I attended the initial meeting in a series of four projected gatherings whose purpose is to enable the Baptist General Convention of Missouri to formulate a new strategic plan and initiatives for the next five years. One of the blessings of working with such a young convention is that we're not bound by lots of tradition and bureaucracy. That provides a great deal of freedom to engage in some creative thinking and searching about where God would have us be five years from now. Today we basically looked at three different methodologies to help us assess the current realities and challenges we face as well as identifying a large number of groups (most of them being para-church organizations) that are engaging in some creative ministries. The plan calls for us to interview key leaders in these organizations in addition to conducting some listening sessions in churches and encouraging lots of folks to complete an on-line survey to help us assess what they sense the most pressing needs are in their congregations.
It was a productive day with some good fellowship and dialogue as the group worked to develop some exploratory questions for both the listening sessions and the online survey after we had dialogued exensively about the groups we knew of that we doing some "out of the box" things in ministry.