(NOTE: This blog post is from our Senior Minister Shane Stanford.)

It is truly a blessing to serve as the Sr. Pastor at Christ Church. I am humbled to lead a congregation with such a rich history in both Memphis and Methodism. For the past 50 years, pastors, staff members and congregational leaders have worked side-by-side to glorify God as we make, mature and mobilize disciples by loving Jesus and loving like Jesus in the world…the result, fruitfulness. Thousands have a relationship with Christ, and neighborhoods in our city are healthier and better places because of Christ Church’s witness and faithfulness.

Along with our rich history also comes a bright future. Like the servant Joshua reflecting on the journey of the Israelites to the Promised Land, we can look back and see the faithfulness of God in the life of Christ Church. It’s that same faithfulness that inspires us to trust God with our future as well. Yet our future, much like the incredible accomplishments of the past, should not be merely an ‘accident of fate.’ No, we must ‘plan forward,’ trusting and following where God leads us over the horizon.

To that end, last year, we established the Joshua Committee as Christ Church’s strategic planning initiative and process for the future. The Executive Council selected Drew Mohler to lead the Joshua Committee’s efforts. His work to date has been nothing short of spectacular. Not only are we organized and prepared for our next steps, but Drew has mobilized a team of outstanding leaders within a straightforward, tested format and plan that I believe will set the course of much of who and what Christ Church will become and do over the next generation.

This week on August 17-18, we will host our first Joshua Summit. Please pray for us during this strategic planning event where we will discern and prioritize the critical factors that will enable us to achieve our vision for the future as well as brainstorm possible initiatives that will help us arrive to where we believe God needs Christ Church in the future. If you would like to know more or have any questions for me, please plan to attend the Q&A session next week on Wednesday, Aug.22 at 6 p.m. in Seabrook Hall. Remember, dinner is served beginning at 5 p.m., but reservations are required by Monday, Aug. 20 at Noon to weddinner@cumcmemphis.org.

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