Vision Statement History
“Our vision is to share God’s love and make disciples of Jesus Christ by connecting people to God and one another wherever they are and across generations.”
To better reflect the life and work of the people and ministries of Ben Hill, in January 2014 our Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Byron E. Thomas commissioned a Visioning Team to capture the vision of our church.
A four stage process was utilized to formulate the vision. The first stage was Preparation, which consisted of defining and surveying our ‘community’ , and establishing a prayer and scripture base. The second stage focused on Congregational Input in four survey areas: History, Values, Growth Areas and Congregational Energy. In this stage survey results revealed the six foremast Core Values (Love, Integrity, Family, Faith, Commitment, and Compassion) favored by members. The third stage defined a Vision Output by harnessing all of the input that was captured in the first two stages.
The members of the Visioning Team, appointed by the Senior Pastor from the membership of the church, are as follows: Pastor Byron Thomas, Carol Clarke-Wesley, Rasheed Denson, Phil Harris (co-chair), Julian Hicks, Eden Mabry, Arthur “Trey” McClung (co-chair), Gloria Parker, Lula Suttle, Marie Tanner, Courtney Ware, Michael Watkins, Anne Wimberly. Having completed their mission, the Visioning Team expired in August 2017.
The fourth stage of the visioning process is to Embrace the Vision, and is an ongoing process for the entire church. The following actions have been implemented to begin this process:
SPIRITUAL TRAINING…In an effort to garner a deeper meaning of the first part of the Vision Statement, “Sharing God’s Love,” a devotional book on love entitled “The Love Walk,” by Amanda Beth, is currently being studied by clergy, ministry leaders, and recommended for all members.
VISION STATEMENT PUBLISHING…The Vision Statement has been and will continue to be incorporated into church publications, both hard copy and digital and other forms of internal and external communications. As a permanent item in the Order of Worship, the Vision Statement is recited each Sunday by congregants and is often featured as the worship bulletin cover theme.
VISION THEME…The Vision Statement is utilized by ministires to set the theme and focus for various ministry activities.
VISION EMBEDDING COMMITTEE…To support and extend beyond the fourth stage of the visioning process, in May 2017 the Vision Embedding Committee (VEC) was established by the Senior Pastor. See more at Living Out the Vision.
Anchor Scripture for Visioning Process:
“Then the Lord answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed Eme; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:2
Unity Prayer for Church Ministry Vision:
“Loving God, you are the giver of life and ministry with and for your people. Come and grant your vision for Ben Hill United Methodist Church and help each one of us and the whole church to see it within and outside it, embrace it and make it plain so all can see it by the way we live it. Give us wisdom and spiritual understanding to carry out our role as members and leaders in order for your vision to become clear. May all we do in and outside Ben Hill be done so that the whole body will be healthy and grow showing fully your love. Help us to have the desire to obey you and the power and commitment to do what pleases you.
May the vison and mission that develops for our church guide our understanding of what you want us individually and as a church to do. And, God, empower us to keep working toward that day when we and our church will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved us for and wants us to be.
God, you know the church called Ben Hill United Methodist Church. You brought it into being and you have brought it this far by faith. You know the leaders and you called all of us to serve in some way. God, you know me too, and are acquainted with all my ways. Help all of us “not to be ashamed of the good news about Jesus Christ. As we press forward toward your vision for us, may we do it with humility and bring honor to you. May you forever be our vision, wisdom, hope, joy and treasure in the name of Jesus. Amen.”