Aspiration Statement: Being Church
Woodbrook is a community of believers in covenant relationship with God and with each other.
We value intergenerational relationships and leadership, supporting these through shepherding, sharing faith journeys, and nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ.
We are a people who celebrate our Baptist heritage and as a community, we seek God's vision and work together to discern our part in God's work in the world. We will be intentional about celebrating our Baptist identity by being faithful to the sacraments we practice – baptism and communion – and seeking ways to more fully experience the grace of God through them. We want to explore our Baptist identity by inviting responses to the phrase, “We're Baptist, and yet...” to celebrate and better communicate who we are to our surrounding community.
The work of the church is a shared work, where every member is a minister with and to each other. As a community, we work to nurture people in the Christian faith in all stages of the journey. We strive to explore deeply the intersections between faith and work, faith and school, faith and family life, and faith and culture. To do so, we work to create a safe space for those who yearn for a deeper connection to God.
To grow as individuals and as a community, we sense the need to “cultivate a culture of calling” – a place in which individuals can explore God's leadership in their relationships, vocations, and avocations. By implementing a shepherding or mentoring program throughout the church, we hope to “grow up” leaders for existing ministries as well as future ministry endeavors.
Aspiration Statement: Connections and Commitment
Woodbrook Baptist Church is an open community that nurtures and strengthens our relationships with God and one another. We celebrate each other and our faith, and seek to ground our beliefs by exploring the big questions of life with integrity, courage, creativity and joy. We live out our faith together, through a rich blend of worship, music, study, service, encouragement and friendship. We rejoice in our gifts yet recognize our calling to invite others into this celebration and exploration of God's purpose on Earth and in our lives.
We welcome people of all ages to a wide range of activities that strengthen our faith and express our interests. In addition to our worship service, we offer, among others: Sunday School classes for children, youth, adults and seniors; groups for women and youth; Musical activities including aged-based choirs, family music nights, and concerts; a softball team; Wednesday night suppers; spiritual direction; and the nationally-accredited Woodbrook Early Education Center.
All these are made possible through God's grace and a strong lay leadership. However, we need to develop mechanisms that promote and nurture this leadership step-by-step. In so doing, we believe we can broaden our volunteer pool and foster our congregation's growth. Our church building is another strong foundation. We use it well and broadly, but seek to make the facility available for an even greater range of activities and groups. We also wish to maintain and deepen our participation in the mission endeavors of like-minded organizations.
Woodbrook enjoys a deep, open and creative faith in a loving, all-powerful God. We believe that God calls us to widen the circle of love and faith with which he has enveloped and entrusted us.
One way in which we can do this is by intentionally deepening our relationships both inside and outside of the church. We believe that we can work toward this goal by exploring the development of optional small groups, by fostering intergenerational relationships, and using art and a broader variety of music to inspire and enrich our connections and commitment to God.
We will also explore the possibility of partnering with sister churches, which may include City Temple. Finally, we recognize that we need to do a better job of making our community of faith known. We will seek to do this in new and creative ways, including a redesigned website and stronger web presence. This may include an interactive Bible Study, worship on the web, social networking, advertising on public radio and television, and producing revamped publicity materials. In all of this, we strive to meet the practical needs of those who wish to attend Woodbrook, and to remain sensitive to the changing needs of our congregation.
Aspiration Statement: Celebrating Diversity
Woodbrook is a family where we celebrate and value diversity, working to build on the rich base that we have. We take seriously God’s call to us to be a welcoming, compassionate, and supportive Christian community. Our vision is to welcome all to worship and study with us, making each and every person a valued part of our community. We strive to meet the diverse needs of our congregation as they arise.
Woodbrook starts with a strong skill set. This includes, but is not limited to, the cross-generational activities and leadership roles that are not gender-specific. In our congregation we consider equal and valid political, theological, ethnic, religious, and cultural perspectives that may at the outset seem divergent. For example, we enjoy and hope to continue to expand:
Woodbrook wants to hear God’s voice even when practicality would urge a more cautious way forward. For example, we are dreaming of and hope to move toward:
Aspiration Statement: Opportunities for Growth
We, as the community of faith at Woodbrook, believe that we are called by God to grow into the people God would have us be. Our primary understanding of this call is to grow in spiritual commitment and in service to our neighbors rather than numeric growth. Woodbrook’s commitment to respect the dignity of each person and the needs of individuals within identifiable groups drives our ministry. We believe that growth in size will follow as we grow in service.
We have a tradition of community involvement meeting the needs of selected groups, such as our Chinese congregation, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, and establishing the Weekday Early Education Center. Our dream is for Woodbrook to be so excited and so invested in ministry opportunities that we not only participate in but become a leader and coordinator of a partnership of community organizations and other churches to develop collaborative efforts, shared resources, and cooperative service programs. We envision an expansion of services to meet community needs from infants to seniors. As we embark upon this expanded ministry, we embrace a mentoring program that taps into the passions that exist in our membership and fosters a sense of call and a commitment to service.
Currently our primary focus is on the needs of families, their children, and youth. Building on our strengths, we will be intentional about expanding the outreach of our current programs into the community including:
We will formalize and expand membership programs to foster spiritual growth and leadership development such as
And offer community participation in these programs through creative means such as:
Through collaborative partnerships with other churches and community organizations we aspire to identify and address unmet service needs within our community such as
To accomplish the expansion of services that we envision, we foresee a time that an additional church staff position may be required. We anticipate the need for at least a part-time coordinator of outreach activities. We understand that to achieve our dream we will need to grow our congregation and our revenue resources to support such an expansion. We pray that such growth will reflect a deepening commitment and excitement that will always characterize the spirit of our congregation.