It requires no shopping and won't put a strain on your bank or charge card account. Yet it's a highly sought-after gift, and one which can have enduring value. This Advent season, Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. invites you to give a gift of time – just about 25 minutes – on behalf of the people in the California-Nevada mission field. He asks that you spend that 25 minutes by December 25, dreaming with the Vital Congregations Task Force about what it might take to realize certain visions of what our Conference could be.
...One-third of the congregations and faith communities in the California-Nevada Annual Conference started a new ministry or congregation that reached new people?
...All of our congregations and faith communities had a clear vision, a focused mission, an aligned organization, and a simple discipleship strategy to transform the world by making disciples in their unique context?
...We as a Conference created a multicultural congregation which consistently engaged no fewer than 1,000 people in worship, service, and/or small groups?
...We had a Conference culture that naturally encouraged innovative ways of multiplying disciple-making movements to create new places?
How do you give "25 minutes by December 25"? Take the "virtual interview" which has been created as a way to begin our Annual Conference's conversation about how we might make some or all of the dreams listed above a reality. (It's called a virtual interview rather than a survey because it's expected to take longer to complete than a normal survey: an estimated 25 minutes.)
The Vital Congregations Task Force will use input from the interview responses to inform its initial design of an Annual Conference strategy that will describe how we might better create new places for new people to be invited into a life in Christ – and, in turn, to be sent out to transform the world. This strategy will include the hiring of a Cabinet-level staff position (approved at Annual Conference 2010): someone who will help us implement the plan we come up with together.
The 25 minutes you spend with the virtual interview is indeed a highly sought-after gift, in that it will help shape future planning for vital congregations in the California-Nevada Annual Conference. Please give your "25" by December 25!