The world around us is in a time of tremendous change.
Geopolitical, pandemic, climatic, growing political polarization and technological changes are but few of the accelerating forces that are impacting all of us. Historically, the church, with its lifesaving message of Jesus, has historically been a slower moving institution that has been a place of comfort and refuge in times of change. Today, regrettably, the number of people in the U.S. that are seeking salvation and refuge within Christianity is diminishing in a significant manner. While over 60% of people identify as Christian, many of these Christians do not attend church.
After significant research, discernment and prayer, and with a goal of living out our mission and vision, the Strategic Planning Committee proposes that Good Shepherd utilize the many gifts bestowed upon our church, including our technological capabilities to create Jesus-serving communities both in person and virtual, with pastors, staff and lay members actively supporting hybrid ministry programs.
Specific strategic initiatives that were identified include the following:
- Enhancing the Welcome Experience
- Enhancing Worship
- External: Community
- Internal: Membership/Belonging
- Enhancing Leadership Development
- Enhancing Spiritual Development
Each initiative includes the SPC’s aspiration for plan success in 2027, material on why this initiative supports our vision and mission, how it could be implemented and who within the church we believe would help lead the advancement of the initiative.
The SPC also dreamed bigger dreams for Good Shepherd. The scale of these dreams will take more time to develop. Nonetheless, we did not want to lose these dreams, so we included them in Section V, “God Sized Dreams”. These are unfiltered and undeveloped. The dreams are meant to plant seeds for further consideration, discernment, and planning by the Board.
The SPC also recognized that the Board would benefit from recommendations on how to implement the plan. In response, Section IV regarding six steps of implementing the plan was created for the Board. For example, we recommend the first initiative to move forward would be Enhancing the Welcome Experience, since it’s a key component of our vision, builds on current activities and will be visible to all. Lastly, we believe Enhancing Spiritual Development, requires more development and requires a cultural shift within Good Shepherd that will take time.
We also included appendix material that contains specific tactical suggestions for each of the six initiatives. These are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather a collection of the ideas that came up in our research, that may be helpful to those advancing the plan.
It should be noted that implementing and advancing this plan will require investment. While the SPC did not conduct resource planning at this time, future versions of the SPC should assess resource requirements. Investments in staff and capital expenditures will most certainly be required to realize God’s vision for Good Shepherd. Other investments, such as training, technology, and more will also be necessary. If Good Shepherd is going to advance God’s mission, the mindset must be one of growth, generosity and abundance.
Lastly, in this perfect time of change, need and opportunity, the Strategic Planning Committee is grateful to the Board for identifying the need for a Strategic Planning and for chartering and supporting our efforts.
Print copies are also available at both GSLC Campuses