Planning for the Future

This Long Range Plan consists of two principal documents based on a well attended congregational meeting followed by a retreat attended by representatives from our church’s staff, session, and congregation, and by a series of follow up meetings with individual committees:

• the Future Vision Statement outlines shared aspirations for our church in eight areas of focus
• specific Goals and Action Steps will help us realize that vision

Throughout the process, the focus was on opening our hearts and minds to God’s will and His direction for our church. The resulting goals can be divided into two basic sets of objectives. The primary goals are those that are spiritual in nature, facilitating our spiritual growth. These goals can be further subdivided into those that focus on our relationship with God (Spiritual Growth, Christian Education, and Worship) and those that effect Christ’s command that we love each other (Service and Membership). The secondary goals are those organizational goals that are necessary to support and enable our primary objectives (Budget and Finance, and Property).  The vision and goals related to Stewardship bridge these two sets of objectives, with overlap in each.
Finally, it is anticipated that this plan be considered an ongoing process rather than a completed task. As the plan is implemented, action steps are completed, and most importantly, as we continue to seek and listen for God’s guidance, it is hoped that the plan will continue to evolve.

                                                                                       FUTURE VISION STATEMENT

At First Presbyterian Church Jackson, TN, we will be committed to enabling our members to experience in their lives and share with the world the loving and life changing presence of the Triune God. We will create Spiritual Growth opportunities and foster an environment that helps our church family understand, accept, and experience God’s unconditional love for each of us and His offer for an individual relationship with Him that He extends to each of us. Christian Education will be considered an essential element of every member’s life and spiritual growth. The congregation’s educational needs will be continuously assessed, and classes and activities will be developed to meet those needs. Recognizing that Worship is central to the life of our church, we will build on the strength of our current worship service while being open to developing non-traditional and creative approaches to worship. We want our worship to be warm and inviting to fill our sanctuary with enthusiastic worshipers, remembering that Christ’s primary call was to the un-churched and outcasts. We will be a community where all members participate actively in joyful and loving Service to all of God’s people, both within and outside our church, as an active expression of the love we are commanded to have for our all God’s children. We will achieve balanced generational diversity, which will initially entail a focus on Young Families with Children and our Youth program. We will facilitate interaction between the different age groups to share life and spiritual experiences. We will create an environment where every Member is so enthused with the church’s message and mission that they are compelled to share it with potential new Members and current Members who are inactive. We will develop a fully funded Budget that meets the mission, message, and program needs of our church. In addition, an unrestricted reserve will be funded to meet unexpected economic challenges. This will be achieved both through increased response to Stewardship opportunities and additional sources of funds. We will fund and implement a long term maintenance and energy conservation plan that allows us to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of our Buildings and Grounds, while minimizing the challenges of their management.  

                                                                               SPECIFIC GOALS AND ACTIONS STEPS

FOCUS AREA:     SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMMITTEE
GOAL:                 FPC will create spiritual growth opportunities which will enable people to encounter the life-changing presence of Jesus Christ.
ACTION STEPS:  RESPONSIBLE PARTY: DISCIPLESHIP
                               1. Implement Bible Study programming to increase Bible literacy and spiritual maturity.
                               2. Encourage regular personal devotionals.
                               3. Encourage Christian Mentoring.
                               4. Provide retreat opportunities.
                               5. Organize and implement a “Spiritual Renewal Weekend” in February 2014.

FOCUS AREA:     CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
GOAL:                 The Christian Education committee will purposefully assess member needs, interests and provide opportunities for spiritual growth.
ACTION STEPS:  RESPONSIBLE PARTY: CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
                               1. Formal assessment of member interests and needs.                   
                               2. Purposeful selection of programs and curricula that meet the needs of the congregation.
                               3. The committee will implement the chosen curricula and programs.       
                               4. The recruitment and training of a core group of teachers who will lead the classes and programs with a common purpose and goal.

FOCUS AREA:      WORSHIP
GOAL:                  FPC will increase the number and diversity of people with whom we share the gospel through worship. We are called to make disciples of                                     all nations and to teach the Gospel.
ACTION STEPS:   RESPONSIBLE PARTY: WORSHIP
                               1. Investigate/research non-traditional churches as an additional worship opportunity.
                               2. Investigate the need for worship opportunities for staff and patient families at JMCGH.
                               3. Make a motion to Session concerning non-traditional worship.
                               4. Implement non-traditional worship service as an additional worship opportunity.
 
FOCUS AREA:      SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
GOAL:                  100% participation of all active members to commit to one service opportunity between implementation and Feb. 2013 (Ash Wednesday).                                      Long Term- 3-5 years. 50% decrease in members not involved in a service activity.
ACTION STEPS:      1. Identify service opportunity newsletter. SERVICE
                               2. Create/implement commitment cards.  SERVICE/STAFF
                               3. Minute for Mission Commitment Day. PATRICK DOLLAR/JOHN WHITE
                                                                                        
FOCUS AREA:      MEMBERSHIP
GOAL:                  Increase number of active members
ACTION STEPS:   RESPONSIBLE PARTY: MEMBERSHIP/SESSION
                              1. Inactive members: Develop list of inactive members to be presented to the session for assignment to be contacted.
                              2. On an ongoing basis identify members trending toward inactive members to be presented to the session for assignment to be contacted.
                              3. Initiate session challenge to bring one guest annually.
                              4. Young family challenge to bring one guest annually (or maybe on a designated Sunday).
                              5. Provide input to Worship Committee and Christian Education Committee.

FOCUS AREA:     STEWARDSHIP
OBJECTIVE:         In joyful response to God’s love and grace, and as Disciples of Christ, stewardship is practiced with time, skill and money through the                                           mission and ministry that support and nurture opportunities to encounter the life-changing presence of Christ. Stewardship is rooted in the                                     gospel and giving is a direct response to the generosity of God’s love given to us. Our joyful response is to extend God’s word within the                                       community through our mission and ministry.
GOAL #1:             Stewardship actions and planning will be intentional, year-round activity.
GOAL #2:             Stewardship will focus monthly on 3 areas: Time, Skill, and Money (Time, Talent, and Treasure).
                              1. TIME: Increase time allocated to the life of the church.
                              2. SKILL: Share skill as a disciple to develop and further God’s mission and ministry.
                              3. MONEY: Commit to tithe.
ACTION STEPS:    RESPONSIBLE PARTY: STEWARDSHIP
                              1. Educate on the joy of giving/tithing/planned giving.
                              2. Enact a pledge care commitment drive and update pledge forms.
                              3. Testament.
                              4. Adopt an Attitude (Posture).

FOCUS AREA:      BUDGET AND FINANCE
GOAL #1:             Develop an aggressive investment strategy with a targeted annual yield of 8%.
ACTION STEPS:   RESPONSIBLE PARTY:BUDGET & FINANCE
                               1. Research alternative investment policies.
                               2. Make recommendation to session.
GOAL #2:              Secure funds for the Century Fund, supplementary property endowment that within three years will provide earnings that will cover 50% of                                      FPC’s Property and Maintenance operating budget.
ACTION STEPS:   RESPONSIBLE PARTY: BUDGET & FINANCE
                               1. Research grant opportunities for historic churches.
                               2. Prepare solicitation campaign.
                               3. Conduct campaign.
GOAL #3:              Develop a Charitable Lend Trust template to take advantage of the recent repeal of the Tennessee State Gift Tax.

FOCUS AREA:           PROPERTY
GOAL # 1:                 Stabilize the drainage ditch along Highland Avenue and improve church visibility from Highland.
ACTION STEPS:        RESPONSIBLE PARTY: PROPERTY
                                    1. Continue to pursue government options.
                                    2. Develop an engineering plan.
                                    3. Implement the plan.
GOAL # 2:                  Develop a plan to reduce FPC’s utility bill.
ACTION STEPS:           1. Conduct energy survey of church and prepare an upgrade plan with capital expenditure budget and expected savings                                                                    identified. PROPERTY
                                    2. Identify sources of funds for capital expenditure budget.  BUDGET & FINANCE
                                    3. Present to session for approval.  PROPERTY/BUDGET & FINANCE
GOAL #3:                   Examine all areas of the Property and Maintenance budget in an effort to reduce it whenever possible.
ACTION STEPS:            1. Review P&M budget and identify opportunities to reduce costs and required capital expenditures to do so.  PROPERTY
                                     2. Identify sources of funds for capital expenditure budget.   BUDGET & FINANCE
                                     3. Present to session for approval.  PROPERTY/BUDGET & FINANCE                       

                                   

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