April 2024

Dear Friends,

This past January, I mentioned that our leaders were beginning to look at a Visioning Process for 2024 and beyond. I am very excited about how it is proceeding, and I wanted to give you a preliminary update. I look forward to sharing more information with you shortly.

Update on Vision and Planning

This year, we have been working with experienced pastoral leaders of the Unstuck Group, thinking through the concept of “Vision” and what our chosen vision may mean for our ministry going forward.

The Session met for a retreat in January and was inspired by author Michael Hyatt in his book “The Vision Driven Leader.” Hyatt defines a vision this way: “Vision is not the same as a vision statement or a mission statement that you can print on a mug. A vision outlines a clear, inspiring, practical, attractive picture of the future. It’s a clear picture about where you see your church in the next 3-5 years. It’s written about reality as you see it and written in the present tense (I am, we are, we do, we have, etc.).”

In February, a group of staff and LCPC elders convened to focus on a vision for LCPC. Vision is the DESTINATION, where we see the church heading. We met with the goal of creating what we believe can be accomplished through our church over the next 3-5 years. The guidance we received on the vision parameters are:

Be Concise: This is not the place to stuff a document with fluff statements. It should be simple, easy to read and cut to the essentials, so that it can be set to memory and be repeated accurately.

Be Clear: A good rule of thumb for clarity is to focus on only a few primary goals, rather than trying to fill the document with a scattering of ideas. Fewer clear objectives are also easier to focus on and achieve.

Have a Time Frame: A time frame is simply a fixed point in the future when you will achieve and evaluate your vision statement. Define that time.

Be Future-Oriented: Again, the vision script is not what the church is presently engaged in but rather a future objective where the church plans to be.

Be Challenging: That said, you don’t want to be timid in setting your goals. Your objective shouldn’t be too easy to achieve, but also it shouldn’t be so unrealistic as to be discarded.

Be Inspiring: Live up to the title of the document and create something that will rally the troops and be desirable as a goal for all those involved in the organization.

A key goal of this vision and planning process is for us to set aside specific time to think and pray through these questions:

  • What will be different about our church in three to five years?
  • What will be different about our community in three to five years?
  • How have lives been changed because of our effort?
  • What might God do through our church if we believe He can?
  • What metrics can we use to measure these differences?

As we have been working through these considerations, we also must:

  • Picture what we want, not what we think we can do based on our current reality (finances, people, current roles, etc.). In other words, don’t think about the obstacles. We are asking what we would attempt if we knew we could not fail.
  • Be BOLD! Think big. Incremental change will not inspire. Ask the Lord to free our mind to explore what could be accomplished.
  • Put ourselves 3-5 years into the future. Try to imagine what our future looks like. What does it feel like? What do we hear? Who do we see?
  • Not get stuck on how it will come to fruition. How we will accomplish our vision will be defined after the vision is set. We are putting the “how” it will be achieved question aside for now.
  • Celebrate the past AND look to the future. When we are dreaming of what could be, don’t let the past, or past methods, hinder our creativity. Use the past to inspire, not limit, the future. How can we explore creative methods to engage with a new generation?

As more foundational work to our planning, March brought us together to understand the special gifts of each staff leader and how our ministries come together. Now that we have experienced the blessings of Easter, we will refine the work so far on our Vision and come back together to finalize next steps. We ask for your prayers, and we appreciate your support.

God bless you!
Ross

February 2024

Dear Members and Friends of LCPC,

Over the past many weeks, I have mentioned that I have a “stirring” in my spirit regarding what God is about to do at LCPC. In order to consider the direction of God’s Spirit, we know that it is important for us all to listen to the voice of God and to follow where the Spirit leads. As we do so, we will have an opportunity to discern God’s vision for our church into the next 3-5 years.

As I have shared with you, our Session recently authorized us to engage with a consulting group which has been well-vetted in helping other churches (including Presbyterian churches) with a similar size and demographics to our congregation to discern what God’s unique vision is for each church. The name of this group is “The Unstuck Group” and their goal is not to tell us how to do ministry, but to help us find the places where churches often get “stuck” in developing the strategies to achieve that unique vision. Although they will be meeting with us to guide us through this process, the direction and decision of each step along the way will be in our hands.

On the other side of this letter is an initial “question and answer” sheet to give you more information about this visioning process. Currently, we are in the first stage, which is to assess our ministry. Once this step is done, we will be clarifying the draft vision statement for our church and the strategies we will use to achieve that vision over the next 3-5 years.

I will post updates on our LCPC website page periodically and further updates will be offered in the weekly emails. Please know that you are welcome to email questions to: gloria@lacandapc.org. You are also invited to speak to me directly if you have any questions.

We have seen wonderful things transpire at LCPC over the past 75 years. Now, as we prepare for the amazing opportunities ahead to serve the Lord, I look forward to seeing how God will help us flourish into the future. With a fresh new vision, a vision that stands on our past 75+ years of solid Christ-centered ministry, we will move prayerfully into the future with a renewed focus and energy. I am so glad that we are in this ministry together! Please keep the Leadership Team in your prayers as we begin this exciting process.

With deep love and gratitude for all of you, in Christ,

Pastor Ross

Visioning Process

Why have we engaged with “The Unstuck Group”? 

Q: Why are we planning for the future?

A: The Unstuck Group’s process helps us gain perspective on where we are now and clarifies where we believe God wants us to go. Just as an annual check-up with a doctor helps a person confirm the areas of their health that are thriving and areas that need attention, so we believe our visioning process will help us do the same as a congregation. With that information, we can plan toward a vision for overall health. We believe planning for the future is good stewardship of the mission God has given us as a church.

Q: Why did we bring in The Unstuck Group?

A: The Unstuck Group’s process will help our church move from where it is to where God wants it to be. Their goal is not to tell us what to do or who to be, but to help us identify the challenges and opportunities we have as a church body. The church leadership selected The Unstuck Group based on its experience in working with hundreds of churches of all shapes and sizes every year. Their consultants are current and former pastors and church leaders who have experienced success in ministry. We checked references. The pastors and churches we spoke with confirmed that this group’s processes are effective and its team members are focused on kingdom impact, strategic action, and generosity.

Q: Who is on the planning team from our church?

A: The team consists of our Pastors (Ross Purdy, Chuck Osburn, and Cindy Frost), Directors (Jack Lantz, Anne Bierling, Robert Yamamoto, and Heather Henry), and three Elders (Barry Reed, Mary McMullin, and Matt Allen).

Q: What is the ultimate goal of this process?

A: After completing this process, we hope to have a clear vision and a strategic plan to be more faithful as stewards of our people and our resources. As we seek God’s direction and put it into action, this forward momentum will help our Leadership Team become re-energized by the common mission and develop a clear understanding of their roles. It is our hope to see more people take their next steps with Jesus and deepen their spiritual lives as disciples of Christ.

Q: What does the process look like?

A: Over the next 12 months, The Unstuck Group will work together with our staff and lay leadership teams to paint a clear picture of our ministry’s health, clarify our vision and priorities, create specific action steps to move us toward our vision, and coach us through putting it into practice. In phase one, we will gain perspective as we answer the question, “Where are we now?” Phase two is all about building strategies and planning where we go from here. In phase three, we prioritize our actions and start moving forward. At the end, we will have clarity around whom we believe God has called us to be, what He has called us to do, and where to start. After that, the work is up to us.

 

30 Days of Prayer (1536 x 864 px) (1)

Now, I would like to invite you to join us in a 30-day prayer experience. Would you join me in praying for this visioning process to hear God’s voice clearly as we prepare for A Vision for 2024 and Beyond. The outline can be found here