WHAT IS VISION2025?
Vision 2025 is more than just an idea of what we hope to see over the coming years, it’s a renewed and refocused mission to follow the Great Commission by being disciples who make disciples of all generations. It’s a strategy that creates some new spaces for people in our surrounding community and in your own communities to get connected. It’s placing a structure around those new spaces and what we already do so that everyone who is a part of Gayton, every group, council, and ministry will have ownership in the mission of Gayton.
WHY DID WE NEED A NEW VISION?
We’ve been in a season of transition for a while. Internally for sure. While it’s been a season of transition, it’s also been a season of refinement and God getting us poised for what He is doing next. We recognized that we had a mission, vision and strategy, but it was developed for a time that has since passed. Over the past 2 years, we’ve welcomed a lot of new people to Gayton who aren’t connected with this past vision, and there are a lot of long-time Gayton members/attenders who wouldn’t be able to tell you what that mission, vision, and strategy is. It was clear that we needed a new vision for this new season in the life of Gayton. A unifying vision that we can all embrace as our own - that allows each person to live out their faith as ministers of the Gospel through the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:6), that cultivates a church-wide Christ-focused culture, and places the mission of being disciples who make disciples in the hands of everyone.
A common vision rooted in the Bible that guides every member, attender, ministry, council, group, event, and decision.
You play a vital role in Vision2025. Let's take a look at our Vision, Mission, Culture, and Strategy of 4 unique spaces: GATHER - CONNECT - CIRCLE - CHAMPION and how this extends to every part of life with Gayton.
4 ELEMENTS OF VISION2025
VISION | MISSION | CULTURE | STRATEGY
Our vision is to be filled to overflowing
This new vision aspires to see us filled to overflowing. What does that mean? Simply put, we want every aspect of Gayton and life with Gayton to be so filled with Jesus that we overflow into other areas, new ministry endeavors, and the community.
We want our worship gatherings to be so filled with people, that we have to add additional gatherings.
We want our location to be so filled, that we have to expand to new communities.
We want you to be so filled with the truth and love of the gospel of Jesus, you pour out into others to make disciples.
We want our church to be so filled with each generation, that we have to launch new expressions of worship gatherings.
We want our Connect spaces and Circles to be so filled, that we have to continually form new Connect spaces and Circles.
We want to be filled to overflowing to see exponential growth each year in our disciple making as we move toward 2025.
OuR MISSION IS TO BE DISCIPLES WHO MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL GENERATIONS
One of the most beautiful things about our church is that we are a church of all generations. We have generations who breath new excitement and fresh ideas into the church. We have generations who breath wisdom and steadfastness into the church. But no matter what age or generation, those who believe are commanded by Jesus in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize them, and teach them to obey His commands.
We believe that discipling the generations in our church family will make us a stronger force to go and make disciples of all nations - wherever God leads each family and individual.
We want our church culture to reflect certain principles. But these are more than mere values. Our church culture permeates everything we do, and permeates how we do them.
You may be asking "what's the difference between values and church-culture?"
While values and culture may cross paths, culture really speaks to a deeper thread that connects us as a church. Sometimes values shift - many of us within the church body have different values from one-another - that includes political, social, and personal. Our culture as a church transcends mere values. Values are what we believe to be right. Our church-culture is how we live out what is right.
For example, we value kids as a church. A healthy church-culture sees it's members living out that value by placing such importance on kids that we are not lacking volunteers in kids ministry.
Another example would be the fact that we value our first-time guests. A healthy church-culture living out that value may be that you begin parking further away to allow guests the closer parking spots, or making sure you meet someone new each Sunday.
These are simple examples. Here is the culture we hope to cultivate as a church based on an acrostic using our name:
God's Word and Voice
You, your friends, family, coworkers, & neighbors.
Large celebrations of our faith. Gatherings of worship like Celebration and Nexus; can expand to other environments.
GATHER represents our large, church-wide gatherings of worship. An example of GATHER that we already have is Celebration and Nexus! These large gatherings are inter-generational, meet regularly, include members, attenders, and guests, and are typically 100-250 people. But it isn’t just Celebration and Nexus. A GATHER can extend to other special times or locations.
We can have special gatherings like a night of worship, or even begin a new worship gathering to reach a different community God has laid on our hearts. These are all possibilities within the GATHER space.
Mid-size communities of relationship and mission. Incredibly open and an ideal place to find people to connect with. Small enough to know everyone, big enough to make an impact on mission.
The CONNECT space is probably the least familiar to us as a church. Although we have groups that function like a CONNECT, we haven’t placed structure around it or even recognized the possibilities until now.
CONNECT is a mid-sized community of relationship of 20-70 people, typically formed around a common interest or mission. It’s incredibly open and an ideal place to find people to connect with. It’s small enough to know everyone, but big enough to make an impact on mission.
A current example of a CONNECT would be our Ubuntu Family Ministries. Ubuntu is formed around families who are, or are potential, foster families, adoptive families, and others who can provide wrap-around care. Ubuntu isn’t just made up of people from Gayton, but others from different parts of the community who have a heart for the orphan whether they’re part of a church or not.
For someone who isn’t familiar with church or even doesn’t really like church, going to a worship gathering on Sunday morning, or immediately being placed into a small group or Sunday school class can be very intimidating and… awkward. A CONNECT is easy to invite someone to without them feeling intimidated, and can be a great first step into the life of the church. It gives them a chance to find those people they connect with in a mid-sized group setting before they enter a CIRCLE.
Deep, accountable relationships to spur growth. Small groups who share life together in organized times and in the ebb and flow of daily life.
CIRCLE is a space many of us are already familiar with. A CIRCLE is a small group of 8-12 people in deep, accountable relationship to spur growth. They share life together in organized times and in the ebb and flow of daily life even outside of church functions.
In the past, we’ve struggled to find our direction in this space. Do we focus on LifeGroups? Small Groups? Sunday School? Bible Studies? What is the BEST direction? What we’ve realized, is that all of these groups have value in the mission and are all iterations of a CIRCLE. As a CIRCLE, these various groups can become owners of the common mission and vision to grow, multiply into additional groups AS they grow, and produce CHAMPIONS.
Disciples mentoring and discipling others in the Word of God, faith, character, and by example.
The CHAMPION space represents 1-on-1 discipleship. Disciples mentoring and discipling others in the Word of God, faith, character, and by example. Some will seek-out someone to CHAMPION them, and others will seek-out someone to CHAMPION. We believe most of these CHAMPION relationships will be formed organically from within a CIRCLE. A CHAMPION is someone who is strong in faith, reflects Jesus in their daily life, and has a desire help lead someone else in understanding what it means to be a follower of Jesus. But a CHAMPION doesn’t have to be someone who has all the answers or be an older adult - we’ll have many adults discipling adults, adults discipling students, students discipling kids, and kids who are farther along in their faith helping disciple other kids who are newer in their faith.