Empowered by Christ to reveal His love and reach our communities

Vision Update 1

Rosewood Vision Update
February 14, 2023
Some of the most life-giving conversations I’ve had in the last three months revolved around the idea and execution of our new vision to reproduce spiritual leaders in the church and home to empower the next generation of believers.  I’ve left meetings wishing the whole church could have been a fly on the wall because sometimes the journey towards a decision is just as important as the decision itself.  For that reason, I will we providing periodic vision updates to help everyone at Rosewood be that fly on the wall and feel more empowered to be a beneficial voice in the execution of our vision.
Stories Over Stats
Our one-year goal is for 80% of Rosewood Church to be a person of intentional spiritual influence for the next generation through the church or home.  The subtext of that goal is that for us to realize our long-term vision we will need a significant portion to be engaged with people 22 and under personally and/or through their families.  Initially, our plan was to emphasize the 80% and track our progress in a tangible, visual way, but I’m rethinking that plan based upon the input of others.  We don’t want this goal to create unhelpful pressure or make it about numbers achievement.  We will still track numbers because an unquantifiable goal is impossible to achieve, but we are going to lead with stories rather than statistics.  Our visual display will be more about telling stories than tracking percentages.  That tangible creation is still in the works, so stay tuned.
What counts?
Some of the hardest discussions we’ve had as staff center around “what counts.”  How do I know if I’ve done my part to be counted among the 80%?  How can what happens in homes be known, and “what counts” as home discipleship?  Do kids and students just count by nature of being the next generation?  These questions and more are both worthy of answers and demonstrate the shortcomings of over-emphasizing the 80% rather than the intention.
In a recent staff meeting, we drew this picture to define rigid control verses ambiguous self-identification:
The left-most extreme of rigid control is if the staff and consistory explicitly state what ministries, events, activities, and giving opportunities “count.”  This provides clarity but no flexibility.  This approach may create a legalistic culture of achievement with little joy in what comes from our efforts.
The right-most extreme of ambiguous self-identification doesn’t create boundaries of what counts or doesn’t count.  Instead, we provide the one-year goal and let everyone decide if or when they “count” towards the 80%.  It’s highly flexible; so flexible that there’s no challenge to engage in new or deeper ways with kids, students, and families.
Like with most things, the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.  We intend to provide some guidance or “boundaries” of what is designed to help us further our vision and reach our goal, but it will be up to each person to ultimately judge their own actions and motives against the heart of our one-year goal and vision.
Coming up next…
I hope this snapshot of current conversations has been helpful.  You can expect to see the tangible display in the church by the spring along with ways for you to share your stories of God at work in you, your family, other families, and the next generation.  I pray our stories provide encouragement and spur one another on as we seek to live into our vision.
-Pastor Austin