Going for Growth (Our decade-long Focus) (2021-2031)

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The UPCSA’s stated Mission Priorities are:

  • Bearing witness to the saving love of Jesus Christ

  • Building vital, reforming congregations for worship, ministry and discipleship

  • Visibly proclaiming the Kingdom of God through unity, justice, peace and love.

The Committee has adopted the theme:
“Going for Growth – Sowing, Growing, Reaping”
as our vision and mission for the next decade.
Sowing: is about planting new congregations
Growing: is about strengthening “stuck” congregations
Reaping: is about a renewed focus on personal evangelism.

In order to achieve this, the committee will set a number of goals for itself and each year it will measure progress and set new targets for the next year. It is hoped that this ongoing theme will generate excitement, buy-in and unity as we work in the denomination, presbyteries, and congregations and that our members will be excited by this theme and that it acts as a “rallying call” in these uncertain times.

For the committee, phase 1 of rolling out this theme will be:

  • An incremental survey of congregations.
    We need to understand the challenges faced by our congregations in various contexts. An initial qualitative (rather than quantitative) survey will done with 5 congregations in 5 presbyteries (25 in total) and each year we will enlarge the sample group and do additional surveys to build on our knowledge base.

  • We have nearly completed adapting a tool given to us by the Church of Scotland for congregations to do missional self-evaluation and strategy development. This will be rolled out at Assembly.

  • We will call for a season of prayer and preparation through the Month of Mission.

  • We have and will provide congregations with tools to become more missional. For example:
    – Articles about Missional Church
    – The newly contextualised Mission Shaped Introduction course
    – The Unfinished Story as a tool to become more missional
    – The Order of Lay Ministries to equip leaders
    – The Pioneering Incubator Model that can be used by any Presbytery
    – A brochure entitled “What do we do if we can’t afford a minister?”
    – A tool to classify congregations and to decide on “twin”, “merge”, “close”.
    – Procedural guidelines for planting new congregations.
    – L10Transformation as an Evangelism Training tool

  • We want to establish a pool of trained “consultants” who can assist and advise congregations.

  • We want to explore resourcing (assessment relief and sourcing money for growth)

In future years we’ll work with Presbyteries to set goals around:
– Sowing: Planting new congregations
– Growing: Helping congregations get “unstuck”
– Reaping: Raising the value of outreach and social justice.

The Committee would like to recommend that this not only be theme for Mission and Discipleship, but that the UPCSA adopt this theme as decade-long Missional theme and focus so that it would be the common drive and thread that unites committees, members and office-bearers in a highly visible and practical programme.

Just imagine if, in faithfulness to our stated Mission Priorities, we were focussed on
Going for Growth: Sowing, Growing, Reaping
Sowing: planting new congregations
Growing: strengthening “stuck” congregations
Reaping: a renewed focus on personal evangelism.

It could be very, very exciting…

You can watch the Convener’s presentation video HERE

Watch the Launch Video with a presentation from Malan Nel and interviews with People who are going for growth HERE

Watch the latest report to General Assembly HERE and read the REPORT.