If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed. –Proverbs 29:18 (MSG)
It took a lot of courage and humility to invite VitalChurch into CCC last September. God has certainly been faithful to reveal a plethora of strengths to be celebrated and built upon as well as some weaknesses to be addressed.
This current transition season will culminate in the calling of a permanent lead pastor who will team with CCC to engage a new chapter of ministry fruitfulness in southern MA, northern RI, and beyond. This season is an excellent opportunity for those who identify CCC as their home church to grow deeper and stronger in our relationship with Christ, one another, as well as those God wants to add to our community.
What We Have Accomplished to Date
- We have studied the Old Testament book of Ruth and learned how God works in and through His people during seasons of transition. My two big takeaways are:
- Even in midst of difficult times God still works His sovereign plan doing 10,000 things on our behalf for His glory and our joy. (Look for it!)
- A major theme that drives the storyline is God’s covenant love. The Hebrew word is hesed, which is often translated as lovingkindness yet that doesn’t even begin to describe it. A condensed description of hesed is the consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, energetic love of God. (Surrender to it!)
- We also took a fresh look at the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. This study was designed to deepen our understanding of the grace empowered spiritual formation process that citizens of God’s Kingdom continually cycle through. There is an emptying by God’s grace and then a filling, again by God’s grace. As we acknowledge our spiritual poverty there is heartfelt repentance that leads to us becoming humble learners (disciple means learner), which grows in us a hunger and thirst for God. God then graciously begins to fill us with mercy, refreshed purity, and a passion for peace. And then the persecution comes our way (as we see in the gospels, it usually comes from religious people).
- We have “upgraded” our elder governance model to become more effective, efficient, and strategic in empowering our elders to focus primarily on doctrine, direction, and discipline.
- Our Financial Advisory Board (FAB) has been formed and is functioning brilliantly.
- A Missions Board is being formed and should be up-and-running by early 2020.
- We have completed the VCM ministry audit and received their report with recommendations (more on that in the days to come).
- In fulfillment of one of VCM’s recommendations, we are forming a Transition Team to come alongside the staff and elders to address the report recommendations.
- Mid-Career Assessments have been completed for Pastors Frank and Chris. (Ask them about it.)
- Community Group restructuring has taken place with active coaching via video for our Community Group Facilitators.
- Staff Role Description updates are underway that will move each staff member more toward their “holy passions” and will include both ministry and developmental objectives. Regular performance reviews will be scheduled—including me as the Intentional Interim Pastor.
- We have staffed Susan Leatherwood as our part-time Administrative Coordinator to help release our staff to focus more on team building and equipping (see Eph 4:12).
- A theological ‘reboot’ is underway. We will endeavor to keep growing in becoming gospel-centered, working FROM God’s favor rather than FOR God’s favor.
- And, I hope you’ve noticed—our church sign has been updated!
- To firmly establish Jesus Christ as the ongoing Senior Pastor of Community Covenant Church.
- To give ministry back to people. The larger a church grows the more ministry needs to be accomplished through gifted, called, and equipped volunteers.
- We want to reestablish “side door” ministries like MOPS, DivorceCare, GriefShare, and a local Outreach Team. If you’d like to be involved in any of these (or have an idea about another) please contact Susan in the office and she will keep a running list. When we get enough people to launch a team it will be announced and I or one of the Staff will help to coach the launch.
I can’t wait to see what God does IN us and THROUGH us in 2020.
Grace and Peace,