The Playbook is Pine Lake Covenant Church’s annual reminder of what we believe, what we’ve discerned as God’s will for our congregation, and how we’ll translate this into action during the coming ministry year. Ministries, missions, and teams use it to frame their plans so that we steward the best use of all God has given us.
WE THE CHURCH brings to mind how our nation’s founders laid the groundwork for what we now call the Constitution.
“We the people” are the first words in the preamble, which goes on to describe aspirations that have endured for more than two centuries.
“We the Church”… How might PLCC’s preamble for this season in our church be written?
We, the Church, love God passionately.
We, the Church, love others deeply.
We, the Church, radically bless the world.
Our current circumstances may seem to thwart our confidence for the coming year…
- We’ve said goodbye to a beloved pastor;
- We are not currently meeting in person;
- We face societal and personal tensions that have been amplified in this pandemic;
- We’ve had to adjust ministry initiatives and realigned resources.
I believe these challenges are opportunities in disguise. This playbook outlines plans to live out our preamble—to love God, love others and bless the world—in fresh ways. This strategic vision, developed with the staff and leadership team, outlines priorities for the new ministry year.
We, the Church, with bold faith in God and commitment to one another, can confidently move forward in our mission as a church.
Interim Lead Pastor
We, the Church, Believe & Value…
WE, THE CHURCH, BELIEVE:
As part of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), Pine Lake Covenant Church’s essential beliefs are summed up in what we call Covenant Affirmations:
- We affirm the centrality of the word of God;
- We affirm the necessity of the new birth;
- We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church;
- We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers;
- We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit;
- We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
WE, THE CHURCH, VALUE:
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing
Above all else, we believe Jesus Christ, his person and his transforming message of love, is the main thing in life. The more we stay focused and connected to him, true life is possible.
All ages, all growing, all the time
We believe that discipleship is not something we do in addition to our “regular” lives. As we grow in following Jesus, we will see that he is concerned with how we live all the time, wherever our age.
It’s okay to not be okay
We don’t have to get ourselves together before we can experience God in a personal way. We can be real about our imperfections while at the same time, trust that we are loved and on a growth path in faith.
A safe place for hard questions
Real people often have honest doubts. Instead of just giving simplistic answers, we want to be a place where it’s safe to ask the hard questions that can actually deepen our faith.
We, the Church, Will Prioritize…
LIVING WITH A PANDEMIC
COVID-19 has altered the way we “do church.” While we are mainly at home during this time, we have readied a hybrid plan (both in-person and online) for worship and discipleship. In the meantime, we must continuously look for new ways to be in on God’s mission by…
- Providing resources for families and individuals to use in their homes and neighborhoods;
- Developing creative and innovative online options to reach beyond our geographical space;
- Expanding our online presence, while continuing to move people toward face-to-face community connections.
INVESTING IN LEADERS
In a decentralized church, it is crucial to invest in leaders of all ages who can serve from where they live. Ephesians 4:12 calls us to “Equip God’s people for works of service.” Our priority is to develop followers of Jesus to serve wherever God calls them by…
- Hosting a fall summit for all lay leaders;
- Offering forums and webinars on leadership topics;
- Utilizing the spiritual gift inventory and other tools to help discover our unique identity;
- Investing in mentoring opportunities. Invite someone to lead with you;
- Enlisting and training “Home Church” leaders;
- Strengthening adult, student, and children small group leaders.
Jesus calls us to live out all of his teachings. We must commit to the hard but necessary work surrounding social justice and reconciliation. We may not have all the answers, but we can no longer be silent. We will dedicate ourselves to justice and racial equality by…
- Highlighting God’s vision for the church and community through a sermon series on the book of Acts;
- Hosting book and film discussion groups;
- Engaging staff in the Intercultural Development Inventory and through pastoral cohorts on anti-racism;
- Encouraging we, the church, (students and adults) to learn about mercy and justice through the Journey to Mosaic or Sankofa;
- Emphasizing our continual call to prayer to recognize, repent, and renew our commitment to love mercy and do justice.
As Christians, prayer is as essential as any other initiative we engage in as a church. We must continuously seek God and depend on His Spirit, lest we become overly ambitious or fearfully passive. Let us recommit to being people of prayer in all that God has called us to be and do. We encourage everyone to…
- Join in the weekly Wednesday online prayer time;
- Increase the prayer support for Leadership and Search Teams;
- Join with other churches on the Plateau in October for a prayer service in anticipation of the election;
- Pray with and for your neighbors and community;
- Engage in Prayer Week resources from the Evangelical Covenant Church.
We, the Church, Will Realign…
Interim Lead Pastor
My role as interim lead pastor includes keeping our vision and priorities as a church focused and moving forward.
I’m grateful for a talented staff team who are creatively overseeing ministries that had previously been under my leadership. We want you to be aware of the realignment of roles during this interim time.
Pastor of Worship Ministries
I will continue to oversee worship ministries and develop transitions to digital space and back. I’ll also be overseeing Life Groups and spiritual formation initiatives, and look forward to collaborating in conversation and action around racial justice.
NANCY DE JONG
Pastor of Children & Families
I love helping children know Jesus and see God at work around them, just as adults can also see him in their lives. Additionally, I will serve as the liaison to the Congregational Care Team and the MOPS ministry.
Pastor of Student Ministries
My new role has expanded to include both youth ministry and missions. I look forward to serving students in this unique season. As the liaison to the Missions Team, I am particularly excited about opportunities to explore multigenerational involvement in the missional ethos of our church.
We, the Church… The Road Ahead
WE, THE PEOPLE
We, the People, the preamble from our Constitution, helped define a nation’s aspirations for representative governance.
WE, THE CHURCH
We, the Church, define our mission by the words of Jesus and the call to join His kingdom on earth. In each generation, we follow the Spirit’s leading to be kingdom-minded people in our current context. Pandemic restrictions, social anxiety, and political divisions describe our current reality.
We, the Church, are in a new season, but God is not surprised or shaken by these new realities. We can move forward with confidence in His leading. Together we will prioritize leadership, pursue justice and pray diligently, “not by our might, nor by our power, but through His Spirit.” (Zechariah 4:6)