural all the time, it isn't always emotional, but it is always the spark that lights revival.


Vision

I want to communicate, communicate, communicate with you. I wish I knew everyone in our local church read this blog posts, but I don't. So I verbally share on Sunday Mornings, but maybe I should print the blog posts too. Anyway, I want you to know what is happening behind the scenes at our church and the timeline of what it looks like.

The Strategic Planning Process

  1. Define Target People Group God is calling us to reach (who to reach)
  2. Define Vision (why reach them)
  3. Define Mission to fulfill Vision (what to do)
  4. Define Values to fulfill Mission the right way (with what heart)
  5. Define 15, 10, 5, 3, and 1 year Goals to complete Mission (exactly what and when)
  6. Create Strategy Teams to plan how to accomplish Goals (exactly how and when)

Saturday the Vision Team met for the first time. We fasted. We prayed. We journaled. We read Scripture. We argued. We agreed. 

For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

We had a wonderful six hours together and finalized our Target People Group statement. We also made a lot of headway on the Vision Statement. We are hoping to finalize the Vision Statement this month. Here is our proposed timeline:

  1. September: Target People Group and Vision Statement
  2. October: Mission Statement
  3. November: Values Statement
  4. December: Goals and Strategy Teams

The Target Demographics Statement is one of the hardest statements for a church to define. The reason is because we want to fulfill God's Mission of seeking and saving the lost, bringing His Kingdom here on Earth as it is in Heaven, and bringing all people to salvation and a knowledge of the truth. And it seems like choosing a target people group limits what He is trying to do. But experience shows that at some point, we make decisions based on a particular group of people.

Examples:

  1. Will we buy the trashcans outside that have ashtrays built in?
  2. Will the welcome gifts be books, coffee mugs, or t-shirts?
  3. Will the sermons be 40, 30, or 20 minutes in length?
  4. Will we provide any food or snacks for adults or kids?
  5. Will we have a sign or slide that says "Please silence your cell phones"?
  6. Do we have announcements at the beginning of service, considering whether people will be on time to hear them or walk in later in service?
  7. Will we invest in bike racks at the doors?
  8. What time of day does service start?
  9. Do we pass offering baskets or have dropboxes in the back? Should we have credit card machines for offering?
  10. How do we communicate primarily--verbally, bulletins, emails, texts, or a mobile app?

There are tons of other things, both big and small that are affected by our Target People Group (Demongraphic). It isn't that we aren't focused on all people, it's that we recognize there are a few things that come up here and there which require us to put the pinch on one people group or another. This statement will help us fall of the log in a consistent way and save hundreds of hours of discussion over the following years.

I can't wait to reveal all of these things to you New Journey! In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you'd like more information. And if you feel that you would like to be part of this grand process, we will be looking to put people on various Strategy Teams that will fine tune how to move forward with our goals, mission, and vision. That could be a Worship Strategy Team, Missions Strategy Team, Local Outreach Strategy Team, Youth Strategy Team, or many more. 

Blessings NJCC,

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