Hey Disciples – Students of Jesus,

The LEAD Team has been listening to God and listening to each other as we have met together since February and we are listening to you. We have listened to you through the LEAD Assessment (May) and the LEAD Survey of these 5 questions (Oct);

1.Besides being friendly, what are 3 things about this congregation that you would not want to change as you welcome new people?

2.What is this congregation known for in the community?

3.What are you personally passionate about that would make a difference in the neighborhood?

4.What do you perceive the challenges in the neighborhood to be?

5.How has God positioned this congregation to serve its neighbors?

The results of these 5 survey questions are posted in the alcove off of the kitchen at church. There you will find all of the answers of those that participated in the survey and the LEAD Team’s distilling into themes from these answers and there is room for you to respond.

Please take a stroll through this room. In January and February, we will be listening to you through focus groups, taking what we have heard so far and asking more questions and listening. We are listening strategically and it takes time. Also this is new for us, so we are learning.

This is not superficial listening to appease people but an active kind of listening that seeks out diverse voices before making key decisions. We want to know how this community influences your faith journey, your relationship with God and your neighbor so that we may work together in sharing what is helpful to you within our community, in the church and beyond our walls. We ask this because we believe that God has called us together to be about kingdom work. Your voice is important and so is our neighbor’s voice. God is working in the midst of us.

Of course we will listen to the leadership of the council and committees but we will also listen to individuals and other kinds of groups – like Bible study groups and groups that have a common interest. If you would like to host or be a part of a focus group, please let anyone on the LEAD team know. If you would like to meet individually with a couple of LEAD Team members please let us know. Your voice is important and we want to listen to you.

The purpose of the LEAD Team is to engage in strategic planning that will help to guide the community of Christ the King to be a vibrant community that faithfully engages in the work that the Holy Spirit calls us to do.

Now a typical expectation is that we will add a NEW THING because that is so often how we experience long range planning or strategic planning. The last three efforts of the Long Range Planning Committee were a new organ, a new Director of Youth & Family Ministry and a new mission statement. So we changed our name from Long Range Planning to LEAD Team in hopes of getting at the elusive adaptive change over the tactile change. This NEW THING might be different. It might not be something you can easily touch or feel.

We want to be a faithful community that follows Jesus. We want to be vibrant and relevant in our world. We are called by God to be workers in the kingdom of God, salt and light (see Matthew 5). To do this kind of work, we need to be committed to deepening relationships, building trust and growing in our discipleship. What we are learning from our LEAD partners is that this grows out of a life of prayer and discernment with leadership that is open to listening, experimenting and innovating. And it is messy. That is the nature of learning. It feels awkward and some of us resist and push back. Others will feel relief or excitement.

We are spiritual beings and not merely people who do church. We want to be faithful to God and to each other. Keep praying, keep listening to God and to each other. Pray for our LEAD Team and participate in a Focus Group or contact us for an individual meeting if that is your preference.

BIBLE – Believing It Boldly Loving Expansively,

Pastor Connie Spitzack

And the LEAD Team – Mary Knudson-Dion, Chris Rothfuss, Susan Surom, Matt Orvick, Yvonne Page, and Eric Klein