Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here… Vision is critical to our future. Without it, the Scriptures tell us “people perish”.
Many of our local churches have established vision statements that speak of their preferred future. Our five Fellowship Regions have Vision Statements seeking to galvanize their local churches toward a common preferred future. Our Regions’ Statements are as follows:
“By 2014 Fellowship Pacific will be a growing and united fellowship exceeding 120 congregations that are growing at a minimum rate of 5% per year (on average), and reproducing new congregations at a minimal rate of 5% per year. Our collective priorities in pursuit of this vision will be church health, church reproduction, and the leadership development necessary to accomplish them.”
“Healthy leaders, leading healthy churches into the harvest.”
“We believe God wants us to be a region of Spirit-led, thriving and reproducing churches.”
“Evangelism and Churches planting:
· 100 churches by 2013
· 100% of our churches have a plan to manage crisis
· 100 new workers for 2013
Good management and financial health of the Region:
· Establishment of a Foundation for the Region
Participation with the Region:
· 100% of our churches have an official Board of the Region (Association) in their building.
· All our churches contribute financially to the Region – 5% of their income.”
“The Fellowship Atlantic region is to develop and implement a regional, national and global strategy that results in new and growing churches made up of regenerate persons who have been baptized by immersion upon credible profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; who are obedient to His commandments (Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission.”
Our National Fellowship, on behalf of our churches and Regions, seeks to steward several areas; namely our International, Francophone, Chaplaincy Ministries along with some support services such as health care, pension plans for pastors and missionaries, church loans and other services for churches. As an organization we, too, follow a clearly defined vision and mission as follows:
“The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada will be a thriving Canadian mission organization with each of its churches growing and making new disciples of Jesus Christ both locally and globally.”
“The Fellowship is to stimulate member churches to be Biblically authentic, effective, innovative churches by:
· Developing and facilitating the relentless fulfillment of a shared vision through collaboration among the Regions,
· Developing and operating strategic, specialized ministries and,
· Providing ministry support services not available in a Region, or that benefit from economics of scale”.
Putting the Fellowship’s Vision all together
So… the vision of many of our local churches has been clearly defined. Our Regions have stated their preferred futures and the National Fellowship has stated its vision and mission as an organization.
However, is it possible to capture, in a single, powerful statement, the compelling vision, mission and values of who we are as a Fellowship so that anyone, anywhere — a missionary in Poland or Indonesia, a Fellowship Chaplain in Vancouver or Montreal, or a Fellowship local church elder in Sarnia or Winnipeg — could read our vision or mission statement and sense that it has nailed who we are and what we’re all about? I believe it’s possible. I’m convinced, it’s essential.
We have a “Statement of Faith” that binds us together. Fellowship leaders from across the country gathered together (May 31, 2013) in Congress to discuss the formation of a “Statement of Mission” that states the mission, vision and values of our entire movement. A single page document that each of us, that care about our Fellowship, can point at and say this is who we are as Fellowship Baptists.
This is a tall order to achieve. The process started soon after my arrival. The first part of the process was retrieving our constituent’s missional dreams and aspirations. Hundreds participated in four surveys conducted between January and March 2012. Focus groups were hosted across the country (March to June 2012). Two emails solicited your mission dreams and over 100 of you responded (May to June 2012) and a group exercise occurred at our 2012 Fellowship National Conference in Niagara Falls, ON seeking to solicit the “values” of our Fellowship. I estimate 500-600 within our Fellowship family have participated at some point.
The next phase was the collating and synthesizing of all this information and then, the creation of a draft document by some national and regional leaders (April 2012-April 2013). The document is called the “Fellowship Strategic Directional Document” and will eventually act as our statement of mission identifying our mission, vision, values of our entire movement.
Congress: May 31, 2013
On May 31, 2013, in Toronto, leaders from across our Fellowship (local, regional and national leaders) gathered to discuss this draft and seek the “mind of Christ”. Suggestions were made. Good suggestions that will modify the draft. I was wonderfully encouraged by the Spirit and attitude I experienced at our recent Fellowship Congress. It was hopeful and inspiring.
The process continues over the next year with greater regional input.
Please pray that the Lord will continue to guide us in creating a directional document that honours Him and greatly benefits us — a few simple statements that we can all rally behind and move forward with together.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, “A Word from Steve” email. It’s longer than normal, however, the topic merited a little more information.
Have a blessed week,
Click HERE to find out more about our upcoming Fellowship National Conference in Richmond BC.
Our 2013 Fellowship theme verse is:
“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7