Pastor Allan Demond speaks about FOUR decisions for NewHope’s future and the FIVE Life-Giving Relationship Circles.

Published on October 5, 2020

The disruptions of recent months and the uncertainties that lie ahead call for clarity and focus in our leadership. Our people will emerge from lockdown needing our confident mission-focused guidance. The fields are white for harvest and we are being equipped for the great work in front of us.

As we think about where we are going, it helps to get a bit of perspective and to reflect on the consequences of what we are going through for NewHope’s participation in God’s mission.

Perspective.

At NewHope …

  • We have disrupted all our plans, broken established norms and ‘pivoted’ to a new reality.
  • We are an online church. Worship, care & connection, ministries and services, have all moved online – in whole or in part.
  • We have upskilled our staff and key leaders – IT, comms, database, media, leadership. And discovered new capacities.
  • We have shifted to work from home arrangements and repositioned 3 Springfield Road as a Crisis Response Centre.
  • We stopped: all gatherings and the vast majority of in-person ministry.
  • We have continued Medical, Education, Café, preaching & teaching, worship & prayer, pastoral care, and ministry support with great strength – as we are able.
  • The disruption of 2020 has brought unique gains and challenges. Take a moment and reflect on this short list. What would you add?

Gains:

  • Families engaging together in the discipleship journey.
  • Lower entry barriers for group meetings.
  • Rise in the passion to be ‘on mission everywhere’.
  • Increased inter church cooperation.
  • Potential to reach new people, reignite old relationships.

Challenges:

  • Financial volatility and uncertainty.
  • Continuing disruption and necessary rework, increasing fatigue.
  • It is difficult to read our situation accurately.
  • Our desire to return to what was, managing expectations.
  • Adding to the workload, in-person and digital strategies.

Decisions.

It is not easy to make wise plans in a volatile environment. But we have made some important decisions that will guide our work. We are trusting God’s Spirit to lead us faithfully.

We will …

  1. Maintain the gains of this season.
  2. Maintain our online ministry.
  3. Return to in-person informal gatherings as soon as possible.
  4. Return to COVID-normal gatherings thoughtfully and prayerfully

In the video below, Pastor Allan Demond recently addressed leaders and volunteers about the FOUR decisions for NewHope’s future and the FIVE Life-Giving Relationship Circles. Listen to what he had to say.

Our Strategy.

We long to see God’s kingdom come. We labour to see personal and societal Transformation through following Jesus in the power of the Spirt.

God has given us a fresh clear expression of NewHope’s amazing mission

The five Life-Giving Relationship Circles focus our attention on key relationships that serve God’s mission – from our individual relationship with Jesus to our collaboration in the complex of relationships that impact and transform society itself.

The familialvocational and communal circles help us see the opportunities for discipleship formation and bold witness in these diverse contexts. We will advance God’s mission together by forming ‘Communities of Hope’ in our families and with other believers; becoming ‘Agents of Hope’ in our workplaces and schools, and through the visible long-term witness of a ‘Place of Hope’ where we have put down roots and built up services as a visible expression of Jesus’ body in the world.

The Circles empower our members and supporters as each one seeks to find their place in God’s mission. They also help us focus and align our collaborative ministry efforts, training initiatives and program dollars so we make the greatest possible difference. The framework will guide our strategic and budget planning for 2021.

The emphasis on ‘Life-Giving Relationships’ aligns with the work we did in late 2019 and the clarity that God gave to our Church Council as they wrestled prayerfully with NewHope’s mission language. The Circles will help us explain the strategic mission of NewHope to all our stakeholders.

Dynamic Pathways invite everyone to connect with God’s mission and show how NewHope seeks to support their journey as a follower of Jesus.

The strategy names the simple outcomes we are working towards together, the core commitments required of us all and the postures that we must take to serve personal and societal transformation.

Pathways are dynamic, not linear. Our people will participate in different ways and to different levels of engagement in each of the 5 circles. Clearly, the Individual Circle is the key to all the others.

Pathways are relationally energised. This is how our behaviours and beliefs are formed, not so much through programs and processes as through life-giving relationships. It is about ‘being with’, ‘becoming’, and ‘loving’. The programs that we offer need to serve our people as they engage in intentional redemptive relationships in all five circles.

As well as in-person programs and activities we will put effort and resources into developing a digital ministry strategy. This will widen and strengthen our ability to empower the NewHope family on mission.

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