The word “church” has great significance to us, yet our personal definitions of the word sometimes get confused when speaking with others about what church is. In the coming months, we’ll be en- gaging in the third part of a new vision plan for FBC Plaistow. For clarity’s sake, I thought it would be good for us to get familiar with some terms that we’ll be using throughout our exciting vision process.

A few questions to consider, looking at the triangle below, if you serve on a board or committee, where does the group fit in? What part do you and your gifts and talents fit best? What area do you think are our strengths and areas for growth? Perhaps you could send me an email or a note about your thoughts to some of these questions, I’d love to hear your responses!

How We Think About Church

The Operations are in the center and are kept straightfor- ward. Schedules are simple. Communication is clear and di- rect. Everyday language is used. Finances are transparent. Green practices are maximized. Power is measured by hu- mility. Community culture is monitored.

Gathering Big represents the things we do to focus together on God through habits of praise, prayer, sharing and learn- ing. The location is comfortable, approachable and accessi- ble. All are welcomed – individuals and families are valued. Infants to folks well into their 90′s are present for worship and the activities of our church family. Time is respected. Flow is simple, prepared and flexible. Families are together. Words are intentional. Worship is sensitive and responsive. Brokenness and grace are identified.

Gathering Small represents the ways we relate with each other, one-on-one, and with God. Safety and trust are fostered. Prayer is modeled. Current moments are shared. God’s story is dominant. Responses are treasured. Faith is inspired. Doubts are embraced. Character is celebrated. Histories are built for current grace.

Serving the Community includes anything we do to persevere alongside suffering people. Needs are identified, measured and responded to. Individuals, families and groups are served. Skills and resources are prized and engaged. Focus is narrow and deep. Local and distant people are walked with. Participation is expected. I’m looking forward to charting a course with you, and love you all!

Pastor Aaron

Click here for the full May SPIRE 2014