Our Strategic Plan

We have been in the process of assessing our strengths, identifying potential growth areas and seeking God’s direction as we have affirmed a new sense of mission and vision. Our vision looks to a “preferred future” that we believe God has for us, to be:

An increasingly diverse, compassionate community committed to knowing, loving and serving Jesus in our neighborhoods and world.

Our STRATEGIC PLAN, approved in the fall of 2018, highlights key areas to address in our life together. It is now providing a roadmap for us as we pray, grow and work together in the direction of that vision. Take a look and let us know what you think – and maybe where you believe God wants you to join us on this pathway to congregational vitality with YOUR gifts and passions!

Strategic Plan Document HERE

STRATEGIC PLAN – JULY 2018

The vision of Naperville Covenant Church is to be:

An increasingly diverse, compassionate community committed to knowing, loving and serving Jesus in our neighborhoods and world.

In order to realize this vision, we will organize our efforts into the four Strategic Focus Areas included in it:  

  • Increasingly Diverse
  • Compassionate Community
  • Knowing, Loving, Serving
  • Neighborhoods and World

The goals and objectives for each Focus Area are described below.

Strategic Focus Area 1: Increasingly Diverse

As a church, we are diverse in many ways and we especially value the ethnic diversity with which we’ve been blessed in recent years. We envision growing in our understanding of what it means to truly be a multi-ethnic congregation. This will mean doing the hard work of listening and learning together about race and racial differences, all while celebrating our oneness in Jesus as seen in John’s vision in Revelation 7:9-10.       

Goals:

  • Learning Together: We have much to learn as we press into this area, including an understanding of what we mean by diversity at NECC.  Even if our main focus is on ethnic diversity, we need to take into account our gender, age, cultural and socio-economic diversity.  In those areas, we all have learning to do. In the area of ethnicity, race and racial righteousness, more learning will be required of our dominant culture.

Objectives:

  • Build an Awareness Team… that will itself reflect gender, age and race ethnicity, and that will research, prioritize and guide our learning about biblical justice, race and multi-ethnic ministry. A variety of reading groups, workshops, panels and guest speakers may be planned by this team, working with other appropriate teams and ministries. Oversight of the Awareness Team will be provided by the Senior Pastor in the first year.
  • Develop/explore hands-on learning experiences… which may include the ECC’s “Sankofa” and “Journey to Mosaic”, as well as visits to other multi-ethnic churches. These will be researched and promoted to our members, and funding will be developed to facilitate these, as needed.
  • Encourage relationships… as a way to learn from each other. This will require intentionality in our gatherings as a faith community (fellowship), in our small groups and in our neighborhoods.  
  • Participation and Ownership:  As we move in the direction of multi-ethnic ministry, while being careful not to present our church as something we are not yet, we will make new, intentional and focused efforts to increase participation in related activities

Objectives:

  • Increase visible participation… of people of color (POC) in worship services and other open-to-the public event programming.
  • Nominate and recruit… staff, leaders, planners, decision makers and culture shapers who represent our diversity, when possible.  
  • Embrace the ECC’s Five-Fold Test … as an important tool to guide us.

Population – is NECC reaching increasing numbers of people among increasing numbers of populations?

Participation – are we finding ways to engage in life together through events, fellowship and community service?

Power – are the positions of leadership enhanced by the perspective and gifts of diverse populations?

Pace-Setting – with the additional perspectives in our midst, what new ministry opportunities exist for NECC?

Purposeful Narrative – how do all of our diverse perspectives flow together to become part of our story as we move into our future?

Strategic Focus Area 2: Compassionate Community

We believe God is calling us to deeper and more meaningful expressions of Christ-like compassion in our life together as a church AND we envision that same compassion motivating us to address deep needs in our neighborhoods and world.  Compassion is a rich biblical word that comes alive in the person and ministry of Jesus. Compassion is the first piece of “clothing” Paul calls the church to put on in Colossians 3:12.

Goals:

  • Strengthen and expand ministries of compassionate care: taking what we do well and doing it better.

Objectives:

  • Develop a Care Team… who will work with the pastors, children and youth volunteers, the Stephen Ministry Leaders, the Alden Team and others, creating guidelines and clarifying expectations in order to to effectively extend care and support to those we deem the modern day version of “widows and orphans” (James 1:27) – the at-risk, alone, marginalized and likely-to-be-overlooked, both in our own faith community, as well as those with whom we are building relationships in our neighborhoods.  
  • Affirm and encourage Stephen Ministry… in the good training, resourcing and caring they are already doing, with an openness to make caring services available to those we come to know in our neighborhoods.
  • Strengthen and update prayer ministry… by evaluating current prayer ministry, looking to increased opportunities for prayer, as well as better use of technology and media to communicate prayer opportunities, resources, needs and answers to prayer.
  • Develop a plan to leverage the practical skills and talents of congregants… making needed services available to one another and to our friends and neighbors in the community.

Objectives:

  • Create a system to identify service skills and talents… of the congregants which may be extended to other congregants and to others in the community.
  • Develop a program to match the skills and talents… identified above with other congregants who may need such services, and implement the program.   
  • Extend the skill and talent matching program… to others outside of the congregation.

Strategic Focus Area 3: Knowing, Loving, Serving

We want everyone to KNOW God in a relationship with Jesus, to authentically LOVE one another, and to SERVE God both within the church and as we reach out with the compassion, mercy and justice of Jesus. This will mean a more focused approach to Christian growth and discipleship for all ages, as we discover together, across generational lines, what it means to know, love and serve God.

Goals:

  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for Christian formation/discipleship… that will include plans for learning the full scope of Scripture and what it teaches us about knowing God in a relationship with Jesus and the call to a life of faith and service in the church and in our neighborhoods and world.  

Objectives:

  • Develop a Discipleship Team… that will work with the pastors and the Discipleship MGD to coordinate discipleship efforts for all age levels, providing consistency and leadership across the whole congregation.  Plans will consider not only curriculum and spiritual practices, but the realities of timing, space and logistics for effective learning together throughout the week.
  • Develop a strategic plan for Children and Youth Ministries… as a key component of this overall strategy.  
  • Create a culture of mentoring… extending the experiences gained from existing programs (i.e. Confirmation, MOPS, and the 3-4-1/Ironmen initiatives), offer training and opportunities for cross-generational mentoring and relationship building with the intent of developing one another as disciples. Encourage spiritual direction as an option for those who desire to go deeper in their walk with Jesus.
  • Make use of creative worship experiences… to connect us with each other and with God, understanding the role of worship in the life of a disciple/follower of Christ.
  • Revitalize Small Groups… with a renewed focus on their ability to combine knowing, loving and serving in the context of authentic, committed relationships.  Expand the vision of small groups to make room for those from the community who are exploring faith.

 

Objectives:

    1. Encourage the development of a safe and caring atmosphere… in all small group gatherings, where authentic relationships can develop and care can be extended and received.
    2. Expand the number and focus of small groups… and encourage participation by more congregants.

Strategic Focus Area 4 – Neighborhoods and World

We believe that when Jesus said “Love your neighbor” in his Great Commandment, he meant our actual neighbors around the church itself; in each of the neighborhoods where our members live; and beyond. John 3:16 proclaims God’s love for the whole world and Jesus’ Great Commission calls us to make disciples of all nations (Greek; ethnos). We will continue to build and develop relationships where the hurting are helped and the lost are found.    

Goals:

  • Focus the role of the Outreach Ministry… as we seek to make a Kingdom difference locally, regionally and globally.

Objectives:

  • Practice the art of neighboring, loving as Jesus calls us to love… by building relationships, helping where needed and being open to God’s leading when opportunities for spiritual conversation present themselves.  Live into the B.L.E.S.S. evangelism initiative.*
  • Evaluate and focus our local and regional outreach partnerships… developing criteria for discerning which partnerships need deeper development and ongoing engagement.
  • Sharpen our global awareness and relationships… by building on our Congo relationships and by working on strengthening our connections and relationships with a smaller number of Covenant missionaries.
  • Leverage our prominent location and building… to welcome the community in. In the spirit of our garage sale and the potential we see in the Global 6K for water, work together to build good will in our community.

 

Objectives:

  • Explore possibilities for use of the church facilities…for open-to-the-community events, such as music concerts/artist series, speaker series, panel discussions on key community issues, etc.,

*B.L.E.S.S.

B- Begin with prayer, for those you know who are far from God

L – Listen with care; listen for dreams, pain and evidence of God’s work in their lives

E – Eat together, sharing meals with people in your life who do not know God

S – Serve others in love, attentive to opportunities God provides you to care for people and their needs

S – Share your story; after building a relationship and earning trust, look for ways to share how Jesus is transforming your life and the world

1150 Hobson Road Naperville, IL 60540
630-369-2741 Phone
630-369-7272 Fax

Know. Love. Serve.