It’s hard for me to put in words what took place at Vision Night. It truly was one of those events that “you had to be there”. As I said in an earlier post, we had a great time of worship (It was the loudest I have heard our congregation sing.) celebrating all that God did at Graystone in 2011. I also reminded us that what is going on at Graystone is a God-thing as in 7 short years we have grown from averaging 68 people in Sunday morning attendance in 2004 to averaging well over 1000 people in 2011.
As a church family, we came around the Lord’s table and began our new year sharing communion together. Then, we closed out the night physically circling the building in prayer as we stood hand in hand pleading for God’s favor on Graystone in 2012.
As part of my hour long “message”, I shared 6 visions/prayer requests for Graystone’s future and 5 initiatives for 2012. Here they are:
Big Picture Dreams/Visions for Graystone
1. Build Phase II – 1500 seat auditorium, new preschool wing, and our current auditorium becomes the Youth & Rec Building.
2. Purchase 3.5 acres next door – in order to have enough land to build the size building we need, appropriate parking, and the vision for expanding the ball fields for Sports Camp and greater community outreach, we will need more land. We approached the owners 3 years ago, but they were not interested in selling. I personally believe God has already given us this piece of property and am praying that they will approach us to buy it.
3. $2 million miracle – God has impressed on my heart to pray for a $2 million miracle. We owe $2 million on the current land and building and if we were to pay off all our debt, it would put us in a tremendous position of strength. It would free us up to hire more staff and invest our resources in expanding our influence and impact. In my mind, the only way I see a $2 million check coming in is through the life insurance policy on me. But I know that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and $2 million is pocket change for him. Pray with me for this miracle!
4. DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus – We have a prayer circle drawn around the 32,000 homes that are closest to Graystone Church. We will continue to move forward reaching our community with the love of Jesus Christ.
5. Expand our impact by going multi-site. Part of our vision at Graystone is to go multi-site and expand our impact into surrounding communities. The first one that God has laid on our hearts is Monroe. We already have hundreds of Grasytoners who live in the Monroe area, we when the timing is right, we would like to start the new campus with a full-time staff team and 300-500 people.
6. Graystone expansion campuses near colleges/universities (Athens, Milledgeville, Atlanta, Carrollton, Rome, etc.). It has been a dream of mine for over 10 years to start churches on college campuses (I showed an old school video of me on the campus of SMU sharing this vision.). College students are an incredibly strategic group of people to reach for Christ. They are deciding what they believe and are making major decisions on life (occupation, marriage, etc.).
They also can be the leadership pipeline for our internship ministry and we can train them up to send them out as pastors and missionaries around the world. College students have their whole lives ahead of them and they are not tied down with mortgages and expensive lifestyles. They are agile, mobile and available. I could go on for days about the “strategery” of starting a thriving college ministry.
Also, how cool would it be for our kids to graduate high school and go to college where there is a Graystone campus with Graystone staff to continue discipling and mentoring them?
Where are we going in 2012? 5 Major Initiatives:
1. Connecting people into relationships
Thousands of people are coming through the doors of Graystone, and we need to do our best to get them connected relationally, mainly in small groups and serving teams.
2. Caring for orphans and abandoned children
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
Graystone has been known as the “Sports Church”. What if we became known as the church that cares for orphans? We have started an adoption fund for any Graystone family adopting children. We are trusting God for 15 Graystone families in 2012 to adopt or foster. But we want every single Graystone member to do his or her part (give, help, pray, etc.). We are devoted a message series in February, True Religion, to highlight this initiative.
3. Focus on strengthening our marriages
- Extraordinary Marriage series in March
- I’m sick and tired of hearing about people having affairs.
- There are too many divorces happening in the church.
- Couples are not taking seriously the sanctity of marriage.
4. Stay evangelistic and keep reaching out to our target community
- 32,000 piece mailer for Extraordinary Marriage series
- Egg Hunt on March 25…big outreach event
- Easter…new series on Sermon on the Mount
- Jersey Day on April 29
- Mother’s Day in May
- Sports Camp…first week of June…Tim Tebow or someone else will be speaking.
5. Focus on Fatherhood and helping our men become the spiritual leaders in the home
- June message series: Courageous (based on movie)
- We will make Father’s Day one of our biggest services of the year (Easter, Christmas Eve, Father’s Day).
Well, that’s Vision Night in a nutshell. I shared many more things about our “Community to Core” Philosophy of Ministry (concentric circles) and our focus on keeping it simple with our mission and values (the 4 G’s). We have a strong core team and tons of MO. I truly believe that 2012 will be our best year yet. Thank you so much for being on the Graystone Team. Our next Wednesday night “core team gathering” is March 21.
Major dreams/miracles we are drawing prayer circles around: