A Quick Overview.
I was excited to read the past documents that have contributed to the formation of our VISION2022 goals. A lot of work, discussion and debate, has gone into this process. The next step is our strategic plan (how to get there!), currently created by significant people within our congregation who have a passion for our ministry and mission, as well as tremendous hope for our future direction. Our leadership is committed to the long-term process to realize our God-given opportunities to share the Gospel.
Back in the 1980’s I came across a business book (I can not recall the title of the book’s author, but their position left impact on my strategic thinking). If I remember it correctly, their formula went something like this: ‘Success takes place when two factors meet: PREPAREDNESS & OPPORTUNITY.’
In church terminology, God gives us opportunities on a daily basis. However, as individuals as well as a church community, we don’t often take them up, mainly because of our unpreparedness. We have no control over the substance or the nature of these opportunities God plans to give us, but we are called by God to discipleship and faithfulness (which is another way of saying, working on our PREPAREDNESS!) … see Acts 2:38-47.
Pastor Dirk Willner
So here are five developing ministries … to focus our efforts to be prepared for God-given opportunities:
At Living Word we use the Faith@Home approach, supported with resources from the LCA like FAITH5 and ‘Taking Faith Home.’ As Martin Luther equipped parents to be the primary teachers of the faith to their children, by using the Bible and resources like the Catechism, so we have chosen to equip parents and students; to build a collection of resources to help people explore the Christian faith – ‘connecting wherever they happen to be’.
The early Church thrived on practising hospitality and sharing with one another. We have set up ‘Keep-In-Touch’ groups for pastoral care, small group ministries, social events, fellowship opportunities; using an invitational approach to make friends for Christ, and connect community to the congregation – relating ministry ‘face to face’.
We aim to practice and promote the idea of including all ages; a ‘cross-generational’ ministry approach to celebrate the unique gifts individuals contribute to congregational life – ‘where every one is welcomed’.
The Reformation was instrumental in changing the face of Europe and beyond with the use of technology (the printing press) to distribute God’s Word and focus the Christian message on God’s grace. At Living Word we will be using internet technology and social networking to share the Gospel and equip people with God’s Word in this highly mobile and changing world – ‘Church beyond our Walls’.
Mission as Service
God has blessed and equipped us for service. Every mission opportunity is a service venture that requires administration and management to succeed. We are the ‘sent people of God.’ We aim to equip people, network, and develop our God-given gifts. As God has provided, so we believe we have the capacity to share. As God has blessed us, so we want to be a blessing to others – ‘staffing for growth’.
Living Word Lutheran Church, Ashmore, is a Congregation who:
- Believe in God’s grace, that through Christ, has established us to be part of the family of God
- Believe in God’s restoring power, that through Christ and His Word, heals our relationships
- Believe in the equipping gifts of the Holy Spirit, who enables everyone to have something to share
- Believe that faith is taught in the home, and that the church is the place to resource our faith
- Believe that membership is defined as partnership in ministry through prayer and fellowship
- Believe that in worship we participate in how God shares His grace and grows His blessing
- Believe that the practise of caring hospitality is the best expression of Christian fellowship
- Believe that our reformation heritage equips us to shape our future in community & the world.