Strategic Planning Update: August 2016

Dear Third Church Family,

Happy summer!  Kingdom work continues through these fun months, as well!

In May, we shared an update with you that outlined the five different working groups, including their co-leaders, that make up the Strategic Planning committee. As these groups formed, each focused on one of the key objectives laid out by the TAG Consulting process, it was clear that there would be much overlap and dependency between the teams working on these initiatives. By bringing them together as one team, the Strategic Planning team, we’re able to maximize efficiency and collaboration between all the groups. 

We also shared with you in May that these groups were compiling their work scope documents – the high-level objectives and work the groups hope to accomplish by the end of 2017. These work scope documents have since been approved by Session, with the understanding that they will guide the direction of the work of each of the teams, and delineate what’s in and out of scope. Over the next 18 months, all of the working groups will come back to Session with specific recommendations in each of these five areas. At that point, Session will decide how to approach and respond to their recommendations. 

Today, we share (below) the succinct summaries of these groups’ work scope documents.  To keep you informed and excited about advancements, we have added links that open to more detail and specific objectives.  Please reach out to leaders of the working groups with any suggestions, concerns, or questions (contact information below).  

For context and as a reminder, these five groups carry out their work in light of our church’s focus statement and core values, below, and in consultation with and approval from Session. Session’s Budget and Stewardship Committee closely guards and guides all budgetary impacts of the work.

Focus Statement: To reorient around relationships for community, discipleship and mission
Core Values: Biblical Faithfulness (rooted in Scripture), Gospel Community (bound together), Intentional Discipleship (growing as Christ-followers), Missional Orientation (sent out), Catalytic Culture (creating partnerships)

Here are work scope summaries from each group and short explanations about the work:

WORKING GROUP 1: Communicate Our Purpose
Clarify the mission and vision of our church, and explore implications for the church name, branding, signage and communication.

Third currently has a variety of guiding statements in play (mission statement, vision statement, motto, and focus statement).  This group is studying different marketing, branding, and identity strategies and will recommend to Session the efficient and most useful expression of Third’s God-given uniqueness and aspiration. Related communication changes, guidelines and training materials will follow. See more here.
Co-chairs: Becca Payne and Mark Mendez

WORKING GROUP 2: Align Staff and Session
Provide recommendations that will align Session and staff structures to emphasize shepherding, equipping and governance by elders and tactical work by staff and ministry teams.  Clarify objectives and lines of communication for staff and volunteers.  

This group has been actively researching best practices, processes, and key concepts by direct conversations with and study of similar or larger thriving churches across the country. By year’s end, the group plans to recommend a new structure for Session and clarify lines of authority and communication between Session and staff, as well as perform a high-level staff assessment based on strategic objectives and mission statement. See more here.
Co-chairs: Ed Satterfield and David Skove 

WORKING GROUP 3: Connect, Train and Send God’s People
Develop and implement pathways for every person at Third to integrate into authentic community and to grow to be a mature and fruitful disciple.

Aiming to clarify, model, teach, and support adult discipleship, this group is both making assessments of Third’s effectiveness in discipleship and creating more consistent models for it. The group is exploring geographic sub-communities to facilitate discipleship, care and mission as well. See more here.
Co-chairs: Corey Widmer and Jeff Hassler 

WORKING GROUP 4: Modernize Our Infrastructure
Provide a plan to update our physical footprint and technological capabilities to glorify God through enhanced worship, fellowship and educational space and connection with our surroundings. All proposals will include recommendations on how to pay for the investments.

Already offering consultation on short-term space and technological proposals from staff, this group will also carefully review past site studies and expansion proposals and will conduct a comprehensive assessment of facility, use of space, and technology by year’s end. See more here.
Co-chairs: Alan Ware and Rob Lanphear 

WORKING GROUP 5: Love Our Neighbors
Adapt Third's people and programs to better reach out with the gospel to Third's increasingly diverse local community, particularly internationals and the non-churched, so that Third reflects the diverse community around us and can witness to the power of the gospel even more clearly.

What does it mean to live missionally?  How can we at Third best fulfill the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations?  This group is studying how Third might grow in cultural intelligence and better reach across lines of division with the Gospel. The group will recommend specific educational opportunities and missional practices in the next year. See more here.
Ron Klipp and Jennifer Parham  

We hope that you are excited about this ongoing work, at and through Third Church. Will you join us in praying that the Lord will lead this process and prepare us all to serve Him more fully as a church?

“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35

Prayerfully at work,

The Strategic Planning Committee
Scott Ziegler, Annhorner Truitt, Corey Widmer, Jeff Hassler, Becca Payne, Mark Mendez, Ed Satterfield, David Skove, Alan Ware, Rob Lanphear, Ron Klipp, Jennifer Parham