Odessa

Heritage Church

Pastor Jon Hayashi

Heritage Church
302 S 1st
PO Box 509
Odessa, WA 99159
(509) 982-2951
Pre-K thru Adult
Education 9:00
Sunday Service 10:30

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Pastor’s Musings – September 2019

 

We recently had our summer Council Retreat (Thank-you Vickey Melcher for hosting) and I couldn’t have walked away more encouraged by what we discussed.

As you should know, Scripture reminds us that: Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).

A modern paraphrase of that would be: When we don’t follow God’s leading chaos ensues, divisiveness is immanent, and we wander and stray to our own demise. But when we listen to what God says, blessings, peace, teamwork, and a sense of common purpose and direction are the results.

Over the last couple of years, we as your leadership team have been seeking God’s direction for Heritage Church both now and for the future. We have studied Scripture, listened to leadership training videos, and prayed for wisdom, clarity, and a leading from the Holy Spirit. As a result, I believe we are coming together as to what and where God is leading us as a church and it is exciting.

Some of the things are not rocket science, or anything “new”, but rather a fresh, repackaged look to CORE beliefs and goals that have always been there. In our attempt to be more relevant to our culture without compromising our message, we have come up with what are called “plumb lines” and ultimately a new church mission statement, which will eventually lead to a newer way of doing things.

Let me explain a few things. In organizational leadership, plumb lines are simply a listing of the rules of the road. They are directional and decision making guidelines that help the leadership team determine if we are staying true to our mission statement. They are statements of how we are doing things around here AT THIS TIME, and as such, they are changeable over time with the goal of allowing adaptation without compromising the mission. This will result in more flexibility to get the job done, without being hamstrung by a bunch of hoops to go through. The plumb lines also create accountability, in that, again, they help define how we will accomplish the mission of the church, which doesn’t change. Plumb lines also need to be a statement of reality. In other words, they are what we are currently doing, not what we wish we were doing.

As society has moved to sound bites, tweets and hashtags, the church begins to grow stagnant and irrelevant. In an effort to become relevant, some churches have gone overboard (in my opinion), on the social media end of things. We hope to find a proper balance and are still discussing and praying through some things.

To that end, we are striving to have the capability to live stream our Sunday morning services through something like Facebook live and also post the sermons online through Youtube or Vimeo. We are also still developing a church app that people can download to their phones. We are wanting to revamp our website and possibly hiring someone to manage it. These are the types of things we are working toward.

But I digress. Back to the plumb lines…We are still hammering out the exact wording, but they will be things like:

  • The spiritual health of the church and its membership are more important than its physical growth.
  • We encourage organic, authentic fellowship leading to a welcoming, warm environment.
  • We believe worship should be multi-generational combining the wisdom of the elders and the passion of the youth.
  • Church members do not have to do everything, but everyone should be doing something.
  • We only want people serving in their gifts and passions.
  • If we can’t live with the worst case scenario, don’t do it.

Again, not a final or comprehensive list, and we are counseled not to have too many plumb lines, again too cumbersome. So, we will hone in and fine tune them over the next couple of months.

Now in regards to our mission statement; this will be our new mission statement in part or in whole: We are a family of believers in Jesus giving hope, sharing life, teaching truth, and loving God. It may look something like this: Heritage Church: GivingHope.SharingLife.TeachingTruth.LovingGod.

That covers the gospel, fellowship, Christian education, worship, and membership all in one simple memorable and clear statement.

Finally, I asked the Council, “In your opinion, what are the five most important things we as a church should be remembered for? What do we want our legacy to be?” They responded with the following things:

  1. That we are biblically based.
  2. That we care for those inside AND outside the church.
  3. That we have a passion for missions both local and global.
  4. That we do a good job of discipling, training up, and fostering spiritual growth within the church.
  5. That we are a welcoming place for outsiders to visit in hopes they desire to join us on our journey of following Jesus.

To that end, I asked what they felt was the main thing they wanted to focus on this next year to help in accomplishing those goals. Almost everyone mentioned: “We want to focus on the family environment of the church with more fellowship opportunities,” the most obvious being potlucks, but Potlucks with a Purpose, that is, getting to know one another better in the church. How we do that is still to be determined, but we all agreed to not wait and talk about it to death, but rather do it. So, stay tuned, we’ve got a Potluck with a Purpose (PWP) being planned for sometime soon.

Exciting things, exciting future, praying for God’s blessing on all of it.

 

Until next time, I think, therefore I have thought and I share those musings with you (Psm. 77:11-14, NASB).

Pastor Jon Hayashi