Starting with an away-day in 2017, our church council began the process of discerning a five-year vision and strategic plan for Deane Church. We reviewed the previous few years and noted where God was already opening doors. We looked at the needs of our church family and the needs in the wider community.
By April 2018 we had identified eight goals and a further four aims for 2018-2023. These form part of our church mission action plan (MAP) and vision. Our MAP includes a strategic plan of how we intend to achieve our goals. The eight goals for us to prayerfully work towards seeing realised in 2018-23 are:
- Three members of Deane congregation commencing training for ordained or lay leadership ministry.
- With Lostock Church, to employ full-time youth pastor.
- Each of our ministries to men, women, seniors, children and youth having a principal ministry-leader who builds a team and who works with their team to discern a vision for that ministry.
- 75% of the congregation consistently attending Sunday service or equivalent three times a month.
- Twenty home groups and 60% of the congregation regularly attending discipleship courses, home groups or equivalent.
- The establishment of a Christians Against Poverty Life Skills Centre and to add to it other courses and ministries such as the Money Course and a Job Club.
- The installation of a new kitchen and toilets in the church building completed.
- Planned giving rising by 8% each year.
And our four aims are:
- Our continuing to play a full part in the development of effective relationships across the Mission Partnership, and especially with Lostock Church with whom we share a minister.
- Deane Church continuing to grow our partnership with St Mary’s CofE Primary School.
- The development of heritage ministry which our 15th century church building lends itself to.
- The building of our partnership with Crosslinks (www.crosslinks.org) and other organisations engaged in mission oversees.
The church council will regularly monitor how we are doing in achieving these goals and aims.
We are also keen that in setting goals we don’t miss the ‘man of Macedonia’ moments (Acts 16:6-10) where God might open up a whole area of ministry / mission that we did not anticipate.
We are already well on the way to achieving some of the eight goals but it is just so much activity unless it is held in prayer before the Lord. All of these goals and aims are about building God’s Kingdom, not just growing Deane Church.
Not everything in the MAP will excite everyone in the church family. We all have different things that we are passionate about. But I hope that you will feel able to regularly pray for one or two of the goals and aims.