Tracy Talks X


The Board and Elders continue their work in our vision discernment process. Over the
previous 2 months, they were interviewing community leaders asking questions about: who are
our neighbors; what do they need; what is being done for them; what else can be done. I have
received reports of the work they did and I will synthesize their reports into a manageable
summary of the 22 interviews. I’ll have that for them to review at the October Board meeting
and will make it available to you after their review.
Now, the Board and Elders are doing some reading. They’re reading chapters or whole books
about the mission of the Church. The authors are industry leaders on missional transformation
of churches. What does that mean? Missional transformation is the current buzzword for
churches who are being transformed from irrelevant, dying or stuck churches into vital,
relevant, healthy churches by shifting their focus from themselves to others. Churches today
are getting new life when they stop focusing inward and start focusing outward.
The reading the Board and Elders are doing will give them insight about why churches make
the shift and how they make the shift in thinking. The books include insights about how we can
plan for mission and ways we can be transformed. This transformation requires us to think
differently about what is outreach and how do we do outreach. I could tell them and you all of
whys and hows, but I want the Board and Elders and you to know that these ideas are
supported by church leaders who know the dedication of shifting the church’s mindset and
have seen the fruit of the hard work of transformation.

The Board and Elders will not need to do a book report or receive a grade. Everyone gets
100%! They’ll each share with me 3 bullet points, a quote or a paragraph summary of what
they read or thought inspired by the reading. I’ll synthesize that into a summary of all the
reading for them to review and I’ll make that available to you as well.
If you would like to also read something, please let me know. I have a chapter of a book that
would be a very good summary with nice stories to convey the teaching or I have a couple
books that you can choose an interesting chapter from. The reading will take you less than an
hour, unless you choose to read a whole book.

All this work being done by the Board and Elders will lead us to a bunch of stuff to pray about.
Through this work, God is beginning to reveal to the Board and Elders spaces where we can
serve and people we can build relationships with. My plan is to have a spiritual retreat during
worship on Sunday, November 12th for us to pray and plan. My hope is this retreat will be
when God reveals more of His vision of who we can become and what we can do through
missional transformation by our worshipful work as a congregation.
I can’t plan when God does stuff or tell God when things need to happen. We are seeking
God’s revelation in this process of prayer and work. We can’t rush God’s vision – it needs to
be from God, not us. This process of discernment has evolved as we moved along.
November 12th is my hope for a spiritual retreat during worship. However, the Board and
Elders will need to review the work they’ve done before I’m ready to say it is time for a retreat
and what that retreat will be like. I’ll give you more details about what that retreat might be
once the Board and Elders meet in October as I’m praying for God to reveal to me the next
step in this process of seeking His vision.

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)