To develop, empower and release kingdom people and kingdom communities into missional engagement in their spheres of influence.
As an elder team, we have spent months prayerfully considering the following questions: What does the mission of God call us to at this time and in this place? What do we need to do today to be a thriving church 10 years from now? Where is the Holy Spirit already moving in our community?
What are the best parts of our past that need to be carried forward? What needs to change to make room for fresh growth and leadership?
3 Core Convictions: 1. 1.Jesus has a future for this church far beyond our lifetimes. 2. 2.The Church is a missionary organization, charged with the fulfilling the great commission in every generation. 3. 3.The Church is to faithfully transmit the faith to its children and grandchildren.
We will do whatever it takes to continue creating an adaptable, innovative and compelling community which engages with joyful passion and urgency in the missionary task God has given EvFree Fullerton.
During the senior pastor search process in 2011, the congregational survey identified the following top three areas for growth: Evangelism Engaging the younger generation Intergenerational connectedness
That same survey identified the following as the most significant challenges faced by our church: Local Outreach: “This remains a part of our vision and is an area we’re seeking to grow.” Younger Generations: “Reaching/Retaining the younger generations is a priority for us.”
Spiritual Growth: “Discipleship has long been a priority for us and we recognize the need to broaden and deepen our efforts to help people grow in Christ.”
A summary report of this survey stated: “As mentioned earlier, we have a rich history. While this has produced some strong traditions, during this time of transition we recognize the need to loosen the soil around some of those roots. In short we are still growing and learning, and we recognize the need for continued transformational change today.”
As elders, we applaud our congregation for standing behind those words as staff, governance and policies have undergone significant restructuring. We realize that many changes have taken place over the last two years and that this has been a hardship for some.
We grieve for those who have been hurt in the change process. We also recognize the need to continue moving in the direction we feel God is leading us.
Public and faithful preaching of the Scriptures Connecting people together in small/mid- sized, biblical communities Development of healthy families, marriages and children Ministry to the forgotten, especially the disabled and elderly
Global and local missions Priesthood of all believers Intergenerational ministry Radical generosity Grace and truth extended to the broken High commitment and engagement
Given the urgency of our mission, the current growth areas/challenges identified by the church, and the prayerful study and reflection by church leadership, we will take the following steps within the next 2-3 years:
Follow Connect Go This will require us to strategically focus staff and eliminate/adjust unaligned ministries.
Because we highly value the connection of God’s people in small to mid-sized groups: 1. 1.All corporate expressions of biblical community need to be aligned, resourced, and committed to the mission of EvFree. In turn, those are the ones we will promote and invest in.
Because we highly value the connection of God’s people in small to mid-sized groups: 2. We will categorize group life into 3 areas: Community Groups (Sunday AM + midweek) Restore Groups (Support/Care groups) HOST Groups (internal, church-focused service)
Because we highly value the connection of God’s people in small to mid-sized groups: 3. Existing Adult Fellowships will be aligned with the Community Group Charter (as written by the Community Group MLT). 4. Adult Fellowships will be corporately renamed as “Community Groups.”
Because we highly value the connection of God’s people in small to mid-sized groups: 5. All Community Groups will have trained, jointly appointed, resourced and accountable leadership.
Because we highly value the connection of God’s people in small to mid-sized groups: 6. Our investment in Community Groups and their leaders, and our resourcing of them, will increase.
Sunday Night Service Parallel Sunday morning services Seek off campus weekend venues On-line presence Develop other teachers Incubate off-campus venues on our campus
Why more than one teacher teaching on a weekend? 1. 1.CUP 2. 2.Giving Ministry Away 3. 3.Prep together/Debrief together 4. 4.Mike Podcast
How often will Mike be preaching? The Elders and Mike have agreed that it is wise for Mike to preach between 75-80% of the time in a calendar year: 1. 1.Sustainable balance 2. 2.Develop younger teachers 3. 3.Introduce other kingdom voices
4. 4.Study break in August 5. 5.Other speaking opportunities 6. 6.Balance leadership/preaching responsibilities
So what is a worship “venue”? A gathering space (other than the main worship center) for weekend worship services (on campus or off campus) On-campus: live teaching/worship Off-campus: live/videoed teaching and live worship
So what is a worship “venue”? A worship venue can be on our campus (like the Commons or Chapel) or off campus (high school gym or movie theater).
Why are we creating other worship venues? 1. 1.Raise up/empower other MTs 2. 2.Create more room for weekend gatherings 3. 3.Smaller, more intimate gatherings 4. 4.Move EvFree into neighborhoods and other public spaces 5. To facilitate mission toward people who might not come to a church campus.
Why are we creating other worship venues? No long terms plans are in place at this time; we just sense God calling us to live in openness and readiness.
Evaluation of all facility usage (e.g., The Well, Library, Gym, D-Amp) to ensure it is in alignment with our mission and vision Long-term vision for our apartment complex Development of new children’s facility/other venue space Continued minimization of impact on our neighbors
Developing OC United/Love Fullerton Utilizing office space downtown Enfold and refocus the Good Samaritan Center into OC United More intentionally reflecting the age, ethnic, economic and cultural diversity of our community
To best facilitate our mission to be a church that is accessible to those distant from God, we believe we must adopt a new public name (Richfield Community Church example).
Our intention is to make this change at the start of the next fiscal year: May 2015.
Are we changing the name of our church? No and yes. No, we are not changing the legal name of our church as it is stated in the constitution: First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton We desire to change our “public” or “external” name – the name by which we are known to the outside community.
Are we ceasing to be associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America? By no means! We fully support our denominational association.
Are we ceasing to be associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America? We have almost 60 years of goodwill (regionally and denominationally) associated with our name, why would we disregard that?
Are we ceasing to be associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America? We are proud of our name and heritage. We are convinced, however, that to a post- Christian world our official name doesn’t communicate meaningfully about us and may have negative connotations.
1. 1.Most churches in our area no longer employ numerical signifiers (like First, Second, or Third) to distinguish themselves from similar denominational churches in the same region. 2. 2.“Evangelical” has negative connotations for many. 3. 3.“EvFree” is unclear/doesn’t communicate much about us.
4. We are a church for more than the city of Fullerton. We are located in Fullerton, but are open to having multiple venues, sites, and partnerships with churches all over the region.
Moreover, as we look at who regularly attends, we are better seen as a regional church, (i.e., North OC) than a city church. We should have an external name that better reflects our regional influence.
How will this new name be chosen? Do you have one already in mind? No. We will seek suggestions and then prayerfully choose one that best embodies and furthers our mission. We will file a DBA form (“Doing Business As”) and other paperwork with local, state and denominational agencies.
Increase the variety of musical styles in the 8:00 service (choir and orchestra will be utilized approx. twice a month). Broaden the music style at our 9:30, 11:00 and 5:00 services. We will consider the development of a traditional worship venue.
What are we changing? Sometime within the next two years, we will be moving toward one musical style in our services in the worship center. That style will be “contemporary” in nature, although we intend to broaden the definition of contemporary.
So, no more choir and orchestra? When we reach that point, we will not have the choir and orchestra leading in the worship center during our weekend gatherings. However, this includes the possibility of their continued ministry in other venues/special events.
Why are we making this change? 1. 1.For the sake of the next generation. 2. 2.For the sake of intergenerational unity. 3. 3.For the sake of the mission. 4. 4.For the sake of room/flexibility.
1. 1.Elders are available after this meeting. 2. 2.Mike will be at The Well on Tuesday September 23 & 30 from 9:00 am -1:00 pm. 3. 3.Books available:
4. 4.Video of Vision Night will be available online at www.evfreefullerton.com. 5. 5.Handouts will be available in the lobby and on our website. 6. 6.If you have church name ideas, send to firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com