Charge Conference is done for another year. I wouldn't necessarily say it is a relief, but it does feel good. All in all, things went quite well. I would have to say, though, that the honeymoon is over. I have been here three years and Mark has been here four. It is time to get down to business! I'm not complaining, mind you. I think I am ready to get down to business, particularly in the following areas:
1. Contemporary Worship - Something definitely needs to change. While the service is valued by those who attend, we need to do something to grow. Our numbers have been steadily declining and people are getting discouraged (which does not promote spiritual growth). I would love to see us adopt an Emergent Worship model, explore more of the ancient-modern practices, and incorporate more faith sharing and fellowship.
2. Stewardship - We have not paid any Mission Shares yet this year. (Ouch!) Last year we only paid about half. If we keep going in this direction we are going to lose staff. We need to get to the root of our stewardship problems. We need to look at this as a spiritual issue, not a money issue.
3. Evangelism - Okay... this is not my strong suit. But I'm willing to stretch myself. The fact is, we need to become more visible in the community. We need to believe we have something worth sharing... not just because it feels good, but because it is life-saving. One local pastor is having office hours at the Dunkin Donuts. Apparently people are willing to talk to him about faith there who would never step foot in a church. We need to do some things like this.
These are my thoughts for now. Hopefully I will have a chance to expand on them later. Now it's on to Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for these challenges, and all the blessings that come with them!