Grace Lutheran Church

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1 Grace Lutheran Church STRATEGIC PLAN Our Mission Welcome all people into a community of God s grace, nurture disciples who live in faith, equip witnesses who share the gospel and send ministers who serve in love. The Strategic Plan has been adopted by Church Council and will be updated each year. 1

2 Goal #1: Provide alternative services DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT: Grace will grow by sharing the Gospel through traditional, creative and spiritual worship opportunities that appeal to all segments of the church population. Objective 1: Implement visual and interactive elements into worship Committees: Staff, Worship/Music Completed Ideas: Pentecost Sunday red steamers strung from ceiling beams in sanctuary, candles for All Saints Sunday, Pyramid/Prayer Tree, prayer bears for lent, wooden crosses, prayer cubes Ongoing Ideas: Ongoing process of implementing new visual and interactive elements into worship Objective 2: Continue to develop new worship experiences at both services Committees: Staff, Worship/Music Completed Ideas: Taize service, Healing Service, Companion Synod, Prayer Service Ongoing Ideas: Ongoing process of developing new ideas for worship experiences at both services Objective 3: Continue to develop seasonal worship opportunities at Grace Committees: Staff, Worship/Music Completed Ideas: Held weekly Advent Services, Offered Monday night summer worship service, Epiphany services Ongoing Ideas: Easter Vigil, Easter Sunrise service perhaps outside, continue Lenten midweek services, continue blessing of the animals Objective 4: Encourage and equip children and adults to provide music at worship Committees: Staff, Worship/Music Completed Ideas: Solicited members of congregation to participate in worship music. Expanded the hand bell program to include a second bell choir, provided opportunity for children to play hand bells, offered Music literacy classes, and implemented children s music curriculum published by Choristers Guild. Ongoing Ideas: Continue to engage children and adult in worship music 2

3 Goal #2: Increase the use of technology at Grace DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT: Grace will utilize technology to enhance worship, to build connections within the church community, to maximize facility usage, to grow in stewardship, and to promote Grace in the community. Objective 1: Explore, recommend and implement online giving possibilities through electronic giving on our website and other devices and educate the congregation about the options to make their offering through online bill pay Committees: Operations Commission, Technology, Stewardship, Worship/Music, Finance Completed Ideas: Members were given the choice to opt out of giving envelopes and encouraged to make their contributions via online banking. Ongoing Ideas: Presently considering making online giving a part of the larger cloud based system and offer online giving options on the church website. Objective 2: Explore additional training and utilization of current software for church accounting and membership data base Committees: Operations Commission, Finance, Technology Ongoing Ideas: Task Force created to look at utilizing a cloud based system to store membership database, as well as time and talent information. Objective 3: Develop Grace s website into a robust center of information that will provide members with current updated information, as well as provide prospective members and the community with general information about all aspects of Grace Lutheran Church Committees: Technology, Worship and Music, PR Completed Idea: The website contains a Virtual Tour of our sanctuary. Ongoing Ideas: Add virtual tours of other places in Grace. Post sermons/services online (begin with audio, move towards video). Objective 4: Explore the availability of hearing loop to help the hearing impaired Committees: Technology, Property, Worship and Music Ongoing Ideas: After consultation with an audiologist, it was recommended that a hearing loop was the system that would be most effective. Currently, there is an effort to get grants and explore other funding to purchase this hearing loop system. Two grants have been written to help fund the hearing loop project. Objective 5: Increase security for Members area of the church website. Committees: Technology Ongoing Ideas: Use this secure area to keep members directory and church documents, such as Church Constitution and Bylaws, budget, etc. 3

4 Objective 6: Create a pictorial directory available in the Members section of the church website. Committees: Technology, New Member Committee, Public Relations, Staff Ongoing Ideas: Members of Grace would be photographed by designated photographers of Grace using digital cameras. Photographs would be casual and free. Names, photographs, addresses and phone numbers would be listed on the Members section of the church website for easy access for members. 4

5 Goal #3: Focus on connecting members DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT: Grace will continue to build and strengthen caring and supportive relationships and will continue to create connections among members, visitors, and the community at large. Objective 1: Promote spiritual growth through small groups who meet with a purpose, share spirituality, and enjoy social activities Committees: Parish Life Completed Idea: Parish Life committee developed a questionnaire to explore other new small group offerings. Ongoing Ideas: Dinner Clubs, Books of the Bible, Meet in homes, Geographical home groups. Softball team will begin in February. Objective 2: Establish a 5th Sunday Brunch between services to promote connectivity between early and late service participants Committees: *Parish Life, Learning Completed Idea: Hosted a 5 th Sunday brunch between services. Objective 3: Create additional social events at Grace designed around special interest groups Committees: Parish Life, Individual members/groups Ongoing Ideas: College Football game night; MLB Draft Party, Book club, Contest for best new special event. Objective 4: Develop short term learning opportunities for adults Committees: Staff, Learning Completed Idea: Dead See Scrolls classes offered in Class to learn to read music was offered. Ongoing Ideas: Continue to explore other adult learning opportunities. Objective 5: Encourage all members to be intentional about inviting new members to existing fellowship opportunities at Grace Committees: New Member, ALL committees Ongoing Ideas: Early contact with new members through Grace Muggers and Grace Friends will continue. Consider involving Junior and Senior high youth on church committees. 5

6 Objective 6: Create a system for contacting Sunday School members or youth who miss several consecutive Sundays Committees: Spiritual Formation Commission Reconsidered/Ongoing Ideas: Sunday School teachers and youth leaders will send post cards or call youth who miss 4 consecutive Sundays. Tracking attendance through Tear and Share is not a reliable way to establish which members miss 4 consecutive Sundays since not all members complete a Tear and Share when attending. Objective 7: Create a system for more specifically assessing the talents of members to better connect their talents to the ministry opportunities at Grace Committees: Stewardship Completed Idea: Task Force created to research a cloud base database system to help collect member s Time and Talent information. This system may also be able to work for our accounting and membership databases as well. Task Force will continue to research options for this type of system. 6

7 Goal #4: Focus on Young Families DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT: Grace will increase involvement of young adults and young families in all aspects of church life by more actively recruiting them to current activities and building new ministries designed for young adults and young families. Objective 1: Support the establishment of Young Families Playgroups Committees: Council, Nursery, Learning Ongoing Ideas: Mothers Play Dates Objective 2: Continue to grow the LAFF (Lutheran Adult Fellowship and Fun) group and its Sunday School class. Committee: Learning, Parish Life Ongoing Ideas: Continue to publicize the opportunities to get involved with LAFF and encourage members to extend personal invitations to others who might be interested in becoming a part of the LAFF group. Objective 3: Create opportunities for young families to grow together in fellowship, service and learning Committees: Spiritual Formation Commission, Ministry Milestone, Learning; Parish Life, Youth and Family Ongoing Ideas: Service Opportunity for parents while children are at Little Lutherans/Grace Gang 7

8 Goal #5: Increase Grace s Presence in the Community - Public Relations DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT: Grace will enhance its presence in the community by participating in local community events and by promoting Grace and its events and programs, both internally, as well as externally, in the local area. Objective 1: To re-evaluate and redefine the role of the Public Relations committee and to solicit church members to serve on the committee. Committee: Church Council, Staff, PR Objective 2: Continue to enter a Float in a local parade. Committee: Youth and Family Ministry, *Campus Ministry Completed Idea: Entered a Grace float in the Rock Hill Christmas parade Ongoing Idea: Plan to make this an annual event. Objective 3: Find ways for Grace to become involved in, or sponsor, community events and causes. Committee: PR Ongoing Ideas: Come See Me event such as stained glass window tour of local churches, Annual MLK breakfast, Christmasville Booth Objective 4: Develop promotional items that support Grace s evangelism mission. Committees: PR, *Youth and Family Ministry Completed ideas: Created and sold Grace T-shirts. Plan to offer additional items for sale in upcoming year. Created GYM logo. Ongoing Ideas: Develop items such as car magnets, window clings and recyclable bags. Develop buttons for National Youth Gathering with new GYM logo. (Items could be sold as fundraiser for the National Youth Gathering). Objective 5: Establish Sports Teams. Committees: Parish Life, Youth and Family Ministry Completed Idea: The idea of a sports team was explored this past year but there was not enough interest to field a team. Softball team registration will begin in February Ongoing Ideas: Create Basketball, softball, or volleyball teams to represent Grace in local church leagues. 8

9 Objective 6: Encourage each committee to see their activities as an opportunity to invite/reach out to people in the community. Committees: ALL Committees, PR Ongoing Ideas: Each committee should strive to identify at least 2 opportunities each year that include an opportunity to invite the surrounding community. Objective 7: Increase evangelism activities. Ideas: Educate members about how to create and encourage an inviting atmosphere within the church. Consider participating in evangelism activities in the community by handing out bottles of water at local events, inviting members and friends to music programs, Vacation Bible School, Boy Scout activities. Continue serving popcorn and hot chocolate the Christmas parade. Objective 8: Spread word in the community about the Outreach Grant Process. Committees: Social Outreach, Public Relationship, Staff Objective 9: Create and improve the Communication Center in the Fellowship Hall, including, but not limited to, the installing a digital screen to display photos and promote events at Grace. Committees: Technology, Public Relations, Staff Ongoing Ideas: Have rotating photos of current events at Grace and/or rotating screens announcing upcoming events at Grace. Objective 10: To internally promote the church s activities and programs. Committees: Public Relations, Staff, ALL Committees Ongoing Ideas: To consistently spread the word about upcoming events at the church effectively utilizing all of the resources available to communicate information about our events with our members, such as church website, bulletin boards, and the digital board. Objective 11: To externally promote the church s activities and programs. Committees: Public Relations, Staff, ALL committees Ongoing Ideas: To consistently share information about events and programs at Grace with the community via local newspapers, banners, rack cards, etc. 9

10 Goal #6: Stewardship DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT: Grace will develop and educate the congregation about stewardship in order to grow in our relationship with God and be good stewards of the resources God has given us. Objective 1: Lead a second ACM campaign to reduce building debt at Grace. Committees: Stewardship, Finance Ongoing Idea: Plans underway to focus on ACM planning in Objective 2: Continue the annual stewardship education campaign and pledging. Committee: Stewardship Completed Idea: A successful annual stewardship campaign was held in Ongoing Idea: Plans for stewardship campaign underway for Objective 3: Increase benevolence to local charitable ministries. Committees: Outreach, Church Council Completed Idea: Evaluated the current outreach funds that are distributed and developed a plan to disseminate funds to outreach programs. Ongoing Idea: Look to utilize available funds in the Endowment Fund to provide additional funds to charitable ministries. Objective 4: Increase the Property Contingency Fund to provide for long term building needs. Committees: Property, Church Council Idea: Create an inventory and develop a long term plan for building needs in order to help identify the possible needs for the Property Contingency Fund. 10

11 Goal #7: Youth Involvement & Growth DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT: Grace will foster continued involvement and growth of our youth programs, activities, evangelism and leadership. Objective 1: Develop a Parent/Youth Advisory Group who will support current youth programs and help plan and facilitate future programs. Committees: Youth and Family, Staff Ongoing Ideas: Gather a core group of dedicated adults who will support and help with youth programs and help facilitate communications. Objective 2: Explore the possibility of adding two youth as elected members of the Church Council. Committees: Church Council, Youth and Family Ongoing Ideas: The current Church Council will discuss the pros and cons of adding the voices of Confirmed youth to the elected positions within Grace. The youth may or may not have a vote on all issues brought to the Council. Objective 3: Explore opportunities for the youth of Grace to be involved in sports related activities either internally related to Grace or externally with other church youth groups. Committees: Youth and Family Ongoing Ideas: Partner with other local churches in providing opportunities youth to participate in basketball, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, or activities that serve to focus on Christian values and good sportsmanship. Objective 4: Explore opportunities for youth the opportunity to enjoy unstructured church fellowship. Committees: Youth and Family Ongoing Ideas: Schedule several dances per year to be held in the Fellowship Hall with food, DJ, and proper supervision. Could also schedule several game nights or movie nights each year in the Fellowship hall with food and proper supervision. Each Grace youth would be encouraged to invite a friend as part of our outreach program. Objective 5: Encourage the youth to take photos and produce videos of Church activities. Committees: Youth and Family, PR, Technology Ongoing Ideas: Encourage youth to contribute to create short videos and or take photographs documenting the activities of the youth group. Things such as visiting shut ins, mission trips, ski trips, beach trips, retreats, Confirmation trips, breakfast with Santa, and other church activities could be documented and shared on YouTube, the church website, or the digital board. The youth could also organize a flash mob wearing GYM shirts playing musical instruments and/or singing appropriate materials in public. Objective 6: Recruit an intern to work with the Youth. Committees: Youth and Family, Church Council, Staff Ideas: Look into recruiting an intern to provide leadership and mentoring for our youth. 11

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