Welcome to 2012 and thanks for checking out my blog.
For my first post of the New Year I am going out on a limb (where I kind of spend a lot of my time) and “predict” what’s ahead for our parish, Church of the Nativity, in the coming months. No kidding, I am not clairvoyant, and definitely not a prophet. Oftentimes I am wrong about what’s next (more often than I would care to admit). Nevertheless, here’s my take on the road ahead as best I can see it from the vantage point of January 1, 2012.
#1. Music Will Get Louder
Our music is great. In 2012 it’s going to get even better, as we continue to increase our bench strength, expand our repertoire and, most importantly, raise the level of congregational singing. We are going to be a Catholic church that sings! I’ve said it before, and I know it’s true, singing is a sign of church health, and our signing will proclaim our health in the New Year.
#2. Our On Line Campus Will Explode in Growth
The live broadcast of our weekend service will take off and become a destination for hundreds of people near and far each week in the coming year. Parishioners will stay connected when traveling, and those without a church community will begin to find one with us on line. It will be an easy and convenient way for our parishioners to invite the unchruch to church. In the next few years our On Line Campus will be where we grow, and as we do we will learn how to be an effective online church presence.
#3. We’ll Host a Conference and Publish a Book
This year we will host another church conference, and actively invite leaders from other parishes to join us. And they will come. We will more generously assist other Catholic parishes struggling to be relevant and effective in their own communities. 2012 will be the year we finish the book (finally) and find a publisher (or publish it ourselves) and get it out and get people reading it. More than just telling our story, the book will be a useful tool for doing church differently.
#4. A Strategic Plan Will Unfold
In the coming year we will finalize a strategic plan to guide us through the next critical years of growth. This plan will be unlike others often developed in parishes because it will not be directed at building a beautiful church, or renovating a church building to make it beautiful. This plan will be about expanding our capacity for growth, to double in size, with functional new space that helps us welcome the unchurched in our community back to church. Parishioners will be consulted and invested and we will go together where God is leading.
#5. There Will Be a Movement of the Spirit Among Us
In the coming year we will see people get up out of the pews and start serving at a rate we have not seen before. We will become a church of member-ministers. Our heart for missions will grow, especially as we identify a strategic partner here at home, small group life will thrive and stewardship will expand as more members become stewards of our church. At the same time, our commitment to our students and kids will bear the fruit of vibrant weekend programs. The energy and enthusiasm for parish life, the depth of commitment to the unchurched, the love of the Lord Jesus will all be fruit of this movement of the Spirit among us in 2012.
It will start feeling like a movement.
We will be a movement.
We will move.
Happy New Year.