This week I’m blogging about our Welcome Church Recovery Plan for 2021, following the pandemic. This post is Part 3 of a short series. If you missed the other posts, please read those first. You can find the first one by clicking here.
Although we’re currently in another lockdown, we’re expecting to go through a gradual process of returning to normal life this year as more and more people are vaccinated.
In Part 1 of this short series I talked about how, as we return to normal life again, our return to church life needs to feel like coming home, and not be done in a way that places unrealistic demands on people.
In part 2 I talked about some key challenges we face and about how this year we need to ask not “What CAN we do?”, but “What SHOULD we do?” I also talked about how, following the challenges of the pandemic, being together in person as a church is going to be more important than ever.
So how are we going to approach this year?
As a team we’ve prayerfully put together our Welcome Church Recovery Plan. The plan isn’t a schedule of activities or a list of SMART goals for the year; it’s a description of the ethos we want to adopt this year as a church; the sort of culture we want to build. The plan is built around three ‘R’s – Renew, Refresh, Rebuild.
The three ‘R’s’ will form the back-bone of our year, and will underpin and give shape to our pastoring, our planning, our preaching and our programmes. Let’s look at them one at a time:
Renew: a focus on relationship/people, including …
- Renewal of a vibrant and meaningful relationship with Jesus
- Renewal of our sense of ‘sonship/daughterhood’ before our Heavenly Father
- Renewal of our emotional health and well being
- Renewal of a Biblical pattern of church life together (see Acts 2v42-47)
- Renewal of friendship, of fun and of a sense of adventure together
Refresh: a focus on our vision/strategy, including …
- Refreshing our understanding of God’s plans and purposes for His church
- Refreshing our vision and mission as Welcome Church
- Refreshing our “rhythms of life” as a church; what we do weekly, termly and annually
- Refreshing our approach to “whole life discipleship”
- Refreshing our individual, God given sense of purpose and calling
Rebuild: a focus on tasks/doing, including …
- Rebuilding our Holy Spirit filled, leadership faith for the mission
- Rebuilding our Welcome Church staff team to full strength, in every way
- Rebuilding our core meetings and ministries
- Rebuilding our ministry teams and serving roles
- Rebuilding our presence in the community
To put it in a sentence:
“In 2021, as we unlock, we will aim to RENEW our relationships with God and with one another, to REFRESH our vision and our strategy, and to REBUILD our core church ministries and our faith for the mission”
This will help us achieve a fourth ‘R’: RECOVERY
This is a recovery plan to help us recover from the challenges of the pandemic and find fresh faith and momentum for the future. The goal is that Jesus is glorified in us and that the Great Commission moves ahead through us as we step out in faith. God has big plans for our church in the years ahead, so let’s get ready.
Tomorrow in the final part of this short series I will consider some of the questions our plan raises and some of the implications of it.