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View Chapter 5 - Mission and Vision

Church Planting Resource Manual

Download MS Word Document (2010):
File:Chapter 5 - Mission and Vision 5-10.doc

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File:Chapter 5 - MISSION and VISION 9-08.ppt

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File:Keynote 5 Zera 3-11.ppt

Chapter 5: MISSION AND VISION

This article contains text only. For the full version with graphics and charts, please download the MS Word version above.

Starting with the ZERA (your Biblical seed-verse)
Leading to the DNA, Mission and Vision For Your New Church

Theme: Church plants need to be able to articulate the 4 components of a compelling mission/vision for their specific plant.
Note: While the Message and Mission of Jesus and the 4 “Als” are foundational to the mission/vision for every new ECC church we plant, we are now planting in more varied soil than ever before – urban, rural, suburban, ethnic, multi-ethnic, emergent, and various sub-cultures in the US – therefore you must also know the unique Zera, DNA, and Mission and Vision so you can keep focused on growing the unique new church that God is calling you to plant.

Objective: To clearly articulate the unique vision/mission for your new church.
Note: Chapter 5 is the transition from the Theological, Spiritual and Missional to making this personal and practical in the Launch process for your new church.

Chapter Goals:
1. You will find the Biblical seed-verse (Zera) or Biblical story for your new church. 

2. You will find the unique DNA God has for your church and will be able to replicate this in the hearts and lives of everyone in the new church.

  • DREAM: You will be able to articulate a Vision of God’s preferred future and the fruitful impact of your new church.
  • NON-NEGOTIABLES: You will find the “Core Values” that you will live out in the new church.
  • ACTION: This is the mission of the church, the action items that will move you from Non-negotiable core values into fruitfulness in your mission field.

3. Your team will be able to evaluate your ZERA and DNA. 
Zera = Seed (in Hebrew)
 

And God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees that produce fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”  And it was so.
Genesis 1:11


1. You will find the Biblical seed-verse (Zera) or Biblical story for your new church

Seed = Zera - God’s plan for reproducing life.  God spoke the Word and creation sprang forth.  God created seed (zera) which began reproduction of Life over and over!
It starts with Zera/Seed in the Garden – God’s plan for reproduction – each according to its kind.

Church Plants often start with Parent Churches and The Seed of the Gospel.

The Zera must leave the safety of the fruit in order to give life…
Rob Bell:  the metaphor for the Christian life is to live as broken bread and poured out wine – to live as Christ – to be broken and poured out, to die to ourselves so others may live; and by participating in this, we too live.

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed; but if it dies…  John 12:24

The seed is the Word of God…  Luke 8:11

- The Zera for your specific church is the specific text or Biblical story that God put in your heart.  This is the Biblical reason you feel called and compelled to plant this particular church. 

- This is a “life-verse” that guides what the church will develop into, like the life-force within the seed that causes it to grow. 

Here’s how God’s passion and God’s Word came to one church planter:

When I questioned the Lord about Boulder Valley He took me to Exodus 3:7-10 and showed me the cries rising to God from those disenfranchised from the church and oppressed by sin.  He told me Life House Covenant Church would be one of His answers to those cries. We see that nearly every week when someone walks into worship and says, “This feels like home”.  It’s not just our vision at Life House;  it is participating with the Lord in His passion for the lost in our area.

- Pastor Win Houwen, LifeHouse Covenant Church, Longmont CO


Inside the seed is the life-dynamic that contains the “heart” of an apple and an apple-tree.

EXAMPLES of Zera – Biblical life-verses – for ECC plants:
NOTE: these 3 churches will be used as examples for each of the 4 components. At the end of this chapter, you will find examples of Zera and DNA.

1.  Journey Covenant Church, Norman OK – www.journeychurch.cc, Pastor Clark Mitchell – an anglo plant initially targeting 20-somethings

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, accord to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  Ephesians 3:20-21 (this verse is repeated each week at the church)

2.  Citadel of Faith Covenant Church, Detroit, MI – www.citadeloffaith.org Pastor Harvey Carey.  This text given by God to Pastor Carey in a vision along with the name and place for the church 15 years before he moved to Detroit! - a multi-ethnic plant in a mostly African-American city

You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  Mt5:13-16


3.  New Song, Irvine, CA – www.newsong.net Pastor David Gibbons - a multi-ethnic plant with 2nd generation Asian-Ameicans as the majority

Pastor Gibbons writes:

It happened while I was in Irvine, California in the Fall of 1993 when I sensed God wanting me to start a church after reading Psalm 40:1-3. I read:

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our god; Many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”

These words resonated in my heart because God had transformed my life in so many amazing ways! In fact, the place where I finally said “yes” to God was in Telluride, Colorado, on a rock in the middle of a large field. That rock was symbolic of how God brought stability to my life after my parents struggled with a painful divorce. Later when my mother was killed in a hit-and-run accident, God would be that Rock once again. So when I read these verses in that hotel room, it was as if this psalmist words were my own.

This idea of a new song started to align with a passage I had read earlier that year about new wineskins. I remember being broken by the fact that there weren’t too many churches reaching the next generation who were both post-modern and multi-ethnic in flavor. As a kid, my best friends were African-American or Caucasian. I had wondered why churches were so segregated. Furthermore, I saw how most of the churches I knew weren’t connecting with my friends. Church seemed so irrelevant and boring to them. Then I took a hard look at where I was serving. It was a great church yet because of its immigrant nature it was not reaching the new global village that was fast emerging. It became clear to me what the “new song” was. It was to begin a multi-ethnic movement that would reach the next generation. How? Through planting churches and focusing on the next generation of leadership.

OTHER: In Church Revitalization, John Wenrich encourages churches to find their “Biblical story” which can provide a picture of the new story for the church.  When he was pastor at First Covenant of Portland, Oregon, the story of the raising of Lazarus in John 11 became the inspirational metaphor for their turn-around as a congregation.

TEAM APPLICATION:  What is the “Life-Verse” or Biblical Story that becomes the Zera for your new church.
  Helps:
- The text may focus on the People God is calling you to reach, build up, and send out.
- The text may focus on the Plan God has for you to live out the Mission and Message of the church in this community.
- The text may focus on the unique Purpose God has for this new church.
Worksheet:


2. You will be able to articulate the unique DNA God has for your church and will be able to replicate this in the hearts & lives of everyone in the new church.

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed; but if it dies…  John 12:24

Planter - How is God breaking your heart to see people come to Christ through this new church?

Planter and Team - How is your heart breaking in this soil, in this particular city, for the needs of this community, and for particular people to come to New Life in Christ and to be transformed by the Gospel?
         
The DNA must replicate itself – the Message and Mission of Jesus must take the passion and values for this new church and replicate this over-and-over again in the hearts of lives of others in the Launch-Team – so you share a deep, compelling, growing, unstoppable passion to participate in God’s new work through this new church in this particular community. 

Cell Replication: 1) DNA within the nucleus is “unzipped” by an enzyme which breaks the hydrogen bonds between the bases. 2) Two halves of the DNA in transition. 3) The free-floating nucleotides within the nucleus begin bonding to the bases of both strands.  There are now two strands.

Questions to Ponder:
- How will the Zera be lived out through the DNA of the church?
- What are the qualities and behaviors of your church that will demonstrate that this verse is being lived out?
- How well is this DNA already attracting others & how well has it been replicated in the hearts and lives of people on the Launch Team?

DNA – God’s unique code for the healthy growth of this new church.
The WHOLE Tree is contained in the DNA.  What the church will become is contained in the DNA that God has put there at the start!

God’s truth in Science:

2 Strands – with 2 parts: sugar + phosphate

Bases with 4 elements: A, G, T, C
These can be arranged in many configurations allowing for the great diversity within a species.

The Strands – the vertical “rails”…
Where the core values are connected to 2 things:
the Message of Jesus & the Mission of Jesus.

The Bases – the horizontal “rungs”…
The unique DNA of your Church.

2. Non-negotiables   …    3. Action-items       …        1. Dream  
      (Core Values)            (Mission)                (Vision)

All of this is part of your Strategic Ministry Plan

ZERA = SEED
Foundation for Life


1.  Dream: The Vision for the New Church                                            
You will be able to articulate a Vision of God preferred future and the fruitful impact of your new church.

- The Biblical story began with seeds and trees in Genesis 1

- It continues in the middle of Scripture with the Tree nurtured by the living water
Psalm 1 Blessed is the one…like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he/she does prospers…

- Its DREAM or Vision concludes with a Fruitful Tree: 
Revelation 22:1-2 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life… flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb… On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

DREAM or Vision from the perspective of the Tree – fruitfulness, another healthy tree, and many more trees in the orchard! 

Definition: DREAM or Vision
-  A picture of God’s preferred future for this church.
-  A picture of the future fruitfulness for this new church:
- What will our disciples be known for?
- What will our church be doing, and what will we be known for?
- What impact will our church have in 5,10,15,20+ years on the lives of individuals and on this community?

How to think about the DREAM or Vision:

- Think of it like a farmer who owns an orchard (Lk 13:6-9) – you want quantity and quality of fruit.  Without both quantity and quality, you’ll soon be out of business!
- Think of it from the perspective of the seed – your purpose is reproduction into a tree that produces more seeds that produces more trees…
- Think about it from God’s perspective of the fruit He anticipates from your church – More Believers, Better Disciples, and More Impact on our Mission Field.  (or in the ECC: “more disciples among more populations in a more caring and just world.”  Gary Walter) 
Jesus becomes the “holy fruit inspector” for the 7 Churches of Revelation 2-3.
This is to my father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  John 15:8

Examples:
Journey Covenant Church, Norman, OK
Starts with a Dream/Vision verse:  God can do anything… far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your WILDEST dreams!  He does it not by pushing us but by working within us…  Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)
   
Our Dream is…
-  Of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated and the confused find love acceptance, help, hope forgiveness, guidance and encouragement.
-  Of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of residents in the greater Oklahoma City area.
-  Of welcoming thousands into the community-life of our church by loving, learning, laughing, and being in unity together.
-  Of developing people to spiritual maturity through Bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats, and a Leadership Development School.
-  Of preparing every believer for an effective ministry by helping people discover their God-given gifts and talents.
-  Of releasing hundreds of career missionaries and church workers all around the world and empowering every person for a personal life-mission in the world.
-  Of releasing our members by the hundreds on short-term mission projects all over the world.
-  Of at least 60 acres of land for a regional church with a building that will bring live and peace to all who come.

Citadel of Faith Covenant Church, Detroit, MI
Our vision is to build a ministry where all of the hurting, distressed, confused, rich or poor of all races and cultures, will come to seek answers from the Word of God that are relevant to the issues of their lives.  In order to attract those who are in need of God’s manifest power in their lives, we will reflect the light of God through sincere and consistent connection and service to those in our community.  As we develop genuine relationships, and serve one another, our works will connect those individuals to God.  And as the life of God awakens in each individual blessed by our ministry, a community will begin to grow in which people can see the power of God change and bless their lives, their families, their communities and their world.

NewSong, Irvine, CA  What’s Next? This Ain’t Your Mama’s Church!  (DREAM /VISION)
We’re looking at becoming a church that releases our community to impact the world through the arts, relevant and holistic ministry to the poor, technology, business, media, church planting and leadership development. We are hoping to catalyze a host of ministries to address local and global concerns in a holistic and strategic way. We are serious about being an advocate of the poor and promoting justice among all humankind. There are plans for inner city development, new churches and arts/technology centers here in our backyard and around the world. We just don’t want to play church. We desire to be the church! We like to say this “Ain’t Your Mama’s Church?” Which means, while the truth of God may not change, each generation must construct its own language and style to connect with God and with the real world.


Your dream/vision for an apple may be a different variety than someone else’s.  Some varieties ripen more quickly, some take a little longer.  Some are sweeter, some are larger, some are good for pies, some for juice, and some are more resistant to disease…

Your dream/vision is the result of the growing seed, first placed by God in your heart (the Zera).  It reflects the unique non-negotiables or values for your church plant and is the product of the unique Action/Mission for your plant.  These result in the Vision of a fruitful harvest!  Note the variety of vision from the 3 church plants listed on the page above.  Each church is a different variety!


3 Questions to Talk About Regarding Your DREAM or Vision:

1.  What quantity of fruit do you expect?

-  Seating capacity: services, attendance.  Note: we determine that a church plant with a full-time pastor and some kind of leased space needs to get to 200 in average attendance by the end of 3-years in order to be self-sustaining AND have margin to expand ministry and mission to their community.

-  Sending capacity: redemptive potential, impact on your community.  Note: Would your community miss your church if it failed?  How are we going to Plant the Gospel in our community and impact our community for Christ in tangible ways?

    Notes:

 

2.  How will you know if you’re producing quality fruit? 

- What will your disciples be known for?
- What will your church be known for in your community?
- Will you have ways of testing the quality of your fruit?  Fruit of the Spirit, key behaviors of a disciple, living out your core values…

        Notes:


3.  How do you envision expanding the orchard so you will have more Missional Impact?

-  What impact will our church have in 5,10,15,20+ years on the lives of individuals and on this community?
-  How will you plant new churches? 

        Notes:

 

TEAM APPLICATION – Using the examples and the 3 questions, develop your DREAM or Vision Statement:

 

 

 

 

Notes from Bill Easum and Bil Cornelius, church consultants and church planters in Go Big, p 13-14

“God never gives us small dreams.  If your dream doesn’t scare you a bit, it’s not from God.”
“God prepares us for leadership by growing the church – and watching us catch up.”
Don’t fear people and don’t let others cause you to scale back the vision.  “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety.”  Proverbs 29:25

So cast the vision as often as you can…
But remember that “managing the vision is much harder than casting the vision!”

-  Does your vision include making disciples?  If not, it’s not from God.
-  How often do you cast your vision?  Remember how often Nehemiah reminded the people why they were building the wall.
-  How many other leaders are casting the vision with you?
-  What do you have in place to ensure that the vision is cast on a daily basis?
-  Do you spend the majority of your time on the issues surrounding managing the vision and ensuring that the vision manages you and the church?
-  Is every leader in the church focused on ensuring that the vision is being managed?

“Don’t pray for small visions.  They have no power to ignite the souls of people.  And they have no need of the power of God to be accomplished.”
Dream BIG!
Have a God-sized vision that will take the power of God!
2. Non-negotiables   …    3. Action-items       …        1. Dream  
      (Core Values)            (Mission)                (Vision)

All of this is part of your Strategic Ministry Plan

ZERA = SEED
Foundation for Life

2. NON-NEGOTIABLES: You will find the “Core Values” that you will live out in the new church.

Definition of Non-Negotiables or Core Values in church planting: 
- The Non-Negotiables hold the unique God-planned code at the heart of this specific church.
- connected to your Zera as it lives out the Message & Mission of Jesus.
- Your Non-Negotiables are expressed as passionate convictions replicated in the heart of each person in the new church.
- These are constant and motivational.  They give the compelling reasons to belong!
- These result in observable behaviors that turn your convictions into actions!
- They are the guidance system that shapes future decisions, plans, and financial outlays. 
- They are the decision grid through which choices are evaluated & options eliminated.

Non-negotiables or Core Values are Not:
-Your statement of faith, belief, purpose
-Your methods or programs

 

Why just 3-8 Non-Negotiables?
-  Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger, shows that the simpler a church is, the easier it is to focus on what really produces fruit.
-  The most fruitful plants focus on just a few Vital Things.                                              See Influencer: The Power to Change Anything on vital behaviors, chapter 2.

Note: Bob Logan and Steve Ogne, in their materials titled, The Church Planter’s Toolkit, have a tool that will help the new church discover its core values (what we’re calling the Non-negotiables).  The toolkit is available through www.churchsmart.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Negotiable Examples:
1.  Journey:
a.  Honor God
b.  Build Healthy Relationships
c.  Live Life to the Fullest, i.e., Have a Blast

2.  Citadel
a.  Reverence God
b.  Reach People
c.  Raise Disciples
d.  Release Leaders

3.  NewSong
a.  Christ
b.  Community
c.  Cause

OTHER:  The ECC…  The 4 “Al’s”: Biblical, Devotional, Missional, Connectional.

TEAM APPLICATION – Develop your Non-negotiable statements.

1.  From your Zera (Life-verse) brainstrom 3-8 statements that reflect your Core Values.

TIP: Look at your Zera (Verse or Biblical Story) – what principles/DNA do you see there?  E.g. for Willow Creek, their Zera is Acts 2:42-47 and from this text they derive several “core values” or non-negotiables.

Our Non-negotiable statements:

1.               

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.


-  After you come up with your initial list see if you can restate them even more clearly and compellingly.
-  If you already have your Core Values spelled out, then test them with the questions on the next page. 
Our goal is help you discern what God is saying to you about your values, so you can clearly articulate them to others and so your new church can become all that God intends. 

 

 


2. Evaluate your Non-negotiable statements

- State the behavior(s) that will prove or demonstrate that these really are non-negotiable values.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.


- Evaluate how easy they are to communicate:

- Are they stated in simple, compelling language that will connect with real people you’re trying to reach?

 

- When will you communicate them?  Consistency of message helps people remember why they’re doing what they’re doing.

 

- How will you celebrate when people in your church live out your Core Values?  How will you celebrate what God has done and how will you honor the people who have faithfully lived out your values.  You get what you celebrate!

 

 

 

 

 

 


2. Non-negotiables   …    3. Action-items       …        1. Dream  
      (Core Values)            (Mission)                (Vision)

All of this is part of your Strategic Ministry Plan

ZERA = SEED
Foundation for Life

3. ACTION:
This is the Mission of the church and the action items that will move you from Non-negotiable core values into fruitfulness in your mission field.
This is HOW you’re going to live out your Non-negotiables and move toward your Dream.

MISSION
The Mission of the seedling expresses itself to
become a particular kind of kind of tree. 
The Mission of a church plant expresses itself to
a unique church that fulfills the God’s Dream or vision. 

Definition: Mission
- The main way the church will grow. 
- The main things your church will be known for as you live out your Core Values.

Many churches have: 
- A Mission Statement: A longer (and deeper) version for “in-house” teaching.  This is usually summed up in A Mission Motto: A short-hand, easily repeatable summary of the mission.
- This is something that even the first-time guest can “get” – something that’s short enough to fit on a T-Shirt.
- This will help everyone quickly understand what this church is becoming
- This helps the church keep the “main thing, the main thing” and not get distracted by other good things that new people will propose.


Then, each year the church comes up with ACTION-ITEMS or Annual Goals that will move the church forward in living out the mission this year and moving the church toward the Dream.

 

 

 


Examples of Covenant Church Plant Mission Mottos:

1.  Journey: Helping People Become Fully Devoted Followers of Christ

2.  Citadel: His People – His Power
    Longer version: (this lives out their core values & repeats their mission motto)
The Citadel of Faith Covenant Church is a ministry that aims to Reverence God through dynamic corporate worship and relevant preaching, Raise Christians using creative methods in equipping our members for the work of the ministry, Reach People through programs and outreaches which bring about spiritual and social change, and Release Leaders to plant their gifts in other churches. Our Motto Is: “His People, His Power.”


3.  NewSong: Reconciliation
Newer update: NewSong :: third culture community
      For a Longer Version and Graphic: see addendum at end of this chapter.

Other Examples:
-  ECC: Deeper in Christ & Further in Mission & growing in both directions at the same time
-  C3: Whoever finds Christ, finds life.  (C3 – Christ Covenant Church, Novi, MI)
-  McLane: We eliminate barriers to provide access to Christ

TEAM APPLICATION – Develop a Mission Motto
Note: you may have the longer version already.  However, we’ve found that the shorter “Mission Motto” is very helpful in a church plant.
 
Here are some helps:
1.  Start with a Word that sums up what your church will be about.  (New Song’s mission motto is one word).  It may be a summary word or key concept from your Zera or Non-negotiables.
2.  Or you can reflect on these 3 questions:
a.  The “People” Question: specifically who are the people God is calling you to?
b.  The “Plan” Question: specifically how is God calling you to reach them and to build them up in the faith?
c.  The “Purpose” Question: specifically what does God want to do with these people?

Our Mission Motto:

 

 

 

 

 

ACTIONS:
Each year, the church will then look at it’s Mission Statement, Non-negotiables, and DREAM – and determine what are the most important actions to take this year.
In the first year of a plant, the actions are summed up in the GROWTH-MARKS document (chapters 6-9).

3. Your team will be able to evaluate your ZERA and DNA.

-  Test using the evaluation below.
-  Share your ZERA and DNA with another team and have them evaluate it.  Takes notes on what they say so you can gain greater clarity as you re-write.
-  Commit to sharing this regularly using the suggestions on the last page.

EVALUATION
a good take-home exercise

Clear and compelling ZERA and DNA are the beginning points for a church plant, and regularly has to be clearly articulated in your church. Below is an evaluation tool that can help you assess how you are doing in this area.  You may want to share with another church plant team and see how they rate you. 

Excellent - Can communicate a clear, compelling ZERA and DNA for this church; can help others visualize what it will look like in the future; can share how it is biblically grounded; and can get others excited about it.  Others increasingly are attracted to it and his/her followers are willing to sacrifice for it.

Above Average - Can articulate it quite well, but others aren’t quite as excited as they are; know how most of the pieces will fit together in reality.  Others will make some sacrifices for the mission.

Average - Understands pieces necessary for church planting, and is beginning to put them all together; is personally inspired by the ZERA and DNA, but others don’t seem to understand it very well.

Below Average – ZERA and DNA are vague and non-specific.  Unable to put pieces together to form a complete whole.  Others are hesitant to commit to it.  It lacks passion and immediacy.

Unacceptable - Unable to articulate any clear ZERA and DNA for a new church; unable to integrate a credible strategic pan; others don’t understand what the focus is; unable to convince anyone to sacrifice for it.
EVALUATION QUESTIONS & ACTIVITIES

A.  Where would you rate yourself on the Evaluation?  Why?


B.  Every week, share the mission of your new church with 5 other people.  Who will you share with this week?


C.  Every Sunday spend 3 minutes in your service communicating the ZERA and DNA of your church.  Outline here what you would say this Sunday.


D.  Every week, find 5 different events/meetings where you can share it.


E.  Set the following goals:

1). Continue to sharpen your DNA so that they become even clearer and compelling.


2). Find ways to share these with your leaders until they can clearly enunciate these.


3). Regularly evaluate every program in your church based on how well it fulfills the DNA of your church.  Have the courage to cancel programs that don’t help you fulfill it, to tweak those who could fulfill it better, or to create new ministries that can fulfill your mission in the most fruitful ways.

It’s important to test your DNA – because God will test you and reshape you so you can be ready for the vision he gave you.  Look at these thoughts from Oswald Chambers.

We always have visions, before a thing is made real.  When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on.  Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation. 
Life is not idle ore, But iron dug from central gloom,
And batter’d by the shocks of doom, To Shape and use.
God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way…  Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand…  The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be.  Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision.  Don’t lose heart in the process.”  Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, July 6


Examples

NewSong, Irvine, CA
Summary   Values       What it means
Christ   Experience   •  We celebrate our new life in Christ
•  Laughter as a sign of spirituality
•  We worship him for all He is
•  The joy and pain of the journey
  Mystery   •  We affirm the transcendent God of mysteries
•  We’re a place where you can ask difficult questions and live in the tension of paradox
  Transformation   •  People are in the process of becoming radical followers of Christ
•  We passionately participate in the rhythms of a spiritual life (head, heart, and hand)
Community   Relationships   •  A place where relationships are growing, authentic, diverse, interdependent, and at times uncomfortable
•  Conflict is normal – reconciliation intentional
  Sanctuary   •  An inviting sanctuary that provides a refuge of fellowship, rest and renewal.
•  Where the weak, the marginalized, the misfit, and the prodigal are embraced.
  Mosaic   •  We passionately pursue becoming a church of all nations
•  We celebrate our differences
Cause   Compassion   •  We make friends with those who have not experienced God’s grace and those of different cultures or socio-economic backgrounds
•  Where our lives are a witness to the love of Christ.
  Glocal   •  We adapt to the language and culture of the communities we reach
•  We feel privileged to obey the Great Commission from God both globally and locally (“glocally”)
  Creativity   •  A place where the arts are embraced
•  A catalytic center of dreams, imagination and creativity
•  Every person’s gifts are valued, developed, and deployed

 

Example of Life Covenant Church, Torrence, CA
Pastor Tim Morey

ZERA:  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.      2 Cor. 3:18

DREAM/VISION:
“To be and make disciples in authentic community for the good of the world, in the presence and power of Jesus.”

To be and make disciples – We envision men and women who live as deeply devoted students of Jesus.  They are becoming real – transformed from the inside out.  They live in this world, but belong to another.  They are learning to live their lives as Jesus would live them, and are free from legalistic rule-keeping, phony posturing, plastic spirituality, attempts to earn the favor of God and people, and from bashing themselves and others.  Their lives result in others becoming followers of Jesus as well.

In authentic community – We envision a loving, authentic community of people who want to come closer to God.  They do life deeply together.  They have been immersed in the reality of the Trinity, and are part of the great family of saints that transcends the bounds of race, gender, age, social status, culture, and time.  They journey together, encouraging, challenging, carrying, and pushing one another.  They are deeply aware that they have received compassion from God, and they give it generously to everyone they encounter.

For the good of the world – We envision an outward-focused community, eagerly looking to share what they have received.  Their lives overflow in compassionate service and in the proclamation of the good news of Jesus: that the Kingdom of God is available to all!  They are ambassadors of God’s Kingdom, placed in society as students, teachers, laborers, and professionals.  They carry Christ with them into every area of life.  Their unique giftedness is used to carry out God’s mission in the local church, and in numerous churches planted, from the South Bay to the farthest corners of the planet.

In the presence and power of Jesus – We envision people who live an authentic spirituality, intimately connected to Jesus.  The real and present life of Christ alive in them is transforming them into the people God always envisioned them to be.  They move in the strength of the Spirit, carrying out God’s purposes for them and growing in love with God and with people.  They live with grateful hearts, as those who have learned how to receive a gift.  Their thankfulness spills out in awe-filled lives of passionate worship and an outflowing of God’s grace.

Non-Negotiable core values:
•  biblical (up) - God has revealed himself through the Scriptures, which are our source of authority for life and worship
•  devotional - (in) nothing is more important than a love relationship with Jesus
•  missional – (out) mission is why the church exists
•  connectional – (together) authentic, loving community is the context for mission
•  bravehearts – courageous faith
•  contextualization - cultural relevance is not optional
•  grace-full – we will live in the abundant grace of God, freely receiving it and freely giving it away

ACTIONS: our Mission
How we see it lived out . . .
We understand Jesus’ command to make disciples to include both the spiritual formation of those who are his followers, as well as the announcing/demonstrating of the gospel to those outside the faith.
Though our ministries are varied, we see several involvements as being particularly important as we approach disciplemaking in a post-Christian culture:
Our worship gatherings, expressions of community (such as small groups, mentoring relationships, and hospitality), and serving the world represent our primary involvements as a church family.  The crucial backdrop for these collective involvements is our individual involvement in the spiritual disciplines (prayer, Scripture, solitude, fasting, Sabbath-keeping, giving, practicing God’s presence, etc). 
In living these out we lean into God’s graceful work of making us more and more like Jesus, and we embody our faith for the world around us.

On the Next Page see the 3 examples that we used for each stage in this Chapter

Citadel of Faith
Detroit, MI    
Pastor Harvey Carey  
 
Urban, Multi-ethnic
Primary ethnicity, African-American    
Zera You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  Matt 5:13-16

Non-Negotiables/Values
- Reverence God
- Reach People
- Raise Disciples
- Release Leaders

ACTION/Mission Motto
His People – His Power

DREAM/Vision
Our vision is to build a ministry where all of the hurting, distressed, confused, rich or poor of all races and cultures, will come to seek answers from the Word of God that are relevant to the issues of their lives.  In order to attract those who are in need of God’s manifest power in their lives, we will reflect the light of God through sincere and consistent connection and service to those in our community.  As we develop genuine relationships, and serve one another, our works will connect those individuals to God.  And as the life of God awakens in each individual blessed by our ministry, a community will begin to grow in which people can see the power of God change and bless their lives, their families, their communities and their world.

New Song
Irvine, CA
Pastor Dave Gibbons

Urban, Multi-ethnic, Primary ethnicity, Asian

Zera “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He… heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit…, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”  Psalm 40:1-3

Non-Negotiables/Values
- Christ
- Community
- Cause

ACTION/Mission Motto
Reconciliation
Newer update: NewSong :: third culture community

DREAM/Vision
We’re looking at becoming a church that releases our community to impact the world through the arts, relevant and holistic ministry to the poor, technology, business, media, church planting and leadership development. We are hoping to catalyze a host of ministries to address local and global concerns in a holistic and strategic way. We are serious about being an advocate of the poor and promoting justice among all humankind. There are plans for inner city development, new churches and arts/technology centers here in our backyard and around the world. We just don’t want to play church. We desire to
be the church! We like to say this “Ain’t Your Mama’s Church?”

Journey
Norman, OK
Pastor Clark Mitchell

Suburban, college town
Primary ethnicity, Anglo

Zera Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, accord to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  Ephesians 3:20-21

Non-Negotiables/Values
- Honor God
- Healthy Relationships
- Have a Blast: Live Life to the Fullest

ACTION/Mission Motto
Helping People become fully Devoted Followers of Christ.

DREAM/Vision
Our Dream is…
- Of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated and the confused find love acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, encouragement.
- Of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands in the greater Oklahoma City area.
- Of welcoming thousands into the community-life of our church by loving, learning, laughing, and being in unity together.
- Of developing people to spiritual maturity through Bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats, and a Leadership Development School.
- Of preparing every believer for an effective ministry by helping people discover their God-given gifts.
- Of releasing hundreds of missionaries all around the world and empowering every person for a personal life-mission in the world.
- Of releasing our members by the hundreds on short-term mission projects all over the world.
- Of at least 60 acres of land for a regional church with a building that will bring life to all who come.


DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan
For Our New Church

1. Theological Basis >>
  2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >>
      3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >>
        4. Evangelistic Strategies >>
          5. Our Specific ZERA and DNA >>
              6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >>
                Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering
                Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services
                Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship
                Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch
                  7. Leadership >>
                      8. Covenant >>
                        9. Finances>>

5. Worksheet - The Specific DREAM for this New Church…
  - On the back, write a letter to your church from 5 years in the future.  Describe the ministries you see, the impact you’re having, the kind of people you’re reaching, etc.  Write it from the perspective that “if money were no object, here’s what could happen in 5 years.”

The Specific DNA for this church…
  …Is Biblically Based on our ZERA verse:

 

 

D   …With God’s guidance, will result in the specific DREAM:

 

 

N   …Is firmly embedded in these Non-Negotiable/Values statements:

 


A   …And is lived out in this compelling Mission and in these Actions:
Our actions this year (year 1 general template for actions can be found in the Growth-Marks document)

 

 

 

 


Category:Seeding - Preparation for Church Planting
Category:Mission and Vision
Church Planting Resource Manual

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