Renewal Update – May 2022

Are we there yet?

I remember well taking summer road camping trips around the country with our family when the kids were younger. Our kids were great travelers, aside from a few isolated meltdowns that inevitably happened when bodies were tired from late campfires, irregular schedules, and days long, especially on the road. Kerri always planned special activities to do, books to listen to, games to play keeping the kids engaged along the way. But, you know the question that came up frequently in our journeys. It’s one you’ve asked, too, as kids and as adults. “Are we there yet?” It’s a natural and fair question on any journey, of course. Sometimes we could tell the kids exact miles from the mile markers along the highway. Sometimes, we’d name the next city we would be coming to before arriving at our final destination. It was always good to identify something that marked progress and encouragement for the journey.

And, so it is for us today on what we frequently have been calling our all-hands-on-deck renewal expedition that we’ve been on as a church for almost 2 years now. Are we there yet? Here’s the answer in a nutshell. We’re not there yet, but like the markers we’d point out to our kids, we’ve reached a significant buoy marker on our expedition from which we’ll gauge our continued direction and progress as the wind continues to blow and propel us along.

We began our renewal expedition with the Center for Church Renewal and our cohort partners in October, 2020. Our Renewal Leadership Team and I experienced our final Pastors and Cohort quarterly lab meetings the last week of April. We were encouraged to continue and we were blessed to remember what the Spirit has done in all of us and our congregations. Our renewal lab part of the expedition is technically concluded. Over the course of the summer we will transition our work and our team from a Renewal Lead Team to a Vision Implementation Team, marking the start of an exciting new phase of our renewal expedition journey. Now is the time we will begin to live into and follow the renewed vision for Gibson Church that the Holy Spirit has brought to us as we have been prayerfully discerning the Spirit’s leading.  

Vision22

The Renewal Lead Team and I are very eager to share with you a picture of where the Spirit is leading us in this season and over the next 5 years at Gibson Church. We are calling it Vision22 and we will be sharing the Vision Pyramid with our articulated Mission, Vision, and Values which will be our constant touchstone as we move forward. Please do mark your calendars and be sure to come to our Vision22 event scheduled for Sunday, July 17. We will celebrate what God has done and continues to do with a 9AM all-church brunch, followed by singing and worship led by Kevin, and the sharing of the vision, concluding with prayer together. Come expecting not only information, but inspiration and hope because of what the Holy Spirit is doing in renewing each of us personally, as well as congregationally. 

Holy Spirit Affirmations

We continue to name and celebrate the presence and affirmations that the Spirit is giving us to encourage and bless us on our way. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • New attendees who are not only joining us for worship, but engaging with us relationally, in prayer, and joining us on mission and in seeking and following the Spirit’s lead.
  • Spirit-filled worship.
  • The Spirit has been present and blessing our ALPHA pilot run with the 14 congregants who have participated. We have grown deeper in faith, deeper in relationship with each other, and deeper in our passion for those who do not yet belong to Jesus.
  • Our pre-worship prayer time continues to bless all who attend. We commit our worship time to the Spirit’s blessing, and invite the Spirit to come and meet each worshiper wherever we may be. And, then, we always leave time to intentionally listen to the Spirit in a Bible verse, word, or picture that the Spirit may give us. It is a beautiful time. There is still room for you to join the group at 9AM before worship. 
  • The Spirit’s blessing and affirmation of our continued offerings of missional hospitality for Laketown. 
  • Answered prayers and fulfilled prophecies that the Spirit has spoken to us along the way. I will share one of these at our Vision22 event. Stay tuned for that.
  • And more….Watch expectantly with me for more of the Spirit’s blowing in and through us personally, as well as communally as a congregation.

Renewal Lead Team

Here are some of the things we continue to work on, as well as plans for more missional hospitality in connection with our stated intent and posture of being #forlaketown:

  • Identifying a clear discipleship pathway that results in spiritual growth for each and every member and attender at Gibson
  • Plans for our fall ALPHA offering, and creating a larger support team
  • Continued monitoring of new neighbors in Laketown, and preparation of welcome bags.
  • June 2 Neighborhood Meet and Eat with Dune Buggy food truck at the Township Hall, all again in the spirit of missional hospitality and with the posture of being #forlaketown
  • Felt Mansion concert series each week in July again this summer where we’ll be present to handout free ice cream and logo’d can koezees all in a spirit of missional hospitality and with the posture of being #forlaketown
  • Developing a Pastor’s Class for any desiring to learn more about Gibson Church, and to join us on mission for the kingdom
  • Evaluating 3 quotes for upgrading our sanctuary audio and vision equipment
  • Brainstorm, identify, and prioritize other areas needing investment in our facilities and grounds to support and advance our renewed vision.

A.H.O.D.

We’ve reached a wonderful buoy marker, but we’re not there yet. We remain in a state of “all hands on deck.” Are you feeling moved to participate on what will transition this summer to be our Vision Implementation Team (VIT)? Would you like to be part of a small team that monthly assembles #forlaketown welcome bags for delivery? Would you like to be part of an identified and expanded hospitality team that will help plan and execute upcoming events we put on for our neighborhood, or in partnership with someone else in Laketown? If you are discerning the Spirit’s nudges to participate in any of these exciting activities, please see Pastor Rod or any member of the Renewal Lead Team.

Most importantly, each of us is called to faithful prayer covering all that has been communicated in this update, and more. Please, continue to pray daily for Gibson Church, for the Spirit’s blowing, for our neighbors and neighborhood, for our continued individual and congregational renewal. Are you praying, and is the Spirit revealing to you the names of 3 people who may be on a journey to God, and whom you might invite to ALPHA in the fall? 

Please join together in eager expectation for what the Spirit is doing already, and is going to do in us, with us, and through us in 2022 and beyond for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom, for our neighbor, and for Jesus’ name and his fame, all for the glory of God. 

Shalom,

Pastor Rod