Looking to the Future

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 English Standard Version

Planning for Our Ministry 2024–2029

In November 2018, our congregation approved a new strategic plan, which included a revised statement of our vision, core values, key ministries, and seven objectives, as well as the reaffirmation of our mission statement, succinctly said as “Preaching. Teaching. Reaching.”

Since then, even as we implemented a number of activities and staffing changes related to this ministry plan, we also adapted to ministry challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, which could not have been anticipated in the strategic planning exercises at the time. Beginning in 2021, annual Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) have guided ministry activities. Furthermore, we have integrated opportunities that have been presented to us, such as working as the LCMS Missouri District’s pilot ministry for the Synod's Set Apart to Serve church-worker recruitment initiative in 2023 and engaging multiple teams of adults and children to participate in the District’s SHINE! Servant Events (2021, 2022, 2023).

Now is the time to update our ministry plan for the next five years.

Ministry Priorities

Four ministry priorities have been proposed for 2024–2029. These general priorities will lead to an outline of specific ministry activities for the next five years. These priorities are the result of ministry conversations among boards, committees, teams, and staff and reinforced by key scriptural principles and thoughts and themes from the resources cited for each. Additionally, priorities 1 and 3 echo two of the four critical targets of our LCMS Missouri District, which are Family Discipleship Expansion and Community Engagement, aligning our work with the observations and efforts of our Christian sisters and brothers across the state.

Our 2024–2029 ministry priorities are ...

1. Lives made different because of Jesus

 

Faith formation begins at home and individual lives are transformed by the Gospel.

 

Key Bible Passages

  • Deuteronomy 6:4–8
  • Romans 1:16

 

Go Deeper

Ben Freudenburg with Rick Lawrence, The Family Friendly Church (Loveland: Group Publishing, 1998).

Relationships Count: Engaging and Retaining Millennials (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2019).

Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin, Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2016).

Gene Edward Veith Jr., God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life (Wheaton: Crossway, 2002).

2. A different kind of education

 

Our school provides a distinctly Lutheran Christian education.

 

Key Bible Passages

  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Psalm 78:5–7

 

Go Deeper

Bernard Bull and Jim Pingel, Imagine the Possibilities: Conversations on the Future of Christian Education (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2018).

Thomas Korcok, Lutheran Education: From Wittenberg to the Future (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011).

Bernard Bull, ed., The Pedagogy of Faith (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2016).

3. A different kind of community

 

We foster and strengthen Christ-centered relationships.

 

Key Bible Passages

  • Acts 2:42–47
  • Matthew 22:37–39

 

Go Deeper

Greg Finke, Joining Jesus on His Mission: How to Be an Everyday Missionary (Elgin: Tenth Power Publishing, 2014).

Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon, The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2012).

Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008).

Terry Tieman, David Born, and Dwight Marble, Hinges: Opening Your Church’s Doors to the Community (Bloomington, MN: ChurchSmart Resources, 2016).

Reggie McNeal, Get Off Your Donkey! Help Somebody and Help Yourself (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013).

4. Make a difference around the world

 

We are active participants in God’s global mission.

 

Key Bible Passages

  • 1 Chronicles 16:24
  • Acts 1:8

 

Go Deeper

David Livermore, Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006).

Sarah Lanier, Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures (Hagerstown: McDougal, 2000, 2010).

Robert D. Lupton, Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) (New York: HarperCollins, 2011).

Duane Elmer, Cross-cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting In Around the World (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2002).

What Does a Missionary Look Like?, Mission of Christ Network (equip.missionofchrist.org/what-does-a-missionary-look-like)

Short-Term Mission Training Materials, Mission of Christ Network (equip.missionofchrist.org/short-term-missions-training)

Ministry Planning Forums

Your feedback is important. This is not just the ministry plan for our staff and leaders; this is the plan for our congregation and school to preach, teach, and reach for the next five years.

On March 18 and March 24 we offered two forums for congregation input (verbal and written) about our shared ministry. If you could not attend, we still want to hear from you. You may download the Ministry Planning Forum Questionnaire and Feedback Form below. Simply download the Feedback Form, add your responses to the questions included in the Questionnaire, and return this to the church office. There is space for general questions and comments as well as questions and comments related to each priority.

Organizing for Mission and Ministry

Revising our organizational structure is more than just about a Constitution and Bylaws. It's about faithfully stewarding God's gifts in this place and time to accomplish the mission He has given.

Our goals for revising our organizational structure include:

Our congregation approves an annual ministry plan with an adaptable organizational structure that allows that plan to be implemented.

Staff and elected leaders form ministry teams as needed (type, number of participants, special gifts desired, etc.) based upon the ministry plan and specific ministry needs.

Recruit volunteers in a way that suits their willingness and ability to serve.

Provide for ongoing recruitment, rather than a once-a-year formation of teams, allowing for greater flexibility for people to join in ministry planning and projects.

Simplify the organizational structure and maintain key leadership entities so the congregation knows where to direct questions, ideas, and concerns about ministries and programs.

All ministries will be represented in our new organizational structure.

Ensure clarity around responsibility and accountability.

Energize and engage the Voters Assembly for big-picture decision-making, goal-setting, story-telling, and celebrating mission and ministry.

Apply how we already operate when making key decisions (e.g., calling workers, records management, facilities planning, building projects) to our general ministry administration.

Key Resources

Ted Kober, Built on the Rock: The Healthy Congregation (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2017).

Ted Kober, “Policy-Based Board Governance in Lutheran Congregations.” November 6, 2008. Available at aorhope.org/articles.

David J. Peter, Organizing for Ministry and Mission (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2023).