Sunday, November 15, 2009
During a two-day Planning Conference in early November, men and women elected to serve leadership roles in Lutheran Church–Canada reviewed LCC's 2006 Strategic Plan and recommended updates and changes.
Before beginning any discussions, the group heard the results of surveys conducted at district conventions, LWMLC convention and on line, plus a survey aimed at young adults. They also received the most recent statistical information which indicated that communicant membership had dropped by more than 1900 members in 2008. Against this new information the conference compared the plan adopted in 2006. As a result, the conference reaffirmed and modified the seven current directions and added an eighth focusing on youth and young adults.
The eight directions were created to provide a planning focus for congregations, schools, districts, institutions and the national office. “These directions are based on what the people in the pew and our church workers told us was important,” explained LCC President Robert Bugbee. “Our hope is that congregations will find these useful as they seek to be the church in their communities.”
In addition to writing the directions, the conference also gave them a priority listing based on how each will support God's mission in LCC. In order of priority, the directions are:
1. Cultivate loving, healthy, growing congregations
2. Engage children, youth, and young adults with intentional mission and ministry
3. Strengthen our Lutheran education and teaching
4. Grow the resources available for the mission of the Church
5. Ensure the faithful articulation of our confession of faith in a rapidly changing world
6. Develop innovative missions and promote intercultural congregations
7. Enhance and strengthen governance
8. Enhance communication within the church and with the public
The president believes that LCC’s top priority has to be warm, loving healthy congregations. “If people are hearing God's Word, receiving His Sacraments and have a genuine care and concern for each other, visitors will find this attractive and they will want to be part of that congregation.”
The addition of a direction on youth came from a Board of Directors' discussion following the conference. As the strategic plan is a board document, the members believed they should address the rising concerns bought forward in both surveys with regard to youth and young adults.
The full document will appear in The Canadian Lutheran December 2009.
The Winnipeg event, mandated by LCC's Handbook, was facilitated by Dr. Dieter Kays, president/CEO of FaithLife Financial, and included the Board of Directors, district presidents, the seminary and university college presidents, the chairman of LCC Worker Benefit Plans' Board of Managers, the presidents of Lutheran Women's Missionary League Canada and Concordia Lutheran Mission Society, representatives from Lutheran Foundation Canada and Lutheran Laymen's League of Canada and synod staff.