The Difference Between Mission and Vision
Mission is about purpose. It answers the fundamental questions, “Who are we?” and “Why do we exist?” While there are many ways to keep reframing the statement of the church’s mission so that it translates into new generations, it is unmistakably founded on Jesus’ call for us to “Go, make disciples of all nations and cultures” (Matthew 28:18-20) and his command to “love God and love our neighbor” (Luke 10:27). Our current FCC Mission Statement is “To Know Christ and to Make Him Known”. Our church Board and Pastors are currently looking into Jesus’ Great Commission and teachings in the Scriptures and seeking to discern how we continue to communicate the Mission of FCC for clarity and focus.
Vision is about direction. It’s about where we are headed in our future while still being true to our mission. It has to do with taking a look at our past and our present, defining the realities of our community and our surroundings and dreaming of what God may want us to look like in the days to come. Vision is a picture of where we would like to be in the near future. This is where the work of the FCC Vision team comes into play and where we are excited to listen, share and discern together!
Why a Vision Team?
The purpose of FCC Vision Team is to lead us in a process of discerning God’s spiritual, strategic direction for the ongoing mission of First Covenant Church of Oakland.
Your FCC Vision Team was formed in February of 2017 and consists of 12 FCC members who represent the diversity of our church in age, gender, ethnicity and in their time at FCC. We are grateful for the ongoing commitment of these individuals to work on your behalf to make sure that we serve the wider community of FCC and Oakland. The team consists of: Zoe Abuyen, Marcus Amaro, Pastor Marco Ambriz, Scott Cammauf, Dave Geng, Ruth Hamilton, Jenay Hatchell, Pastor Calvin Ho, Jana Holmes, Hamilton Hunt, Nina Johnson (Team Leader), and Joan Sweetman.
We have invited Alan Forsman, a Covenant Church consultant and (former church planter and pastor) to lead us in conversation and focus for our process. Alan comes highly recommended by other Covenant Church leaders and has helped many churches and organizations with vision and strategic planning to achieve their goals while being committed to their mission.
The Vision team has met now 3 times in bi-monthly meetings and are continuing more work through a process of large group gatherings, sub-team projects and individual research through which we hope will lead us to clarify our church’s spiritual strategic direction.
Sub-Teams: The Vision team has been divided into several sub-teams in order to focus and achieve its goals. It will continue to divide into other sub-teams as necessary and constantly recruits the voices and presence of other FCC people to help accomplish its tasks. Our current sub-teams consist of these groups:
The Prayer Team is leading the charge throughout the church to organize times of prayer specifically for this venture. They are asking for and leading prayers as we listen to God’s guidance and His leading us to His will as a church.
The Internal Dynamics Team is looking at who we are today. Questions include: “What are the demographics of those who call FCC their church home? Who are we currently serving and partnering with? What kind of care and ministry are we doing among our church family? What are the structures of leadership and ministry within our church body?
The External Dynamics Team is focusing on our greater community of Oakland and assessing the needs of this great city so that we as a church may rise to the call of outreach and local ministry. Questions include: What are the demographics of Oakland and the East Bay? What are the needs that city leaders and communities are identifying? What are the opportunities for FCC to be missional outside of its walls? Where are FCC people already serving the community?
The History Team has been researching the 130-year history of FCC in order to honor our legacy and those who have gone before us and to also understand times in our church’s history where we courageously adapted for the sake of future vision.
The Communications Team is working to keep you informed and to solicit vital input from the church community for our process.
The End Goal of the Vision Team
The Vision team will continue its work through the Summer of 2017. When it has concluded its meetings, prayer, conversations with others and research it will produce a document that can be called a Vision Statement. This statement is a list of suggestions and recommendations that would be presented to our FCC Board for consideration, church adoption and implementation. No vision statement is perfect or final, but we would seek for this to be a step towards dreaming together what God is calling us to look like as we follow him in his mission.
What Can You Do?
This is a community process as we are a church body that is seeking God together. You can help in 3 ways
- Pray. Please join us in taking time out of your day to ask God for his direction and wisdom for our process in this season. Our church started with a group of people praying in a house in Oakland in 1887 and it’s going to keep moving in God’s power by people committed to prayer in 2017 and beyond!
- Dream. You have our FULL permission to waste some time, day-dreaming of what God might want FCC to look like! Sometimes we don’t take time to dream because we’re so focused on what happened in the past or overwhelmed with what’s happening right now. Try imagining the future for a bit. See what happens!
- Share. Please let us know what you are hearing from God in prayer, from your heart in dreaming, from conversations with others in both the joys and the needs that there are in our city and our world.
We invite any of your comments, questions and thoughts as you consider the future of FCC.
If you like, take some time now and try to answer these 3 questions
3 years from now...What do you see happening through FCC?
3 years from now...What do you hear people saying about FCC?
3 years from now...What do you feel when you participate in the community life of FCC?
Pastor Marco and the FCC Vision Team