Vision Statement: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
“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.”
1) Why was there a need for a new vision statement?
To better reflect the life and work of the people and ministries of Ben Hill.
2) Who commissioned the Visioning Team?
The Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Byron E. Thomas.
3) When was the Visioning Team commissioned?
4) What was the basic focus of the Visioning Team?
The basic focus was not on coming up with a vision for the church; rather, the focus was on “capturing the vision of the church.”
5) Who are the Visioning Team Members?
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
6) Why did it take so long to formulate the new vision statement?
It was important that the Team fully incorporate the thoughts and views of a variety of respondents, both inside (members) and outside (the wider community) of BHUMC.
7) What process was utilized in developing the new vision?
Based on example guidelines, we utilized four stages in formulating the vision. The first stage was Preparation, where we defined and surveyed our ‘community’, and established a prayer and scripture base. The second stage focused on Congregational Input in four survey areas: History, Values, Growth Areas and Congregational Energy. The third stage defined a Vision Output by harnessing all of the input that was captured in the first two stages. The fourth stage is to Embrace the Vision, and is an ongoing process for the entire church.
8) Ben Hill already has a vision statement. What will happen to that statement?
It will be replaced by the new vision statement.
9) Is the vision statement Biblically sound?
The Bible is filled with biblical supports for the Vision Statement: “To Share God’s love and make disciples of Jesus Christ by connecting people to God and one another where they are and across generations.” Examples are as follows:
• “Share God’s love”: Love that is God, to be offered and shown to God, demonstrated in relationship with others, with particular qualities in response to God’s love for us and revealed to us in Jesus Christ (The Great Commandment: Deut. 6:4-9, Matt. 22:36-40; John 13:34-35; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; 1 John 4:11-23)
• “Make disciples of Jesus Christ”: By being disciples and sharing our faith in recognition of and response to Christ’s invitation and command (Luke 9:23-24; Luke 14:25-33; John 15:8, 16; Matt. 4:19; The Great Commission: Matt. 28:19-20)
• “Connecting people to God and one another where they are and across generations”: By welcoming one another, worshiping together, teaching, caring for those in need, being accountable to one another, affirming Christ’s church as a body with many parts, and recognizing and using the gifts of all (Romans 15:7; Hebrew 13:1-2; Luke 14:7-14; Mark 9:36-37; Proverbs 71:17-18; Colossians 3:16-17; Matt. 25:35-40; Gal. 6:1-10; Romans 12:3-21; 1 Cor. 12:4-31)
10) Is there a strategy for incorporating the new Vision into the life of the church?
Yes. A six-pronged approach is underway to fully incorporate the new Vision, not only in the life of the church, but also in the community. The six areas of engagement are: Worship Service, Congregational Activities, Communication/Marketing, Procedural/Process, Pastoral Leadership, and Community Outreach.
11) What’s my responsibility to the new Vision as a member of Ben Hill United Methodist church?
Embrace the vision and live it!
12) When is the new Vision effective?
The new vision goes into effect in the first quarter of 2017.
13) Where can I locate more information on the Vision?
More information regarding the Vision statement will be periodically placed and updated on the Ben Hill website.