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Earlier this week, my senior minister (those of us involved @ Belpre affectionately know him as Ron) asked me to compile a list of what I think are the four major challenges facing the Belpre church in 2009. Here’s the list:

Major Challenge #1: The Vision Dilemma
Our most major challenge right now is a cooperative determining and understanding not only of our church vision, but of the directions we will take in order to fulfill/maintain our vision. Beyond this level of determining and envisioning, we must effectively cast our vision and direction to our membership through proper vision casting and marketing to encourage buy-in from the membership.

Major Challenge #2: The Passion Dilemma
The question at play here is: How does one take a current structure and system that is 75 years old (which has enjoyed success in past years), and fuse new life and energy into it? Our attendance, offering, and involvement numbers are sagging, which points toward a lack of passionate participation in our vision and direction. We must create an environment which allows for creativity, fresh ideas, and which values new perspective. We must teach our members how to dream, how to fail, and how to build. This mindset will affect our most major, and sacred, areas of discipleship (worship assemblies, LifeGroups, special events and celebrations, etc.).

Major Challenge #3: The Outsider Dilemma
An on-going challenge that we have @ the Belpre church is to answer the question: how will we effectively engage those around us with the gospel and rescue of Jesus Christ. We do a great job supporting global outreach efforts, but in my mind we need to be more intentional about what we are doing locally to reach people with the gospel rescue. I don’t think this means more gospel meetings (because that format is in-effective to today’s culture). We also need to look at how we are aligning ourselves to reach and minister to young single’s and young married’s (two demographics that experience major life change, to which we are largely silent).

Major Challenge #4: The Assimilation Dilemma
Currently, we are not doing a good job of implementing new members into our discipleship process. We are also not doing a good job of mentoring and implementing new talent into current or new ministries. We must figure out how to properly challenge and teach our members (both new and old) in volunteer roles and capacities. This will be critical to avoid burn-out of current volunteers, and interest-loss in current ministries.

Now let’s begin the conversation. If you’re a member @ Belpre, what do you see our 4 major challenges being in 2009? If you’re a member @ another church, what do you see the major challenges being at your church? If you’re not a Christ-follower, what do you see being the major challenges facing Christianity in 2009?

Comment below to add to the conversation.