I love participating in brainstorming sessions with Mister Mark, the Director of Children’s Ministries at FUMCFW. Not only is he brilliant and creative, he’s great at helping a group zero in on its best, most productive ideas. Over and over again, he’ll lift up some of our comments and point out, “It seems like [this idea] is where all the energy is. Let’s focus on that.”
That simple practice of identifying “where all the energy is” has led to some of our most productive and successful work together, and it’s time for our entire church to step back, reflect together, and discern where our energy is as a community of faith.
Fort Worth is growing. Count the cranes downtown and look at the hundreds of new apartment complexes filling our most urban areas. Look at the businesses moving to town and the growth of young families in our neighborhoods. Fort Worth is growing, and FUMCFW is in a beautiful position to continue to serve and lead this city as it grows. Last spring, Dr. Bruster’s sermon series “In the Heart of the City” outlined our vision for a church that proclaims a lifesaving gospel in the middle of a crowded city. The time is perfect to reflect together and discern where the energy is that will allow us to make this dream a reality.
Focus First is a special church project, a congregation-led process that will help us answer the questions: Who are we? Who is our neighbor? Who is God calling us to be? Focus First begins with a congregation-wide survey, a chance to help form a clearer picture of how our large and diverse church engages and attracts a variety of people. This survey is open now and goes through October 20; please take 10 minutes and complete it now!
After the survey, Focus First will include Focus Groups, an opportunity for each and every one of you to participate in a process of Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry asks questions that allow you to share what you love about FUMCFW, who we are when we’re at our best, and the dreams you think God has for our church. I hope all of you join one of these fun and affirming sessions. They will be held on October 8, 11, 15, and 18. (The Sunday meetings are 12:30 – 2:30 pm, and the Wednesday meetings are 6:30 – 8:30 pm.)
In the spring, a special leadership summit at our church will gather to review the data received through the survey, Focus Groups, community and demographic research, and some other helpful materials. At that time, a community of lay church leaders will help us determine some next steps for moving in the direction that God has laid out for us. By next June, we’ll have completed Focus First and determined together “where the energy is” based on your participation and feedback. I can’t wait to see where God is leading our church, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things we do when we’re united around our common passions. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Join us and help us discern where God would have us go!