I have been the senior pastor at Our Shepherd for about one year. I now look forward to the next year, and I desire to figure out my focus for this year. What is important? What needs to change? What needs more emphasis and time?
Every day we aim to use the resources that God provides to us to partner with Him in His mission to share the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ. We pray that the Spirit of God will be at work through us to gather people to Jesus, nurture life in body and soul, and equip us to serve Christ with our words and works. Some days the calendar fills up with meetings, but most days I find myself in the gray area of undefined time when I need to see what God has for me to do. I like the open ended times of the day when I am patient for God to work through the every day moments to providentially guide me to be a part of Him at work.
Do you appreciate the structured days or the wide-open days in your life? I think the goals I have set for this next year will require some structured days, and also days when I make sure I am available for what God serendipitously plans for me.
Here are some of goals I have for this upcoming year that I hope will focus us in living our faith in the world. These goals were presented in my report to the June 30, 2019 Voters Meeting at Our Shepherd.
Everything we are called to be and set out to accomplish flows from the gifts of God we receive in the Word and Sacraments of the Church.
- Increasingly develop the consistency of worship experience on Saturday night.
- Increase the number of people that daily participate in prayer
- Continuing to develop Take 5 to Nurture and
- Providing guides for regular prayer.
- Plan multiple community prayer events through the year to encourage us to be a community that prays together.
- Provide more follow-up to people that are listed on our Notes and News Prayer Page.
God designed Christians to live together as the body of Christ. When we nurture our lives by being connected to God's Word, we are equipped for life together.
- Fall small group emphasis to renew current small groups and encourage development of new small groups as we live life together.
- Increase the number of small groups to 30.
- Offer opportunities for people to live life together in both the daytime and evening.
- Promote men’s and women’s weekend retreats so that people who have not heard about them are encouraged to participate.
- Develop Education Hour programming for middle school students that takes place when confirmation class is not scheduled.
- Provide more in-depth pastoral care to the staff of Childcare-8thgrade staff.
- Call/Hire a full time Youth and Family Life Worker that leads the development of community and spiritual growth especially among children and youth 4thgrade – 12th grade.
We have been loved by God through the amazing grace of Jesus Christ, but this is not just for us. God sends us to serve in the world through our words and actions. We have been loved, and now we respond by loving in this world. To show the love of God, we will serve the physical and spiritual needs of our members, community, and world.
- Provide financial health, grief, and divorce care programs, along with reawakening our Stephen Ministry program so that we are equipped to be active in care-giving relationships.
- Continue to develop an ongoing ministry partnership with Family of God Lutheran Church in Detroit.
- Participate in local and international mission partnerships that help us develop long term relationships. Continuing the partnership with San Juan Lutheran Church in Mexicali. In 2019 we provided $5,000 to help make the parsonage habitable.
- Establish a process for nurturing relationships with the unchurched families in our childcare.