A lot of change is happening this New Year, as Sam Cooke sang, “Change gonna come…” It appears organizations are looking towards collaborations instead of collisions with a significant “missional shift.”See the full article here or read below:
Jeff Warren is the senior pastor at Park Cities Baptist Church.
Q: How do you think faith-based organizations will or can make a difference this year?
A: Many churches and faith-based organizations have experienced a significant “missional shift” over the past 10 years. We must continue to align all of our efforts and resources, not to be the best church in the city, but to the best church for the city. We exist for the common good of our city and especially for the least and lost among us.
Q: What are your hopes for your community in 2014?
A: The North Dallas area has been blessed to be a blessing. I hope that our people will continue to leverage their time, energy and resources for the sake of those who have been marginalized and forgotten. As we serve the broken and stand up for the weak, we are the ones who are blessed. That’s the nature of the kingdom of God.
Q: What challenges and opportunities do you anticipate for people of all faiths in 2014?
A: I think we must continue to address the needs of the poor. Dallas is really the story of two cities: the comfortable middle and upper classes and the distressed lower class and impoverished. I’ve joined a host of others involved in an effort to come together to bring hope and renewal to those struggling. Greater Dallas Movement Day will be held at the Convention Center on Jan. 23 and will kick off a five-year collaborative effort to address the most pressing needs in our city. It will be a historic movement here in Dallas.
Q: What are some of the needs you see in the Park Cities and North Dallas community in 2014, and how do you hope the faith community will address them?
A: I think the greatest need that I see in our immediate community is the need for us to rescue one another from cultural Christianity to follow Jesus every day. The cultural Christian may be a person of faith, but does not live for the sake of others and to the glory of God. I believe that a life transformed by the grace of God is what changes a community and, ultimately, the world.
Q: What changes would you like to see in the community in 2014?
A: I think the greatest thing that would bring about lasting and comprehensive change will happen in our families. The story of any community is the story of the family written large. Starting with God-honoring marriages, I pray for stronger families in our communities. That will always change a community. We are bringing an intentional focus to our ministries to couples and families in 2014.
Q: What are some of your congregation’s goals for the year, and how does it plan to carry them out?
A: The year 2014 will be a historic year for our church family as we celebrate our 75th at church. As we celebrate God’s faithfulness to us in the past we will also bring forth the results of an intensive yearlong process of mission/vision clarity as we move into God’s exciting future for us. Our immediate, mid-term and long-term goals will be presented to our congregation as our “Joshua Project” teams present their findings in February. The convergence of our strong heritage and exciting future ahead will create a synergy that will send us out on mission as never before.
Q: How will your congregation’s members serve in their neighborhoods, the country and internationally?
A: Our “1:8” mission initiative has a clear strategy to engage our city, our nation and the world to share the love of Christ with as many people as possible. In conjunction with our 75th anniversary we will bless our city with a massive effort to care for the needy among us. We will also send hundreds of people on mission trips to our mission partners in New York City, South Texas, Guatemala, the Caribbean and India. This year our teams will lead an effort that will result in the largest gathering of its kind in the history of India. We’re excited to share the Good News of God’s rescuing grace with the nations.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?
A: It is our great joy to serve Dallas and the world for the sake of the Gospel. We live in a wonderful city and we know that it has all come to us from God. We are stewards of the Gospel and we seek to be found faithful with our moment in time. As our clock tower says, “Night Cometh” when we will no longer be able to serve the people God continues to assemble here in Dallas. May we all love one another with a sense urgency of urgency today.