A FIVE-YEAR PLAN FOR CALVARY MEMORIAL CHURCH
Sermon 2 of 9 from the State of the Church Sermons series
January 1991 – First Draft: January 15, 1991
Submitted by: Ray Pritchard, Brian Bill, Bill Miller, Bob Boerman, Terry Strandt
I. Why this plan is offeredA. OUR MANDATE: The Great Commission of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples.
B. OUR OPPORTUNITY: The spiritual hunger of this generation.
C. OUR MOTIVATION: The conviction that we may be living in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ.
D. OUR NEED: Ministering in the 90s requires visionary thinking, aggressive action and a clear plan for the future.
II. A Mission Statement for Calvary Memorial ChurchA. Who we are–Calvary Memorial Church is an independent, evangelical congregation located in Oak Park, Illinois. We are a community of believers dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission through worship, discipleship and evangelism.
B. What we hope to do– We desire to see our whole congregation involved in making disciples for Jesus Christ first in our own community, then in the surrounding communities, then throughout this region and ultimately to the ends of the earth.
C. What kind of people we hope to be–We desire to be people characterized by Holiness, Compassion and Zeal. We want to live lives pleasing to God in every way; we want to manifest God’s love in all our relationships; we want to be enthusiastic in our efforts to share the gospel with the whole world.
D. How we want to do our work–We want to reach people for Jesus Christ through High-Quality, People-Oriented ministries.
1. High-Quality ministries are those done with excellence, innovation and integrity. Excellence wins the respect of our community; Innovation puts us on the cutting edge of our culture; Integrity guarantees that our work will stand the test of time.
2. People-Centered ministries are those that have their central focus on meeting the real needs of people. In particular, a people-centered ministry is one in which helping people takes precedence over the details of running a program. Since people are more important than programs, if a program does not meet the real needs of people, it will either be restructured so that it does meet needs or it will be stopped altogether.
III. A Key Statement for the Next Five YearsA. Any statement chosen must meet the following criteria: Simple, short, easy-to-remember, related to the major thrust of the church.
B. We suggest the following “atmospheric slogan": Reaching People With God’s Love.
D. It is short, simple, and easy-to-remember. Most importantly, it sets forth a “tone” or “feeling” or “image” compatible with our general thrust for the next five years. Reaching implies openness, friendliness, progress, direction, movement toward a goal, and a general outward thrust. People is a “warm fuzzy” word. It suggests we want to be a family of believers and not a religious institution. It further suggests a “people-orientation” as opposed to a “program-orientation” or a “building-orientation.” God’s love suggests many things, all of them very positive for our purposes. It suggests forgiveness, warmth, caring, openness, a chance to make a new start, a basis for love that lasts forever. In particular, “God’s love” is a concept that is very appealing to the unchurched. It doesn’t sound churchy or religious or stuffy. It’s what they’ve been looking for.
E. In essence, this “atmospheric slogan” is just that: It sets a very positive “atmosphere” for all we intend to do in the next five years.
IV. Three areas of focusA. We suggest that the work of the church can be well-expressed in three key words:
B. It is crucial that the church move forward in all three areas all the time.
C. We suggest taking the word “Reaching” from the “atmospheric slogan” and placing it before these three key words as a description of what our church is all about:
D. We also suggest fleshing out these three words with the following words and phrases that suggest how the key words apply to Calvary:
Reaching Upward–Worship, Praise and Prayer.
Reaching Inward–Caring Relationships, Accountability, Spiritual Growth.
Reaching Outward–Community Service, Evangelism, World Missions.
V. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHERA. Our mission statement: We are a community of believers dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission through worship, discipleship and evangelism.
B. Our atmospheric slogan: Reaching People With God’s Love.
C. Our Three-fold Thrust–Inward, Upward, Outward
D. What we want to manifest: Holiness, Compassion, Zeal
We are a community of Believers dedicated to … .
Fulfilling the Great Commission
(Reaching People with God’s Love)
Action Focus Result
Worship Upward Holiness.
Discipleship Inward Compassion
Evangelism Outward Zeal
Worship = Honoring God through praise, prayer and obedience
Discipleship = Growing in my relationship with God and other believers.
Evangelism = Sharing God’s love through word and deed.
VI. A Plan for the Next Five YearsA. Having said that the church must always move forward in all three areas (Inward, Upward and Outward), we also believe it is wise to emphasize each area in turn.
B. We suggest adopting a plan for our church that would emphasize these aspects in a three-year cycle.
C. We are united in our conviction that the place to begin (i.e., Calvary’s greatest current need) is with the inward look. As growth has occurred over the last 10 years, we have become less like a family and more like a big church. While we anticipate (and want) our growth to continue, we believe that we must take some intentional steps to create a “family spirit” in our church.
D. This thesis stems from the following societal observations: As we move through the 90s, American society will become more fragmented, more pressured and less cohesive. As families continue to disintegrate the church much become a “caring place” where people can find brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and cousins and uncles and aunts to replace what they have lost in the world.
E. We believe that as we take intentional steps to become more of a caring family, our church will experience rapid growth as people in the community discover that we are not just a building or an institution, but that we are a family built on God’s love. With that in mind, here is our picture of the next five years at Calvary:
1991–The Church as a Caring Family
Our focus will be Inward as we stress those factors that will unity, family spirit and caring relationships. Special attention will be given to all-church fellowship times and to ministries that help people get to know one another. Later in the year the Shepherds will host home-based Fellowship Socials so that our people can meet the other church members who live in their area.
1992–The Church in Worship and Discipleship
Our focus will be Upward as we learn more about the power of worship and praise. We are also committed to beginning a major new small group emphasis in 1992 and to strengthening our Men’s and Women’s Ministries. We are investigating the possibility of beginning a contemporary worship service in the fall of 1992.
1993–The Church Spreading the Gospel
Our focus will be Outward as we concentrate on ways to spread the gospel to our community. We anticipate a major emphasis on target ministries and on short-term mission trips. This would also be the year for us to begin our Day-Care Center.
1994–The Church Training Leaders for Tomorrow
Our focus will be Inward as we begin to train the new believers God gives us as a result of our year of outreach. We also want to give special attention to our young people (children and teenagers) who represent Calvary’s leadership for the 21st century. This would be the proper year for us to begin our Christian Day School as a part of our investment in the future. We anticipate that by 1994 our small group ministry will have developed into four branches, one of which will provide advanced ministry training opportunities.
1995–The Church in Praise and Worship
Our focus will be Upward as we gather in the harvest from the last five years. During this year we will highlight our music ministry, our children’s ministry and the CMC prayer ministry. During this year we will celebrate the completion of our building renovation program and rededicate ourselves for the next five years of service for Jesus Christ.
VII. Expected Results of this Five-Year PlanA. Intangible Results
1. Much deeper “family spirit”
2. Many more trained and active spiritual warriors
3. Effective leadership training program in place
4. Wide range of small groups available
5. Better retention of visitors
6. Known in community as a caring, need-meeting church
7. Wider cross-section of people in congregation
8. More people involved in actual ministry
9. Vibrant services of worship and praise
10. Deeper knowledge of God and his Word.
B. Measurable Results
1. 2000-2500 in our church family (1469 currently)
2. 1000-1200 worship attendance (750 currently)
3. 750 in Sunday School (450 currently)
4. 30 Adult S.S. Classes (11 currently)
5. 75% of adult attenders in a small group
6. 80% of adult members involved in regular ministry
7. $1.5 million budget ($900,000 currently)
VIII. Advantages of this approach1. Three-year cycle covers all major aspects of church life.
2. Cycle can be extended indefinitely (e.g., 1996–Outward,
1997–Inward, 1998–Upward, 1999–Outward, 2000–
3. Allows us to highlight all the ministries of the church over
a 3-5 year period.
4. Cycle can be adjusted at any time to allow for new
opportunities that arise or new challenges we face.
5. Allows us to make orderly plans concerning the budget,
program expansion, staff expansion and building needs. 6. Offers a basic flow or pattern to church life that gives us a
sense of purpose and direction.
IX. Major Tasks For 1991A. Churchwide Tasks
1. Hiring of Director of Children’s Ministries
2. Adoption of New Constitution
3. Begin Building Renovation Program
4. Present Five-Year Plan to Congregation
B. Tasks relating directly to building a Caring Family
1. 2 All-church Fellowship Socials hosted by the
2. Expand Adult Sunday School to 15 classes.
3. All Board members host 6 new (to them) families in
4. For Visitors: Complete new church brochure
Implement Visitor Follow-up Plan
5. For New Members: Quarterly welcome parties
New Member Sponsors
6. Morning Worship:
Preaching to emphasize Jesus and his
relationships with people
Reform/Reorganize Greeters & Ushers
Pastoral Staff to wear laminated name tags
Choruses & Praise Music
Encourage people to greet one another after
the morning service
“Take a Friend Home for Lunch” Sunday
More pastoral prayers
7. Sunday Evening Service:
Continue to stress importance of
Continue format, esp. fellowship time
Occasional Q & A or small-group discussion
Communion on Sun Eve 3 times
New Worship folder with “atmospheric slogan”
Weekly Family Newsletter with many personal
details of people in our church family.
9. Stress all-church fellowship events:
Memorial Weekend BBQ (by youth group)
Day in Our Village
Sunday Nite at the Movies
Family Camp Week
Church Picnic (July 28)
10. Change Harvest Home from Fund-raising to
a great family celebration event
11. Hire Cliff Raad part-time to oversee growing
C. Tasks Relating to future years of this plan
1. Complete strategy for small group ministry
beginning in 1992.
2. Complete planning for possible contemporary worship service in 1992.
3. Budget for 1992 on the basis of the priorities in this plan.
4. Flesh out details for 1992-1995.
5. Coordinate Building Renovation Program with this plan.
X. Possible Staff Expansion, 1991-19951991–Director of Children’s Ministries (fulltime)
Director of Shepherding Ministry (part-time)
1992–Pastor for Small Groups/Adult Ministry
XI. How the Building Renovation Relates to this Five-Year PlanA. Our Basic Conviction–It is the fervent, deeply-held and absolutely-united conviction of the pastoral staff that completing the building renovation campaign is crucial to the success of this five-year plan. We must not delay or postpone this project any longer.
B. Our Reasoning:
1. We must prepare now for the surge of new growth we believe God will give us in the next five years. If the numerical goals set forth in this plan are reached, it will mean doubling or even tripling our current building usage with a corresponding further deterioration through increased wear-and-tear. The longer we wait to start the renovation, the more it will cost us later.
2. Our building is a major tool for catching the interest of the unchurched population. If they come in and find worn carpets, poor lighting, an inadequate sound system, hymnals that fall apart when you pick them up and bathrooms that deserve to be called latrines, they are not likely to be impressed with our message of God’s love. The reverse is also true. A well-kept, beautiful, modern building is a powerful asset to our message.
3. How we maintain our building makes a statement about how we feel about God. How we keep the house of God says something about the depth of our personal commitment to Him.
4. We have a sacred obligation to do the major repairs necessary now so that the building may be preserved for the generations to come.
5. We believe that the first priority must be given to those high-visibility areas that directly impact visitors–the sanctuary, the classrooms and the bathrooms.
6. We suggest that the recommendations of the Accessibility Committee also be given high priority. This would be a tangible expression of our deep commitment to reaching people with God’s love.
7. Finally, we suggest that since 1993 will be the Year of the World, that the items in #s 5-6 be completed by that time.
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