Completing our vision and establishing accountability

The following was adapted from announcements Rex Taylor and Tim Olree made for the elders at all three worship assemblies on Sunday, January 20, 2013.

In May of 2010 we rolled out our Going Beyond vision and two years ago we organized our leadership into three teams. We’ve recently completed a fairly comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of our vision and leadership structure. In the past three years we have added two ministers, established a solid ministry partnership in Regina, Canada; begun a third worship assembly here; begun our Love Where You Live initiative to serve our community; started  providing English as a second language classes and continued lots of other great ministries. We’ve also seen some value from organizing our leadership into teams focused on pastoral care, ministry and administration.

However, while God is using Greenville Oaks to minister in many very good and meaningful ways, we believe there are some dimensions of our vision that we have failed to develop: 

  • First, to be effective, a vision has to have clear goals and be measurable. Unfortunately, we have not done the hard work necessary to define specific and measurable actions that would engage and move us toward accomplishing that vision.
  • Second, we haven’t organized our leaders, ministry programs and members to enable us to effectively and aggressively accomplish our vision.
  • And, finally, we’ve also recognized a need for much greater accountability among and across our leadership team of elders and ministers. 

Speaking for all of your elders and ministers, we are deeply convicted by this failure to lead this church in the best way and we very humbly ask for your forgiveness.

We believe in the vision God gave us three years ago. We believe it is far too important for us to fail to do everything possible to make it a reality for Greenville Oaks. The vision work we did three years ago painted an appealing, but very general picture of our future expectations. But it hasn’t yet engaged our hearts and minds or inspired us to significant action. It was kind of like we created a very intriguing treasure map, but the “X” that marked the spot was pretty fuzzy and the directions to get there weren’t very clear. While we captured some great thoughts, we just didn’t finish the map.

Now, the exciting thing is your leaders are 100% committed to addressing the elements of our vision which are lacking and doing whatever is necessary to accomplish that. We recognize that God has entrusted us with the awesome responsibility of shepherding and fostering the spiritual growth of His Greenville Oaks family. So, we have identified three very important initiatives that we believe God will use to prepare Greenville Oaks to be used by Him in ways we have never imagined before.

The elders have also recognized that we will not be able to successfully address these initiatives by committee and we cannot allow ourselves to spend months and months in meetings. Therefore, we have charged three of our ministers with leading these efforts.

  • Keith Maloney will be responsible for crafting a compelling, challenging and measurable vision. One which provides goals that are clear enough and a picture of Greenville Oaks’ future that is big enough to inspire us toward doing whatever is necessary for us, by God’s power to become what He wants us to become.
  • Matt Mazza will be responsible for developing a new Greenville Oaks leadership structure and recommending how we would implement the structure in a way that fosters the accountability that will make us as effective as we can be.
  • To support both of these initiatives Hillary Hoover has already begun to organize the elders and ministers for focused prayer and fasting as we ask God to direct Keith and Matt to the recommendations that will bless His Kingdom.

Keith and Matt will seek input from lots of sources, but they have accepted the responsibility for delivering actionable proposals to the elders. We expect those proposals in about 40 days.

This effort will require a lot of time and focus. So, over the next six weeks or so the rest of our staff and others will be picking up significant parts of Keith’s, Matt’s and Hillary’s normal responsibilities. They won’t disappear, but while they’re working on these special assignments Keith and Matt will not be preaching as much as normal; they will be out of town some, and generally not very available. We can all honor and support their work by going to others for any needs we might normally go to Keith or Matt for and by being patient with the others who will be carrying heavier loads.

We believe that dedicating significant effort over a fairly short amount of time will enable much higher quality outcomes than if we spent the next six months trying to do the work in bits and pieces.

I ask you to join me and our other elders and ministers over these next 40 days in consistently and regularly praying for God to bless Keith and Matt as He leads them to the map He wants us to follow. And also in praying for all of us to be open to new ways of leading the Greenville Oaks church.