There was a lot of positive energy and conversation at the conclusion of our Vision Event on November 20. And as expected, there have also been several questions. Perhaps the most prevalent is, "What's the plan?" Continue reading to learn more about 6 action steps each of us can focus on moving forward in 2020.
Having a clear vision as a church family is exciting. It gives us a shared purpose to rally around— individually as well as collectively. And yet even with our sights keenly set on a singular direction, there comes the need for a little guidance along the way.
We can see the mountaintop we're trying to summit, but what is the path we need to take to get there? What are the mile markers that we can use for points of reference? Soon after sending out a short survey via our smartphone app, we realized that many of you were excited about engaging the heart of the high country, but you just wanted to know the plan.
Vision and Teaching Pastor, Jason English shared a powerful and inspiring message about being united in our pursuit of the displaced church. He also laid out six specific action steps for us as we move forward. You can listen to his message online here:
We also encourage you to continue reading below to learn about how you can be actively involved with our plan to engage the heart of the high country. And we remind ourselves that all of these things are done with the intent of partnering with God as he builds a dwelling place among us:
“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”—1 Peter 2:4-5
Every step of the way, we want to remind people that they are living stones—chosen by God and precious to him—with the divine purpose to partner with God as he builds his kingdom on earth. And here are six specific ways we plan to do that in 2020 and beyond.
Spiritual Formation Groups Meeting in Public Places
Spiritual Formation Groups are not new to theHeart. In fact, several groups are currently meeting in homes all across the High Country. Our intent here is simply to encourage the formation of additional Spiritual Formation Groups that want to have conversations about faith in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and other public places. Doing so we believe will naturally invite dialogue to happen with those around you. If you want to join a Spiritual Formation Group that will commit to meeting in public places, please complete this form. In particular, we are looking to identify and develop Spiritual Formation Group leaders who are interested in gathering people together in public places and facilitating discussion about faith.
More People Involved in Love In Action Opportunities
Love In Action is our ongoing effort to live out an active faith, serving as the hands and feet of Christ. In the words of 1 John 3:18: "Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth." On a semi-regular basis, we promote different ways for our church family to serve in the High Country. That can include participating in our own initiatives and fundraisers and it can also be in support of organizations and agencies that are already doing amazing work both in the High Country and around the world. Sign up to receive email notifications or keep an eye out for opportunities promoted in theEmail and through our smartphone app.
Host More Events at Appalachian Theatre
We believe that the Appalachian Theatre will serve as a visible centerpiece to engage the displaced church. We've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Downtown Boone has more people than ever before being served by fewer worship centers than ever before. We want to go where the people are and we believe more regular events designed to draw people in is worth our time and effort. Be on the lookout for how you might be able to support our use of Appalachian Theatre as an event planner, as a volunteer, or even as a financial supporter. Already we have had someone tell us that they want to pay for the next event.
Offer Training Workshops at theHeart Office
theHeart rents office space in downtown Boone and we want to utilize it in new and unique ways. One of those ways is to host a series of training workshops for our church family. Together we can learn from one another how to engage in healthy dialogue in a polarized society. Not only can we embrace the wide spectrum of thought and experience found in our own faith community, but we can also provide useful, practical, and loving ways to intentionally engage the heart of the High Country.
What is on your heart for engaging the heart of the High Country? How do you feel God is calling you to be a part of this vision moving forward? We want to hear from you, support you, and even help you turn your idea into a reality. Ministry initiatives are a practical way for us to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as we embrace people who feel displaced from the church. theHeart wants to support you in your efforts to participate in these life-changing opportunities. Sometimes that means financially.
Simply tell us about your ministry idea and some of the specifics as to what you will accomplish. theHeart will provide you with encouragement, fundraising opportunities, and a feature on theHeart Blog and in theEmail. You can also make a personal appeal to the entire church. Please submit your ministry idea to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give Towards the Vision
We already enjoy a culture of incredible generosity at theHeart. In fact, your financial support has made it possible for us to reach this exciting juncture in the life of our church. Time and again you have shown us that you believe in our mission of reconciling people to God and each other through Christ's Love. Simple. And yet by having a clear vision for the future, we can move beyond just financially supporting what we see directly in front of us and give to what is yet to come. It's called aspirational giving and it is a significant way that we can realize our vision. Imagine if we not only fully funded our annual budget, but we ended the year with a surplus? Let's be a church known for dreaming boldly and giving cheerfully.
Be Prepared to Engage
If you haven't done so already, we encourage you to download our new mobile app. Simply text "theheart app" to 77977.
This will be a helpful tool for you as we move forward into 2020 and beyond. You will have access to current teaching messages, announcements, blog posts, online giving, and more, all in the palm of your hand.