Church Ministry/Vision Plan

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Blog

Recently I was asked to present the ministry plan for the church I serve as pastor. A church ministry/vision plan was provided as a template. After reading this template I was sickened, stricken with the taste of religious propaganda at its worst or church growth methodology at its best—maybe there is no difference. Nonetheless, I acquiesced to the request and plugged my vision into the template hopefully providing a good compare and contrast. I don’t have a corner on the market of ministry vision plans, yet there are important biblical differences to be noted in my compare and contrast.

My name is Brian Johnson. I am the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church (CBC). Our church is small in a community of approximately 12,000 people. Over the past year God has blessed us to witness two people come to faith in Christ and be obedient in the waters of baptism. These are the first baptisms in 3 years. The population of our church field is fairly diverse and blue collar. Our community is highly religious with 34 churches in the city limits and approximately 70 in the county. The population of the county is approximately 33,000 people.

In a community saturated with religion our goal is to avoid the promulgation of programmatic cultural-Christianity, while seeking to bring pure and undefiled religion in the name of Christ. The plan we have as a church seeks to be biblical with several interrelated aspects.

First, CBC will increase numerically if God wills. However church growth is not our goal; gospel growth and an increase in the Word is our aim. We desire to mature in Christ and be faithful witnesses for Christ. We pray that God’s word would increase among us and that the gospel would grow in our midst. Gospel growth is our goal. We will water and plant while trusting God for the increase. We realize the need for change and by God’s grace we will become firmly established in our faith seeking to be disciple-making disciples. In order to achieve these goals we plan to do the following:

  • Focus less on programs and more on people. Our goal is people growth and not program growth. We desire to keep from viewing people as a means to an end of ecclesiastic growth. Our desire is to encourage each other to walk in Christ, rooted and built up in him, well established in the faith. Gospel growth will come through proclaiming Christ, warning everyone in Christ, and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. To achieve these goals we will struggle with all of his energy that he powerfully works within us. We seek to do this daily and encourage each other in Christ to be faithful to our calling.
  • Preach the word in season and out of season. Utilizing the traditional meetings will accomplish this goal. By training the people of the church, through our various meetings, how to share the gospel in a variety of ways, we pray the God will give the increase. Preach the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation. Preach the gospel to the regenerate and unregenerate alike. Preach the gospel in its fullest and richest sense, knowing that in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith.

Second, we believe that if we equip the church to do the work of the ministry each person will uniquely utilize the gifts of the Spirit for the glory of Christ. Each person will use his or her gifts for the common good of the body of Christ making it grow, being built up in love. Through this ministry the church will become a more lucid gospel witness. This gospel witness will be evident in three ways:

  • In the lives of individual members displaying the fruit of the Spirit, while speaking boldly for Christ where he has placed them.
  • In our gatherings. We will seek to display and proclaim Christ in all that we do. Our meetings shall contain the verbal proclamation of the gospel as well as a visual witness to the power of the gospel in changed lives as we fellowship. And not only in changed lives, but also in how we interact as the people of God.
  • In the structures of the body. This is in regard to how our church relates to each other within God’s ordained roles. By this we believe that the gospel will shape homes, relationships, and our church structures to more clearly reflect the gospel.

Third, we believe that the church also needs strong central leadership. Through teaching on the subject of biblical leadership, what those leaders are to do, how they are to carry out their charge, and who they are to be; we believe that the necessity of biblical leaders will be evident. Developing leaders must be an intentional effort of the current leadership. Leadership development takes time and must be conducted with the greatest care.

For our church to be able to do what we believe God is leading us to do, we must go beyond trusting in our own fleshly efforts, depend upon the Lord, and conduct his ministry through us according to his biblically ordained means. We must do the following: Trust in the Lord, working with all of our might, trusting not the work of our hands, leaning not on our own understanding. Pray unceasingly that his kingdom come and his will be done. Faithfully discharge the ministry we have been entrusted, fighting the good fight, waging the good war, and walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.

If our church achieves the objectives laid out thus far, God will be praised and the fame of his name will spread. Only through God’s grace will such things come to pass. Hopefully God will establish our congregation as a pillar and buttress of the truth—all done by his mighty right hand. Prayerfully God will no longer be honored with our lips while our hearts are far from him. This brief statement of the vision of CBC is not by any means exhaustive, or perfect in the things God desires for his people, however, a picture is outlined of the reliance of our church upon what Scripture expresses as God’s desire for his church.

The following template that given to me as an example.

““Sample” Church Ministry/Vision Plan

I have been the pastor of Sample Baptist Church (SBC) for two years. Our church averages 72 in worship and is in a community of approximately 20,000 people in a five mile radius. The church budget is $56,000 for a per capita giving of $15.00 per attendee per week. Our church baptized eight people the first year and seven people last year. We are involved in helping support a mission effort in Romania and have been involved in that project for just over a year now. The population in our church field is fairly diverse, blue collar, and very traditional. The statistics tell us that 52% of the people in the five mile radius do not profess to be Christians and do not attend a church anywhere in the city as far as we know.

The vision I believe God would have us to achieve has several aspects, but all are inter-related.

  • First of all, I believe our church should double in attendance in the next five years, and be averaging around 140-150. If we grow 20% over each of the next three years and 10% the next two years, we would be averaging 148 at the end of five years. We realize that we are not going to be able to do that by doing just what we have done over the last two years. In order to reach 14 people next year, we are going to do the following outreach activities:
    • Conduct a community needs assessment. This will involve our church members in better understanding our church field and how they can play a role in reaching this community for Christ.
    • Conduct a series of evangelistic events in the community aimed at addressing the top need as discovered in the community assessment. This will require many in our church to be trained in how to share their faith in the marketplace and during an outreach event.
    • Conduct at least four Backyard Bible Clubs in four key locations that address the diverse people groups living in our church field.
    • Preach messages that lead people to come to a place of decision regarding their spiritual life and eternity.
  • Secondly we believe that 70% of those added to the church in that five year period should be those who have been led to Christ by our church members. We believe that if we equip our people and get them into our community, then the number of people reached will significantly affect our baptisms over the next five years. We also believe that if we are successful with our first objective, then a significant number of those reached will be of a different people group than what has traditionally been the makeup of our church. For this to be successful we must help our church members understand and embrace the various cultural differences we have, but also recognize that we are one in Christ. This process will require a drastic increase in the number of leaders needed in our church to minister to the new believers and those from other cultures. To achieve this objective we must do the following:
    • Inform and educate our people in the cultural diversity found in our community.
    • Train leaders from those cultures that are reached and give them leadership roles in our church.
    • Prepare for the addition of other staff members that will change the dynamic of the church as people have known it in the past.
    • Begin to address future space and resources needed to achieve our vision.
  • For our church to be able to do what we believe God is leading us to do, our budget must also double over the next five years, just to keep pace. We must go beyond that to be as effective as we can be. To accomplish that, we must do the following:
    • Share with our people the biblical teaching and mandate to give as the scripture teaches.
    • Help them to better understand how we work together to address the Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost from a practical way that allows us to be involved in Kingdom things globally.
    • Keep them informed of where our church is regarding the giving, and what the money is being used to accomplish.
    • Always be open and honest with the people regarding finances.
  • If our church achieves the objectives laid out thus far, there will, of necessity, need to be consideration given to establishing new congregations among the people groups being reached through our outreach events and other community activities. We would seek to establish two new congregations over the next five years among the people groups in our church field. We realize that we as a congregation cannot possibly accomplish this on our own, but we will seek to do the following to make these congregations a reality:
    • Seek out other pastors of like passion and partner with them to establish these congregations.
    • Seek out the help and support of the local association, state convention, and national entities to assist us in reaching out to the people in our church field.
    • Seek to establish these new congregations with a success mentality, not a survival mentality.
    • Encourage our church members to become involved in helping these new congregations grow and become strong forces for Christ in our neighborhoods.

This brief statement of the vision of our church only takes in the first steps in a five year process and is not by any means exhaustive in the things we will seek to do, but it does give us a picture of a preferred future for our church and some broad strokes as to how we can get there.

This sample gives a basic idea of what a church believes God wants them to accomplish and what the next steps are to the best of their understanding. This is what would be helpful from each church in the association and the city. From these individual vision statements we can get a good idea of what needs to be done next.”

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