By Elder Glen Tan
On the second weekend of January every year, we celebrate The Bible Church’s anniversary. Every 5 years, we hold larger-scale celebrations to mark the milestone anniversaries. Many of us would remember these celebrations, typically marked with an afternoon service, followed by dinner at a location that can accommodate as many from the church community as possible.
At the same time, the church leadership rides on the milestone celebrations to launch a fresh vision. The vision typically describes what we hope the church will look like in 5 years’ time. In January 2018, when we celebrated the church’s 60th anniversary, we launched Vision 2023 – “An Authentic Biblical Community Discipling Effectively” together with its corresponding strategic areas and initiatives. 3 years have gone by since the launch of Vision 2023 and hence, some plans are still being implemented while others are being reviewed. However, work on planning for Vision 2023 had started about a year or two before its launch at the 60th anniversary celebrations.
In about a year and a half, we will be celebrating the church’s 65th anniversary and this time, we will be looking to launch the next vision, Vision 2028. The church leadership has thus recently started the process of planning and preparing for the launch of this new vision. I would like to highlight the three key phases in the envisioning process leading to the upcoming launch in January 2023.
The first phase is vision capturing, which the church council started on in May this year. The elders and deacons have been coming together to share our hearts for the church, taking into consideration the events that have been taking place in the local church and in society. With much talk of the ‘new normal’ and the more prevalent use of technology, it is important that we continue to explore areas where our church can be even more effective in its God-given mandate. The staff team has similarly embarked on this process, with combined sessions with the council to consolidate thoughts planned for in the near future. Later on, we may also seek the input of ministry leaders and CGLs. Through listening to different ones share their stories of faith, their hopes for our community and examples of what growth in the church would look like, we will shortlist specific areas that can possibly form key parts of the next vision, guided by the Lord’s leading and a strong sense of resonance within the leadership.
Most importantly, we are reminded of the importance of the posture of obedience and active listening as we seek the Lord’s will for the church. The church council has thus been meeting for prayer every Wednesday night to collectively discern the Spirit’s leading and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. We invite you to pray alongside us. This phase is expected to continue until the end of 2021 or early 2022.
The second phase in this process is vision concretizing. A draft of the vision statement will be crafted and is likely to go through several rounds of discussion and iteration. The final vision statement will then be unpacked into specific strategic areas which the church will look to place stronger emphasis on for the next 5 years. Work teams, made up of church staff and council members, will 1) set goals that, where feasible, will provide indication of progress, 2) plan for initiatives/programmes that will lead to the achievement of these goals and 3) plan for the resourcing needed.
When the strategic plans are firmed up, the leadership will enter into the third phase, which is vision casting. The work teams will draw up plans to communicate their respective strategic areas and rally the church to come onboard to fulfil this vision together. In the months following the launch of Vision 2028, the various aspects of the vision will be communicated through a range of platforms, such as the pulpit and social media. It is our prayer that The Bible Church community will be inspired to be part of this vision and will grow spiritually, serve fervently and be transformed in Christlikeness as a result.
I trust that this summary provides you with a deeper understanding of the envisioning process and the work it entails. We covet your prayers for the church council and staff team through this process. Please pray:
- for a vision that will inspire and excite the community at large;
- for wisdom, strength and good health for the church leadership;
- for protection for our families as they support us in our ministry;
- against opposition in this work.
Should you have any thoughts on the upcoming vision, do feel free to share them with any of the church leaders. Thank you for your prayers and support in this work.