Four months ago, we put out an all-points-bulletin for our staff: Don't make any plans to travel for vacations, conferences or speaking from Feb 10 through March 25. We also are eliminating any activities or events that are "extra" from the calendar during that season.
The reason? We are going to take that season to focus our entire church on our future together. We are going to recast vision for who we want to reach, how we will reach them, and the steps we will take to get there in the next few years.
This is the first time in our 20-year history that we have taken this step of asking our entire team to table their plans. So it is radical, and it is important. And our staff is getting serious about it...
- Mark Beeson, our senior leader, and his wife have changed their plans to visit her parents during March. This is a trip they've taken annually for years.
- Georgia Fawcett has changed her plans to take more than 40 children's ministry leaders to the Promiseland conference this year. Instead, they will get the DVD's and perhaps a guest speaker, and create a weekend training event later in the spring.
- Many of our pastors and staff speak throughout the year in various places. During this season, they are turning down every request.
- We typically send a missions team to India during this season. Not in 2007. For these 7-weeks, we are all focusing together on our future so we can be stronger in ministry for the long-haul.
Sometimes communicating the vision is so crucial that you need to turn everything off and slow everything down. Sometimes your life together is so important that you endure short-term pain for long-term gain. For Granger, next spring is one of those times.