Vision 2020 Scenarios Discussion Toolkit for Churches
The Vision 2020 Team invites all RCA members to participate in intentional, authentic discussion of the scenarios being considered for the future of the RCA. These scenarios include but are not limited to: staying together, radical reorganization, and grace-filled separation.
The team has developed a facilitated process for discussing the scenarios in small groups and a set of tools to help your church participate. General Synod 2019 delegates already engaged in a version of this process to offer their feedback on the three scenarios.
There are two goals for engaging in this discussion process within your church:
- To inform your church about the scenarios under consideration for the future of the RCA. This process will help your church’s members understand the Vision 2020 scenarios and consider how moving forward with them could impact the denomination and your church.
- To offer feedback from your church to the Vision 2020 Team. If your church participates in this process before January 15, 2020, you can share your feedback with the team by filling out the feedback form provided below and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. While you may not get a personal response to your email, the Vision 2020 Team will read and take into consideration all the feedback they receive before January 15.
Resources for facilitating the discussions
Here you’ll find a guide to facilitating these discussions in your church, handouts with descriptions of the scenarios and discussion questions, and a series of podcasts to help develop participants’ capacity for difficult conversations.
The Vision 2020 Team recommends structuring these discussions as three separate 90-minute sessions (one per scenario), rather than covering all three scenarios in one sitting. Discussing each scenario individually ensures there is enough time to both understand and offer feedback on the impact of moving forward with a particular scenario. The process works best if there are 20 or fewer people total in the group. This means that you may need to have multiple small groups if you’d like to invite your whole church to participate.
(contains the full, unabridged description of each of the scenarios and their potential impact)
The practice of listening prayer can help you and your church hear what God is saying to you more clearly. This article outlines how listening prayer works and the biblical foundation for listening prayer. We encourage you and your church to engage in listening prayer together over the Vision 2020 process.
This article by Trisha Taylor (who is working with the Vision 2020 Team) outlines an approach to navigating conflict in relationships based on how Jesus handled conflict in the Bible. The key is to stay both defined and connected.
Podcasts to prepare for hard conversations
Talking about the future of the RCA—our denominational family—has the potential to stir up a lot of emotion in people’s spirits. To prepare your church to have this discussion well, you may want to invite people to listen to this series of podcasts, which offers a framework and some tools for having hard conversations. These podcasts were created by Jim Herrington, Trisha Taylor, and Ryan Donovan of The Leader’s Journey, the consultants who have worked with the Vision 2020 Team. Though the podcasts were originally designed for leaders, Herrington, Taylor, and Donovan recommended these particular episodes to prepare groups for discussions around the Vision 2020 scenarios.
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