God’s Plan For Us
Parish Apostolic Strategic Plan (ASP)
A few years ago, using a business planning model developed by Paul Manwaring from the Bethel Church, Redding California Senior Leadership Team and his colleague Ken Williams, we very prayerfully and systematically produced an ASP for our parish and our three congregations. This approach used proven commercial and developmental tools and techniques and allowed for a heavenly perspective and divine purpose to infuse the whole process.
What is an apostolic strategic plan?
Breaking it down, a plan is something we decide to do as we look ahead. A strategic plan has a coordinated step by step approach that enables you to reach a defined future state. An apostolic strategic plan is a plan with a heavenly perspective that God has prompted, a plan to bring heaven to earth (as we pray in the Lord’s prayer – Your Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven), and to change the spiritual climate and the culture of a whole region as Christ’s Kingdom is established.
How we approached the planning process
We looked at our foundation, our founding fathers, those who had led us over the years, what God had done in the past and what we longed to see him do again. We listed all that we currently did. We recorded the prophetic words that had been spoken about the parish, its congregations and its senior leaders. We waited on God and prayerfully discerned passages from the Bible that we felt God was highlighting for us and our future. Testing all this against scripture, and with our church council, leadership and ministry team and all our people in congregational meetings, we arrived at a clearer understanding about who we were and what God had called us to do. This constituted the plan and the elements of it follow below.
What the ASP helped us to see about ourselves
Our Mission is the transformation of individuals, the community and beyond through experience of the love, presence and power of God.
What we are aiming for in the next 2 or 3 years
We will become so transformed that:
Every household in South Reading will see and hear the good news of Jesus
Deep down what is most important to us
- Honour & respect for all people –– we welcome everyone equally and treat everyone with the same respect
- Community focus – looking outwards and our prime calling is to serve those closest to us
- Transformation is possible with God – however impossible it seems at times we believe that the world around us, our sphere of influence, can be changed as God’s Kingdom comes
- Encounter with God is open to all – faith in Christ is an intensely personal relationship that is open to everybody
- Seeking and carrying the presence of God – aware of God with us and around us and in us, and also aware that we “carry” his presence wherever we go – that changes the atmosphere
Our Desired Cultures
The environment, the atmosphere, the “feel” we are trying to create
- Joy – more fun, more laughter, more smiling, not forced or frothy but welling up from deep down well of love and peace.
- Grace – God’s empowering presence that enables us to be and do what he intended. Less striving, less trying to impress, acting with mercy and kindness with ourselves and others when we make a mistake.
- Lightness of touch – we have serious good news but we want to deliver it with gentleness and kindness, affectionately. Not domineering, dictating, manipulating – but with a smile and a twinkle in our eye.
- Healing – of the whole person (body, mind, emotions and spirit) naturally in many cases, usually gradually, sometimes suddenly, often with the help of medics, but also sometimes miraculously.
Our broad priority areas
Care for the poor
Reaching every household
Enabling everyone to play their part