Mission

Generations: An Introduction

This summer we have been clarifying our mission and values as a parish, and also how we can put our mission and values into practice in real time. A big part of that is Generations--a discipleship ministry that is specifically crafted for the whole family (ages 1 through 100). At Generations we will give you the tools you need to take discipleship home with you, no matter what stage of life. Generations will meet every Wednesday Night beginning at 5:30 p.m., from September 14 through May.

Here's a sample of what you'll experience:

5:30 p.m.   Dinner starts at 5:30 (Suggested donation of $5). We cook so you don't have to! Come to eat together and get to know the Good Shepherd Family.

6:00 p.m.   A family or group from our church will lead a brief version of Evening Prayer straight from the prayer book. The family that prays together stays together!

6:15 p.m.   After Evening Prayer, one of our Lay Catechists will present a short catechetical meditation on an aspect of our faith. The theme will change weekly.

6:30 p.m.   After the catechetical presentation, we will break into small groups at round tables. A Lay Catechist at each table will lead each group in a guided meditation based on the theme of the night.

6:45 p.m.   Generations will close with prayer and a few suggestions from Fr. Brian about how to apply and use the night's theme at home.

There is something for everyone at Generations! And if you can't make it in time for dinner, no problem! You are more than welcome to come at 6:00 for the discipleship. And if you can only make it for dinner, well, that is fine too! What really matters is that you are part of our church Family. See you there!
 

Our Mission: The When and Where

It is a great thing to have a mission statement and solid core values, but it will be totally worthless unless we actually enact it! We must set our mission in motion in such a way that is accessible and inviting.  Anyone who walks through our doors should be able to immediately discern our clear path of discipleship and how to get involved.

Here’s the path: Worship -> Grow -> Care. Now how do we do it?

Our access point is Sunday morning. If you are a member, Sunday morning is a given. Sunday is kind of what we Christians do. For our members, Sundays are for worship.

And if you are new, your first real contact with our church will likely be on a Sunday morning. Even if you are not an Anglican, or not a Christian, the liturgy of the word is open for anyone to come into the midst of our loving community and reflect on the meaning of life and the lessons implicit in the celebration of our faith.

Sundays are to Reflect and Worship.

Now, for Grow and Care. Of course, there are already many ways to grow and care in our parish already, but what we do not have is a clear path from one to the next. What we have currently is not so much a path as a mosaic. A mosaic can be a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t make a good map to follow!

We live in a complex world. People are busy. Families are busy. So let’s make it simple for everyone. Generations, on Wednesday nights, has been specifically crafted to provide everything we need to Grow and Care. And it gives us a clear-cut, straightforward path of discipleship that enables us to fulfill our mission and easily invite newcomers into the life of our church.

Worship -> Grow -> Care

Sundays -> Wednesdays

Our Mission lived out in real life: Clear. Simple. Straightforward. Discipleship. As I’ve said before, our mission is not another thing we do, it is the thing we do. Put the start date (9/14) for Generations on your calendars, and be prepared to grow together!

Father Brian

Our Mission: The How

Worship -> Grow -> Care

 

This path for discipleship corresponds to the greatest Commandment, to love the Lord our God (worship) with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (grow), and to love our neighbors as ourselves (care).

Our goal is to make this a reality for every single member of our church at every stage of life. Our path for discipleship is simple and applicable to everyone, no matter their age.

 

To reflect on life and encounter God by providing a way for everyone to:

1) Worship in beauty,

2) Grow together, and

3) Care for one another.

 

It cannot be said enough: our mission is not another thing we do; it is the thing we do. And the thing we do is make disciples. Our mission statement puts forward a clear and simple process for doing just that.

Father Brian

Our Mission: The What

In May, we took an exciting step forward and published our new Mission Statement. Our mission will make our ministry more impactful by uniting us around a single purpose. And if we are to choose to do one thing well, that one thing ought to be discipleship.

Most people know Matthew 28 as the chapter of the Bible that contains the Great Commission, in which Christ commissions the Church to “go into all the world.”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

What most people don’t know is that in the original Greek, there is only one command in this entire sentence, and it is not the word, “go.” The one command the Lord gives in this commission is not to, “go,” but to “make disciples.” Everything else the Church does, even evangelism, grows out of making disciples.

So, what does the church do? First and foremost, it makes mature believers. And that is precisely what our mission statement is about. It asks the question, “How do we make mature believers in our context, with our core values, and with our parish’s needs and gifts.”

What we do is make disciples, and our mission statement is designed to give us a clear, simple way to do just that.

Father Brian

Our Mission: The Why

As much as overzealous coaches and parents would like us to think that we should do everything at 120%, the fact of life is that 120% is impossible. Try as you may, all you have to give is 100%, and if you over extend yourself, that means something is getting the short end of the stick.

The same holds true for a parish, and if we as a parish overextend ourselves, we only end up with ineffective ministry and burnout. Many churches are crushing themselves under the weight of too many programs. The answer is not to do more, but to do less better. Instead of doing two things at 50%, or three things at 30%, or four things at 25%, let's do one thing and do it amazingly well at 100%.

That is why a mission statement is so very important. A mission statement anchors us and unites us in our identity with singularity of intent. By combining all of our efforts in the same direction with the same focus, we increase our efficiency and act as one.

That is why I am excited about our mission statement. Our mission isn’t another thing to do; it is the thing we do. 

 

"To reflect on life and encounter God by providing a way for everyone to: 

worship in beauty, grow together, and care for one another."

 

Father Brian