Mark's Vision and Strategy
My vision as a pastor is that God would bring about the following:
- That the church would continually be maturing and growing into the fullness of Christ
- That the power of the Holy Spirit would be manifest in our ability to love one another
- That the power of the Holy Spirit would be evident in the conversion of the lost
- That the church would understand, know, and experience an ever growing amount of the love of God
- That the church's hunger and thirst for God would drive them to seek God diligently
- That the church's desire for and enjoyment of intimacy with God would be greater than their desire for and enjoyment of God's blessings - material possessions, food, sex, etc.
- That the church would have a passion for the hallowing of God's name, a zeal for the coming of His kingdom, and a diligence in doing His will
- That the church's personal relationship with God would fill them with a growing love for one another
- That the church's passion for the hallowing of God's name, their zeal for the coming of His kingdom, and their diligence in doing His will would motivate them to deal with their conflicts with the common goals of : 1) glorifying God, 2) building each other up in the Lord, and 3) becoming more like Christ in their character and manner of living
- That the church's passion for the hallowing of God's name, their zeal for the coming of His kingdom, and their diligence in doing His will would motivate them to reach out to those around them, locally and into the rest of the world with the with the mercy, compassion, and love of Jesus Christ
My strategy for seeking God to do this:
- To personally seek God's face as my first priority in time and desire
I will ask God to awaken and brighten my knowledge and apprehension of His majestic fullness. I will ask God to give me His Spirit, to awaken my heart to want Him more than all other desires. I will commit to seeking God in His word and prayer no less than an hour each day in my private life, and I will commit to seeking God for no less than 30 minutes a day during my "professional day." I will set times of personal fasting, seeking God often, but will fight against the urge to program my fasting. I will work to seek God, not just check off my list my duty to the word, fasting, and prayer.
- To seek God with my family
I will be diligent to keep our family devotions fresh and fitted to my family's growth and development both physically and spiritually. I will talk with my wife and children both individually and as a family about their life circumstances, their interests, and struggles - their lives. I will ask them about their devotions, pray with and for them, and seek to encourage and strengthen them in the Lord. I commit to taking the time to listen and talk with my wife and children. I will be diligent to fulfill my responsibilities as a husband and a father that I might please God in my home and faithfully model to the flock a godly home.
- To challenge the session and church leadership to seek God
I will urge this same seeking of God in the session and among the church leaders. I will do this by modeling it, discussing it in private and public conversations, keeping it before them in devotions, admonitions, and teachings. I will pray for it personally and with the leaders, seeking to establish times of prayer as a session.
I will share my devotions with the session and listen when session members share with me their devotions. I will encourage this kind of sharing among them. I will encourage the session to seek God and minister to their own families in a similar fashion.
- To challenge myself and the session to the standard of morality established in God's Word
I will urge that we as a session keep before us, in our times of worship and devotion before the Lord, our duties and responsibilities as elders and shepherds.
- To establish times of session prayer and services for the congregation
I will urge the session to spend time praying together for our flock, to ask God's blessing, to seek God's guidance in leading and, in the context of the spiritual disciplines of word, fasting and prayer, to seek to equip the church for growth in godliness and faithful service.
- To work with the session to develop and implement an integrated system of pastoral care
According to the church's size and need, I will work with the session and church leaders to develop and implement an integrated system for pastoral oversight that is connected to the church's worship, discipling, serving, evangelizing, and fellowship. I envision the teaching (and or discipling) ministry of the church to have a core curriculum and tiered structure that leads people not only in the academic aspects of teaching, but also in the practical outworking and expressions of our faith.
- To seek together God's agenda for the particular church
I will encourage the church to seek its area(s) of ministry to the community and world by spending time praying and fasting. We want to seek God's face and direction for ministry rather than making our own plans and asking God to bless them.