I attended the SE Regional Acts 29 gathering at Vintage 21 church in Raleigh, yesterday. Tyler Jones, pastor of Vintage 21 opened with some challenging thoughts on calling and vision.
We should never forget our calling. Remember the calling that you have. Go back and recall that. It is the only constant thing. Take time out of your busy schedule and spend time with God and ask him to speak to you about your calling.
We are called to all the world.
Calling inherently affects our vision.
Vision is the actualization of your calling. Vision should not be reactionary. Vision comes easy for church planters because God calls you. Don’t make the mistake of sitting down with a core group and develop a vision. Vision is the calling of the church planter.
Calling moves into vision and vision moves into systems and structures.
You need a system and a 3 to 5 yr strategic plan. You need a system for how to develop leaders.
Nate Williams, Executive pastor of Vintage 21 led the second half of the time by talking about their deacon structure. I see similar structures in many churches but with different names. They intentionally want to redeem the names "elder" and "deacon". I am not sure if people from an unchurched background wouldn't rather have the same role using a term that is more descriptive of their roles in our current culture. Either way they presented a very systematic approach to their process and seem to really be able to utilize lay people for greater areas of responsibility. The other thing that I really liked was separating service roles into volunteer roles and those who lead these volunteers. Those volunteer leaders are chosen, challenged and kept accountable based on the scriptural mandates for deacons in 1 Timothy.
He also said that tithing is a requirement for deacons and elders and they don't mind looking at giving records in some need arises. Bold, but why not?