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Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) - upper midwest districts serves Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) organizations and members in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. LCEF is a unique ministry-through-investment organization that offers LCMS members the opportunity to invest their money, earn interest, and help build LCMS churches and schools at the same time. www.lcef.org

 

Seeking Clarity in North Dakota

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Crosspointe is a young ministry, only about six years old with an average age of 27. It’s a ministry seeking God’s will for their direction. “Our council wanted the congregation to go through a strategic process so we researched several options,” said Pastor Michael Giddings serving Crosspointe Lutheran Church in Fargo. “We looked at how the various options’ basic principles lined up with ours. We chose VisionPath. It allowed us to focus, dialogue and discuss our ministry dream. In three hours, we had clarity to move forward and create an action plan. In fact, I already recommended [VisionPath] to another pastor.”

“Crosspointe is a dynamic congregation with a dynamic pastor.  Those in attendance were fully engaged in the process, and moved from talking about current issues to envisioning more effective ways to connect with their community,” said facilitator Rev. Max Biesenthal, LCEF Sr. Vice President/Ministry Support. “By the end of the morning, those in attendance had reached a consensus regarding the direction of Crosspointe’s mission, which is the intent of VisionPath.  Since VisionPath is meant to be catalytic, Crosspoiinte has created a strategic process to make their determined direction a reality.”

VisionPath is a one-time, event hosted at a ministry site. It is guided by a trained Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) facilitator who continues later on as a personal resource. Members focus and dialogue to answer such questions as, “What is the greatest opportunity in front of our ministry today? What is the most important thing you would want the community to know about our ministry?” Prior to the event, a survey is sent to all members to gather information for analysis.

“Much of what we came away with was very affirming,” said Giddings. “Everyone really rallied around the fact that we need to engage the whole family in our ministry. We confirmed that, yes, we do need to do better with communication. We also need to improve upon our assimilation, and we now know what we need to do to prioritize.”

A ministry cannot operate without a clear idea of God's direction. Many members within any given organization may have ideas to move ahead for the future. There are also community needs to consider. Everything looks fragmented—a piece here, a piece there, colliding, coming together and then quickly fading. How can your ministry turn this kaleidoscope into a clear picture, reflective of His purpose? Experience VisionPath.

For more information on VisionPath and ministry organizational development, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.