Our Vision & Strategy

 

Vision and Values Strap Line

 

-to see spiritual renewal through the transformation of lives inside and outside Avenue by the power of the Spirit and the work of the Gospel. This will result in God’s values in our lives not being contained within the church but flooding out into our neighbourhood, town, city and world.

 

Our values for a CHANGED life are:

Celebrating God’s presence

Holy Living

Active Obedience

Never ending grace

Generous lives

Engaged in prayer

Deepening our understanding of the Bible

Strategy 2017

We feel the church is in a good place after a year of significant change. New people are joining us and the structures put in place over the last few years have meant that the work of the church has the stability and confidence to go from strength to strength. Although we have the ongoing challenge of meeting the loan repayments, we are in a good financial position

The following strategy has come out of the leadership retreat led by Nick Lear on the 1st October 2016 and Jim and Andrew spending half-a-day on 23rd November 2016 thinking through the feedback from that event.

The following principals and insights have helped form the strategy:

The church is in a healthy and fruitful place in its service of God
The vision and strategy will continue to shape the culture of the church for the future
Lots of small changes have a large cumulative impact
Not to be chained to the past but honour it
We felt that the metaphor of four waves was still helpful and we would use them again for this year but noted that there was some crossover between the waves and they needed more clarity.

Wave 1-we will be a transformed people who will fully embrace God’s presence, allowing God’s love to overflow in our lives. We will learn to stand firm yet being flexible in our changing world. We will ask the Holy Spirit to give us a fresh, healthy and holy church life.

Focus on small groups-We believe that small groups could play an important role in the life of the church. Small groups offer the opportunity not just for ongoing discipleship but also pastoral care. It has been acknowledged that the pastoral care team cannot provide sufficient pastoral care with the number of new people coming to the church and small groups have the potential to provide another level of care. The previous strategy of encouraging small groups to develop around self-identifying leaders with a common interest has not worked and therefore a new strategy needs to be developed. It is suggested that a number of small group leaders be identified and asked to run a Lenten group from the week beginning Sunday 26th February to Sunday 9th April, this is a total of 7 weeks.

 

Andrew and Jim will create questions and notes to be used and although the leaders and attendees of the groups will be committing themselves to only seven weeks it will be suggested that they might like to explore continuing on after Lent.

 

Wave 2-we will be a transformed people who will work hard to serve others and bring people to a vibrant faith. Our church will be welcoming to all, being a place of refuge, safety and hope, creating a sense of belonging at every stage of life. We will pray and pray some more.

Focus on communicating and developing our values-We will do this by using our Lenten groups as a place to focus on our seven values for a CHANGED life:

 

Celebrating God’s presence

Holy Living

Active Obedience

Never ending grace

Generous lives

Engaged in prayer

Deepening our understanding of the Bible

 

The newly formed ‘WAVES’ group for our children and Y.P. will also look at the church’s values during their session on a Tuesday.

 

A banner will be created to communicate these seven values and hung up in church and we will explore each value on a Sunday (not through the sermon) for a month. For example a testimony a week for a month to demonstrate the value of ‘Celebrating God’s presence’.

Both the Dealing with Depression Course and the CAP Money Management Course were well attended and appreciated by those who were attending and therefore we will endeavour to build on this success by running the ‘Key’s to Freedom Course’ created by Mercy Ministries in 2017, probably on a Monday evening.

 

Wave 3-we will be a transformed people who will seek to know and love our community, being generous with our lives and our resources to bless others.

Focus on the creative use of the building-We will endeavour to develop the use of ‘The Venue’, in part by using the money set aside to create a distinct space. This process will begin after the summer once we have used ‘The Venue’ for a year.

 

Wave 4-we will be a transformed people who will look beyond our four walls, being connected to the realities of our global community. We will champion the cause of justice for the poor, marginalised and victimised, seeking strategic partnerships with like minded people.

Focus on social justice-It was felt that we should continue to focus on social justice by combining Wave 2 and 3. Locally we would build on our relationship with the Contact Centre, CAP and the Winter Night Shelter and explore our response to the present migrant crisis by focussing our support for refugees in Southend. Nationally we would endeavour to build our links with Ellas Home and internationally develop our relationship with Uganda starting with the Watoto choir visit to Avenue in February and our trip to Uganda in the summer.

 

 

Andrew and Jim , December 2016