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Grace News & Good Ideas
December 2, 2009
what should we do next?
How many times have pastors and lay people had the question asked of them, "What do we do next?" after someone began attending church or recently joined? Most people inherently know that joining a church or worshipping regularly is only part of the deal. Being a follower of Jesus means more than that. But what do we tell them when they ask the question? 
Too often we mutter, "Why don't you try a few things and see what feels right?" Or we suggest that they join in an activity that one of their new friends attends. Or, we ask, "Do you sing?"

What if we actually had a path planned for people's journey? What if we could say, "If this is where you are, then the most logical place for you to plug in would be ________"? We can accomplish several things if we can point them on the right path. It raises people's confidence that we know what we are doing in "building disciples." It also removes the trial and error approach in church that most people dread. Becoming a part of a church is challenging enough.
We have found that there are 5 progressive life systems of church life: Worship, Connect, Equip, Serve, and Invite. Most people have their first experience through your worship. The next steps follow naturally and build on each other. By asking some questions, it isn't that hard to assess where they are on the journey. If they have been attending for a while and have become a part of the community to the point where they are also studying and learning skills, then they may be ready to step out into some kind of service. If they have only attended worship, then they are very much in need to getting connected to other people to experience a sense of community and find friendships in the faith.
There may be other ways of defining the path, but remember: the journey of faith can be an accidental zig-zag or it can be a supported and encouraged walk along a path that makes sense. Let's honor God by being intentional about leading people toward spiritual maturity.
Roger Jenks 
Taken from: Taking Aim (Strategic Planning for Church Life)
Workshop to be offered January 30, 2010

Good Ideas:
1.  Step back from your current plan and evaluate if there is a path for people to follow in your programming.
2.  Bring leadership on board with an understanding of how your church plans intentional disciple building.
3.  Ask people in random groups where they see their growing edge to find out which of the life systems is most in need of attention.
upcoming events:
January 30, 2010 at Grace Institute 
9 am- 4 pm simultaneous programs 
Taking Aim: strategic planning in church life 
Taking Aim Target
 Most churches don't suffer from a lack of good intentions. But without a way of thinking and planning that helps people work together, it is easy to go in circles and lose energy. In this one day workshop you'll learn the key questions that not only put things on track, but provide energy for the process. Learn how to integrate the different parts of church life so that it feels like one part energizes the other. Discover some creative ways to get things done easier and better. Learn how your programming can be a natural extension of your worship to God.
Worship Today: going beyond styleget REVVED
Believe it or not, there have been more books written about worship in the last 20 years than in the entire time since Christ walked the earth. Too often worship becomes a contest between generations or between the staff and congregation. But it doesn't have to be like that. Come spend a day learning how to plan worship for your place and your  people that is honoring to God.  Learn how to plan and lead worship  in a way that helps guests and regular worshipers feel at home and welcomed. Learn how to introduce music so that people "sing a new song unto the Lord." Learn how to plan worship so that it has a larger impact on the people who come.
Michelle Jenks, Grace Institute
2770 Montgomery Rd, Aurora, IL 60504

Is your church stuck?
Are you doing the same things that you did 10 years ago?
Does church life feel like you've lost the air out of your tires?
Are people focusing too much on the small issues and not the big picture?
Learn the steps and the process for church revitalization. This 1 day workshop is customized to your church's needs and goals with follow up provided. It will help you set the course of your church's life.  Is it time to make a move? Contact us to learn more and set up a program in your area.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can Rev up your church.
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