Weekly Newsletter

Pastor: Willy Mafuta

Cheese Cake Factory Theology: My Take on the Ad Council Meeting of January 19 and the 2021 Vision.

I am not sure what was going on during the hour and half meeting the Ad council had last Tuesday. There was a sense of serenity, intrinsic peace and hope that frankly, I have never felt since I have been here. I give credit to our Ad Chair, Rachel Fliris and to all the members of the council who attended.

For the first time in a long time, we were able to dream and expand on our moral imagination. Humbly without a spin, members of committees presented what they did in the last three months, what they intend to do for the next trimester and how much of the help they needed from the Ad council. You should have been there to witness how God works all along when with one accord we keep our eyes on what is essential as opposed to what separates us. (Psalm 133:1-3)

One thing I shared was the analogy from my favorite restaurant in Des Moines, Cheese Cake Factory. My family and I lived in Des Moines for 5 years and every time I had a chance to go the Jordan Creek Mall, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to eat at Cheese Cake Factory.

What is attractive about this place is first of all the menu. It is diverse and well presented. Secondly, the staff, A table can be assigned a waiter or waitress, but everyone is on rotation. There is a sense of team work in that restaurant that I don’t see in many others. The last thing that is attractive is their identity. You know for sure that your dessert will be a cheese cake of your choice.

Churches that strive and grow are the one with a specific mission, with no competing agenda among church members and with a team work mentality. Those churches are good in identifying what they do well and subsequently invest in it. I call this, a Cheese Cake factory theology.

I spent time studying our Mission Statement. What it conveys is the notion that we are a welcoming community with three major drives, Christian education, worship and fellowship, and witness for Christ. I suggested to the council that our vision for 2021 should stem from the third drive of our mission statement, empowering each individual to witness for Christ.

This witnessing demands that we “Imagine New People”. Because we are an aging congregation, while we keep on providing a robust pastoral care to our current members, for us to stay vibrant, however, we need to create mechanism and put in place a system where intentionally we reach out to a new generation of believers and non-church goers in our community.

To do this requires that we revamp our website and make it friendly used, design fliers that describe who we are, initiate programs that are attractive to the millennials and generations X, Y and Z. Encourage a blended worship service and train leaders to be resourceful to the community in their areas of expertise, and encourage partnership with sister churches.

One of the events I anticipate in the spring is the community fellowship, on Sunday April 11. At this Event, we will send out an invitation to all our former members who still live-in town to attend the service, invite our friends and family members, as well our previous pastors or have them send a video message. We could have a video message from our Bishop and invite our current DS to be the speaker.

There is no doubt in my mind, if we focus on our mission statement, work as a team, excelling and being creative in our respective committees, a new spirit will blow in our church community. I am already excited that we commit to pay our apportionment in full this year and work relentlessly to render our church financially solvent.

My plea to each of one of you is to continue to dream and excel in the spirit of fellowship, by giving the best of your gifts, skills and talents for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in our community.

  January 2021  
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