Planning Council

What happened at our Planning Council Meeting?

Here is the summary of our 2020 Planning Council meeting that was held Friday September 25th and Saturday September 26th.

We had thirty people attend. Friday Night opened with worship and prayer for God’s guidance on the planning council and for our church.

Friday Night’s session was led by Jay Klahs and was designed as a training session for members and council to understand:

  • what the purpose and responsibilitiesof the Voters and Council are.
  • how each ministry fits into those responsibilities.
  • how to know what things should go to the Council and what should be handled in the Ministries.
  • and finally where does a person, who has an idea for the church, go for their idea to be considered. 

This section of information will be adapted and added into our Adult Instruction class so that people who join the church understand how the Voters, Council, and Ministries work together.

The Friday night Closing Devotion was led by Steve Arenz and focused on knowing God’s will.

Steve shared 7 steps for knowing the will of God.

  1. Be led by God’s Word (Psalm 119:105)
  2. Pursue purity inwardly and outwardly (1 Thess. 4:3)
  3. Trust and acknowledge God in all you do. Worry leads to bad decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  4. Be faithful where you are (1 Corinthians 4:2)
  5. Do the little things well (Luke 16:10)
  6. Endure the test (James 1:2-4)
  7. Keep being grateful at all times (1 Thess. 5:18)

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Saturday Morning Opening Devotions led by Jay Klahs was entitled, “Why Plan”? We were reminded that God is a planner – based on Genesis 1-2.

SESSION ONE (SAT AM):  What is the purpose of the church?

In this session we reviewed the purpose of the church.  We were reminded the basic function of every church is to:

  1. Teach the Word of God (this includes Bible Study and Education for all)
  2. Witness our Faith (this includes Evangelism and Mission Work)
  3. Build each other up into a maturity of faith (Fellowship)
  4. Worship and Pray (this includes Corporate Worship, Times of Prayer, Receiving the Sacrament)
  5. Service (Meeting the physical needs of our members and our community)

We asked the following four questions during this session.

1. “What then should the church be doing in all of its programs and events”?

A summary of the responses were:

  • Remember that God is Lord! It is He who builds the church.
  • Be faithful to God’s Word.
  • Hold each other accountable for our faith.
  • Minister to others.
  • Pray, Pray, Pray
  • Seek to be a living example of Christ.
  • Always be inviting people to join us.

2. “What are the most important things that we CAN and SHOULD be doing”?

There were lots of answers for this question. In summary they revolved around these ideas.

  • Reaching out to our community.
  • Showing love by meeting needs.
  • Being transparent and accountable to each other
  • Equipping our leaders, youth, and members
  • Stay strong on the Word of God.

3. “ What did we do well and/or not so well this year”?

Things We Did Well:

  • Standing on God’s word as truth
  • Doing the Mid-Week announcements
  • Expanding our youth program to Jr. and Sr. Youth
  • Our day long pray emphasis
  • Increasing our technology
  • Elders assisting in ministry more

Things we did NOT do as well

  • Not enough diversity in Bible Study – need ones for parents and other groups
  • Felt we have not reached out to the community enough
  • Lack of keeping in touch during the Covid pandemic.

4. “What changes need to happen?”

  • More community outreach
  • More Bible study options
  • Focus on trusting God better
  • Being joyful
  • Seek more unity among the ministries

SESSION TWO (SAT) We asked everybody present to look at each ministry, specifically what our constitution outlined as their responsibilities and what they had been doing. Then ask the question “What are the most important things that each ministry should concentrate on doing?”

Since some of the ministries have more than others, here are the top two things the members felt each ministry board should focus on for this coming year (2021).

Ministry of Elders

            1. Making sure worship is Biblical and uplifting.

            2. Check and call on their assigned members regularly.

Ministry of Education

            1. Foster and maintain a vibrant Sunday School program.

            2. Train Sunday School and Bible class leaders.

Ministry of Evangelism

            1. Offer training to congregational members on sharing their faith.

            2. Develop new ways to reach out to the community and share the Gospel.

Ministry of Finance

            1. Make sure the offerings are properly counted and recorded.

            2. Assist the treasurer.

Ministry of World Relief and Human Care 

(We call this Social Ministry since it deals with the needs and cares in our society.)

            1. Find new ways to help the poor and needy.

            2. Continue to support Heaven’s Pantry (our supply pantry) and the monthly breakfast
            (Proceeds from the Breakfast goes to support Heaven’s Pantry.)

Ministry of Stewardship

            1. Develop ways for people to use their gifts in the congregation.

            2. Continue to encourage all members the importance of serving God by serving others.

Ministry of Trustees

            1. Maintain the church property.

            2. Upgrade and replace items that are in need of replacement.

Each ministry is charged to seek to work on these areas and make them a priority in their ministry.

SESSION THREE (SAT) 

We took another  look at what we felt was important by rating the events that we have done over the last five years and asking ourselves which one we felt were most important, and which ones were not as important to our mission.

We ranked four events on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being the most important to do).

This did not mean that ministries could not do other events they wanted. We were simply looking for what members felt were the most important things we did overall in the congregation.  The goal was to list the most important things, so we could make sure that those are done well.                                              

The top four events/programs by far were the following:

  1. Having Adult Bible Study and Sunday School
  2. Youth Groups and Sunday School for the Children
  3. Holding Vacation Bible School
  4. Supporting Heaven’s Pantry Ministry

Therefore as a church, we are committed to making sure these ministries are supported and strengthened in 2021 and we ask each member to pray for these four ministries and seek to support them in every way they can.

Again there are many other events and ministry programs that will be done next year, and we want to encourage each member to seek God’s calling on how they can support the ministries and events that we do knowing that all that we do is to be for God’s Glory.

 It was a great weekend. Thanks to all who participated!