Guiding people to fully live as followers of Jesus
Vision 1+1+1

To the Peace Community:

Last year's annual report looked ahead to a year of visioning as the Peace community sought to discern what Will Mancini, the author of the book Church Unique, calls the Vision Proper. In the various discussions among leaders, the focus took on a decidedly relationship turn. If we want fulfill our mission of guiding others to know Jesus, we needed to up our "game" with regard to relationships of influence. Within Peace, we want to put greater energy into guiding each other into a deeper relationship with Christ through friendships, small group relationships, and serving together. Outside of Peace, we will strive to guide others toward Jesus as we invest time, energy, and compassion in people ... learning to listen and taking time to serve.

The language that we settled on for this vision focus is 1+1+1 - one person, one relationship at a time. The Vision Mountaintop is expressed this way: Experiencing a life-giving relationship with Jesus, the people of Peace individually and together will develop relationships of Spirit-powered influence 1+1+1. In these relationships we will guide others through an ongoing investment of ourselves, offering friendship, support, encouragement and insight in order to help them experience Jesus' presence and receive his guidance.

Our aspiration for every Peace participant is three kinds of relationships:
Individual 1+1+1
1. A fellow Christian you are guiding to live and love like Jesus.
2. A non-Christian you are guiding to believe and pursue Jesus.
3. A person with a need (physical, relational, or spiritual) you are guiding as you risk like Jesus in service.

Our plan as a church is to help form people who are both motivated and equipped for such relationships. Our current strategy includes these three elements:
Church-wide 1+1+1
1. Influential friends: the entire Peace community is being equipped to come along side others, engage in meaningful conversations, and serve others in their network of relationships.
2. Coaches: Peace servants with coaching skills assist other Christ-followers to pursue God's plans for their lives. Coaches can use their skills as part of a formal coaching relationship, in small group discussions, or informal conversations. Coaches "draw out" of people what God has already put in, guiding them to take the next step of faithful living for Jesus.
3. Mentors: Mentors are trained guides who come along side individuals and groups to help develop people into committed followers of Jesus. Mentors "pour into" people at a level appropriate to their spiritual maturity by providing Biblical and practical teaching based on God's Word and helping others to apply that Word to their lives.

What difference might this all make for the Peace community? Let me suggest three areas of change.

Personal Purpose and Legacy: We will go from a typical Lutheran church which sees the pastors as providing the primary if not sole spiritual influence, to the understanding that every one of us can be an influence for Jesus' sake. The Holy Spirit's impact on other's lives through us is a crucial part of our life's legacy.

Intentionality: committed to this calling, we will make relationships with people a higher priority. We will be more intentional about praying for others, taking time to be with them, and getting to know them at a deeper level. People rather than the Packers will be priority!

Skills: recognizing the challenge of growing as a person of influence, we will seek out the skills that can help us to go deeper with others. We will learn how to have spiritual conversations, how to ask better questions and truly listen, and how to help and encourage others to take their next step with Jesus.

I hope that you find this all a little bit inspiring. But I know for the skeptics, that the "proof will be in the pudding." So I trust that 2013-14 will not be the same old, same old at Peace. More than buildings and programs (however important they are), we hope to make our life together about relationships of influence.

 
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Eau Claire, Wisconsin