The dawn of a new year brings new promise and fresh hope despite whatever difficulties and challenges we might be facing. It is important to name those promises and focus on that hope. Here are some things we are looking forward to in the year ahead.
Strategic Planning & Staff Development
- Our Strategic Leadership Team serve as my senior advisors. At the beginning of the year, for the past couple of years, we’ve spent some time with our friend Patrick Lencioni (if you don’t know who he is, look him up). Patrick helps us identify what’s working and what’s not, what’s happened to us as a group and where we want to go in the coming year.
- Then we’ll come back and do the same exercise with the whole staff. We’ll be reviewing goals for the 2016-17 season and looking ahead to 2017-18.
- Budget permitting we’ll continue to work on Staff compensation and staff development. Many of our staff are going to Andy Stanley’s “Drive” conference this spring. We also have in mind some additions to our staff when the opportunity presents itself.
- There are many areas where we know we need to take it to the next level. The first one that comes to mind is Youth Ministry. With unexpected turnover in staff the Leadership Team has already begun a top to bottom evaluation of those programs, with an eye on growth.
- Meanwhile we are proud of recent growth in Adult Ministry and Small Groups and 2017 will be about keeping the momentum going. Ministry especially will need to expand as we’ll need a lot more help in our big new space.
- Missions is still working on a proposed Baltimore City initiative, which hopefully will launch this year, as well as completing some projects with our foreign missions. They will also host a “Mission Sunday” this winter.
- Children’s ministry will find itself with quite a lot of additional space with the completion of our new building and they will be working out how to use it all as well. They’ll also be introducing a new program for 4 & 5th
Communication and Series
- We are thrilled with our new web site and look forward to exploring ways in which we can use it more effectively.
- “LIVE!” Nativity’s on-line campus has been our engine of greatest growth, and we see unlimited potential in the year ahead. We are already broadcasting all our Sunday services live, and then rebroadcasting them at additional times throughout the day. Those broadcasts can be multiplied throughout the week in the coming year.
- We’re looking at more effective, efficient, direct communication with parishioners in 2017 too. We’ll be looking at how we can get you information you need in ways that are actually helpful. We’d like to eliminate any remaining paper communication.
- We are really excited about the message series we’ve got lined up for the winter and spring and we have plenty of great ideas for summer and fall series as well.
Writing and Speaking
- Both Tom and I continue to be blessed with invitations to speak about our books. This year we already have engagements in many places: Atlanta, Austria, LA, Ontario, and Orlando, to name some of the highlights.
- We have on the drawing board a project for another book, but so far the effort has been halting. It is very much our intention to undertake this work with dedication and application in the coming year.
- “The Rebuilt Show” on Catholic TV has been well received, and we are pursuing the opportunity to pull together a second season. We’ll continue our association with “Bread Box Media Radio,” “Amazing Parish” and “Parish Catalyst.”
- We will not be offering a “Matter” conference in fall of 2017. This decision was made in view of the fact that we are moving into a new building at the same time and there is no way we can be sure everything is finished and functioning for the conference. We will be planning for an all new conference, perhaps rebranded, in 2018.
New Church Construction and Dedication
- The new church building is well on its way to completion with a newly scheduled cornerstone laying in January and a dedication date projected for late September. Fall of 2017 should be an especially exciting time as we move in and get to know our new space.
- And the new space will definitely change the whole experience of existing spaces, all that additional space inevitably and dramatically enhancing the kids and student programs and everything we do.
- This year we will undertake a third (and final) phase of our Vision Campaign. We will kick off “Vision III” with our third annual “40 Hours of Prayer” on Ash Wednesday. The goal of this phase of the campaign will be the same goal we announced at phase one: we want to raise as much as possible, borrow as little as possible, and see 100% participation among those who support us financially.
Other than that…