Our annual family meeting, formerly known as a “business meeting” we discussed my journey here at First Baptist Palo Alto, we looked at my year here working on Our Project and cast a vision for our way forward in Integral Ministry.
Church ministry is best thought of as a lively system. Our ministry is a matrix made up of care-giving bonds, institutional structure, cultural plurality, and a complex array of interactive dynamics. Like all systems, ours is resistant to change as the system seeks equilibrium. Our challenge as church goers is to learn how to balance new energies and changes for the emergence of new ideas, new possibilities, and new growth. An integral approach to ministry shifts the focus from one or two leaders to an engaged democratic participation.
Integral Ministry is also a strategy for growth. Rather than focus on increasing individual numbers of Sunday attendance, we seek to increase the ownership of our church. In doing so we create a sticky factor amidst our relationships and our organization as a whole. Our growth will come from personal and interpersonal transformation. May our healthiness and well-being be the magnet of attraction. When we have a shared identity we have a shared invitation: come to our church to be a part of our church that values democratic participation over sideline observation.
The new model of ministry cultivates an egalitarian social order, well-being and shared responsibilities are most important. Those who join the church embark on the adventure toward integral participation in every aspect of church life.
As we seek to move forward together, The Project becomes Our Project. We will work together for the good of the church, as a whole integrated family, where every part of your participation matters. In this integral system, the choir is just as connected to youth ministry as the coffee hour is to iSing renters. We are a part of a dynamic church family system that in order to grow needs a balance of change and stability–both of which are only possible when every member is an active and integral part to our growth as a community.