By Mac Harris
Bethany’s vision team will present the Future Story to the congregation in a special worship service November 10. Mark your calendars and plan to be there–you don’t want to miss this!
Bethany began the transformation process a year ago when about 25 members of the congregation attended classes on church transformation. Then the congregation affirmed transformation, and prayer triads–small groups–were established to meet, pray and discuss questions of what Bethany is, what Christ wants us to be, and how to get there. As chairman of the general board, I had the task of appointing a vision team representing a cross-section of the congregation to bring all of the transformation elements together and write the Future Story.
The vision team began meeting in early February, about the same time the prayer triads started, and almost every week since the team members have met with the goal of preparing a Future Story for Bethany. Their first task was to prepare a Contextual Analysis of the congregation and the community.
That was followed by reviewing the responses of each of the prayer triads to questions the triads answered in their 10 meetings over 10 weeks. Upon the triads’ completion of their studies, the vision team summarized their responses while considering each response and adding its own where they felt led to do so.
Then the vision team wrote a Vision Statement for Bethany that is both the prelude to and summarization of the Future Story. The Vision Statement, Contextual Analysis and Future Story will be included in a booklet that will be furnished to each member of the congregation during the presentation Nov. 10. Each member of the congregation will be asked to read the booklet over the following week. There will be a congregational meeting after worship Nov. 17, at which the congregation will be asked to affirm the Future Story.
The vision team began every meeting with a prayer for guidance from the Holy Spirit and a devotional appropriate to the team’s task, and concluded every meeting with a prayer. The team has worked hard to write the Future Story not as they wanted the church to go, but as Jesus Christ directs us to go.
While I am not part of the vision team, I have attended every meeting so far and have concluded that if all of us are as dedicated in our love of Christ and of our congregation as the members of the vision team, then Bethany will be heading in the right direction to do the will of Christ. I look forward to its presentation of the Future Story, as I hope all of us do, and I stand ready to do my part towards Bethany’s transformation as we begin as a congregation to travel the road ahead with Christ and for Christ.