Tuesday, July 28, 2009

North Brooklyn Vineyard Looks Back and Then Ahead

North Brooklyn Vineyard shared this community update with its congregation on July 24:

Report: A look ahead

It’s been a quiet summer but as we continue to move from being a “camp to a village” community there’s lots of planning and preparation going on. We’re a small yet very diverse body of people with a wide range of needs and interests living in a diverse city. In order to be relevant and to grow we have to find ways of addressing at least some of these interests and needs. So after listening to our Core members, praying and discussing these things among ourselves, my Advisory Team and I met last week for our yearly planning day and I’m excited about what we’ve come up with for the upcoming year.

I’ve sensed for some time now that we need to be more focused on proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and reaching people. Yes, it sounds like being more “evangelistic”. Yuck! I know this leaves a bad taste in many of your mouths due to bad models and from bad past experiences. But here in the NBV evangelism is primarily relational. Make friends, earn their trust and let the natural bridge of relationship lead the way to sharing the gospel with them at an appropriate time and eventually welcoming them into our church community.

To that end and in order to continue to meet some of the very practical needs and interests of our congregation we have planned the following fun, non-threatening social events and activities for our congregation and outsiders:

Brendon and Merritt Benz have planned a whole series of fun activities for young families, such as rooftop pool parties, craft days, hot cocoa get-togethers aimed at couples with infants and young children, for expecting parents as well as their non-Christian friends.

We want to continue to support married couples inside and outside our church. So once again Matt and Marietta Lavicka will be offering The Marriage Course this fall small group semester. This is an eight-week course geared to give couples helpful tools to build and maintain healthy marriages. Registration will begin at the end of August.

Our Wine & Cheese party was a big hit last spring so we’ve schedule one for September and February. There’s also a rooftop scary movie party planned for Halloween. Of course there’s our annual Christmas Party to invite your friends to, which is always a highlight of our year. Let’s not forget our Workers Appreciation Dinner to honor all our hardworking volunteers. And of course we’ll continue to throw our Trash Bar Super Bowl Party and Feasts… something for everybody.

Our small groups, the meat and potatoes of our community-life, will be in action again. My hope is to offer better support and training for our small group leaders, which should translate into even more effective group life. We hope to have a couple of new groups in order to add some variety and offer more alternatives. Sign-up for the fall semester will begin in September.

In order to be a community where “everybody gets to play”, we’ll continue to offer
equipping events and workshops. We will be offering a Foundations Course for those of you that want to put down good strong roots and enjoy healthy spiritual formation and growth. A church is only as strong as it’s leadership so I will again conduct a Servant Leadership Intensives to develop the young emerging leaders among us. I’ve gotten a good response to our Tool Box Sundays, so you can look forward to me doing practical, hands-on ministry skill training in our Sunday service once every quarter or so.

In addition to all this, as I said at the beginning of this report, our biggest challenge is to reach out to our neighbors while continuing to develop and strengthen our home base. I have to confess that at the moment I don’t know what this is going to look like exactly. But I do know that it’s going to take lots of volunteers – the willingness to occasionally sacrifice a little bit of your free time in order to roll up your sleeves and get involved helping others. I know if you give it a try you’ll discover richness added to your life that’s more rewarding than most anything else in your life.

I look forward to the privilege of leading you into another year of kingdom adventure.
God bless
Mike T

Asphalt Eden love to hear from the congregation on what they're most looking forward to at North Brooklyn Vineyard this upcoming year.

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