Now What!? Rediscovering God's Call in Gainesville

This is a proposed timeline to encourage the Body of Christ toward a mission-focused (as opposed to person focused) vision designed to reach the community with the love of God found in the gift of Jesus.


Inviting people to a relationship with Jesus.
Developing that relationship.
Sending people out to invite people into a relationship with Jesus.

Critical Events

These are important dates toward discovering and engaging the community we're called to serve

Pastor Roth's Last Sunday


Celebrating his ministry here; sending him and his family into their new mission field; saying our goodbyes...

Real Life College Sunday

01/19/2013 - 01/20/2013

Pastor Dan hosts potential UF students...

Introduce the Upcoming Process in Bible class; led by Karl; announcement by Karl;

"Why Did We Do What We Did?" by Pastor B


Matthew 9.11-17 New Wine Into New Wineskins
Supportive Text: 1 Jn 2:4–8
Bible Class Small Group Questions: 1.) What were some of the most successful ways to grow a congregation a generation or two ago? I.e., what kind of congregations grew? 2.) How have congregations historically adapted to their surrounding cultue? I.e., in the Middle Ages churches were built like fortresses as a shelter from invading armies. 3.) What is the "new wine" and the "old wineskins" of today? 4.) What worked for First a generation or two ago that is not working today?
Pastor B launches the Winter-Spring Theme designed to crescendo with a clear and compelling mission statement for First by May 19. It will also serve as well as a dynamic invitation for the capital stewardship campaign.
Messages & Bible studies are designed to reflect the theology of worship & ecclesiastical practices designed to reach people of THAT day with the Gospel.
Goal: Separate "form" from "function." I.e., (re)discover how forms of the church carry the Gospel message but are not the Gospel message. Secondly, (re)discover how the church (& First, congregation) was always about reaching out to the lost and least of these, to reclaim our historical mission focus. Thirdly, to keep in contrast God's passionate heart for the lost and least and our s l o w participation decline.

Initiate Prototype "Missional Communities"


Recruited and led by Pastor Dan, a few key leaders will participate in prayerful ministry of studying God's word and forming caring relationships with friends and family in our community.

Watch this YouTube video for a simple explanation

Watch this one too:

The Most Important Question: Why?


Luke 15 To Recover (one lost sheep, one lost coin, one lost son)
Vicar Steve, Preaching

FiveTwo "Golden Circle" Video:1st "Why? Then, "What?" Lastly "How?"

Become All Things?


"Become All Things" 1C9.19-23
FiveTwo Video #2 of 9
"All things to all men to save some..."
Speaking ancient truth in a familiar language
1.) What did Paul do to become "all things" to people then?
2.) How does that apply to us now? I.e., What do we have to do as individuals and as a congregation to "become all things" to the Gainesville community?
3.) Note how many (most?) Christian congregations are trying to get people to become like them - instead of working to meet them where they are. Why is that hard for us to do in general? Why is it difficult for us to do at First Lutheran?

What Do We Have in Common With the Culture?


Acts 17.16-34
Matthew 12.1-8
FiveTwo Video 3 of 9: Change of Strategy
Karl preaching
Sermon Title: "First Come Alongside..."

1.) What values can we embrace to show our commonality with those in our community?
2.) Paul comes along side them in order to lead them beyond themselves in Acts 17. How does that dynamic look in the 21st century? Whom are we to come alongside of? How might we lead them forward?
3.) Notice how Paul initiates contact. Can you name three people in your life to whom God is calling you to initiate a common ground?

What Never Changes?


Ephesians 2.8-10
Mark 13.24-31 " words will never pass away."
FiveTwo Video 4 of 9
Justified by grace through faith
Sola Scriptura, Grace, Fide
Some hymns of the church
Sacramental focus; Law-Gospel understanding
Who never changes?
What never changes?
What role does the "unchangeable" play in the way things change in
A.) your life
B.) the church
C.) Gainesville community, and beyond...

Are You "Maturing" in the Faith?


Ephesians 4:11-16 "Mature" in the faith
Matthew 7.21-27 "Depart from me, I never knew you..."
Karl preaching
FiveTwo Video 5 of 9 Shifts in Discipleship:
Reveal Study from Willow Creek: church doesn't equal disciples
in, out and up: fellowship, reaching out, worship
Missional Communities: to live in a way that reaches others

How does Paul define/describe Christian "maturity?"
How "mature" is First Lutheran (according to Paul's descriptions?
How do you "mature"/grow spiritually? What needs to happen at First Lutheran to invite & encourage Christian maturity?

Are You in "Community?"


Acts 2.42-47 "...all who believed were together..."
Mark 3.31-35"...whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."
FiveTwo Video 6 of 9: Missional Communities
Relationship & Community: "small groups on steroids"
Why Do the unchurched come to church (relationship or crisis)

Where do you seek/find community?
What's the difference (if any) between "community" and "communion?"
How can we/do deal with the tension between individuality and community?

Can We Honor Our Past While Building the Future?


Hebrews 11.1-12.2: "...since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight..."
Matthew 13:47-53 "...who brings out of his house what is new & what is old."
FiveTwo Video 7 of 9
Need an appreciation for history
Build a parallel universe, leadership must be sold out for new
Bring life w/o denigrating current life
Live in the community; we attract who we are

Why do you think a new direction often seems to dishonor/diminish a new direction?
How did Jesus honor God's history and bring a whole new future?
How do we strike that balance at Firs?

Holy Week: Palm Sunday. Maundy Thursday. Good Friday

03/24/2013 - 03/30/2013



Leadership Forum: What We Learned


Proposed Leadership Team forum designed to
1.) Review what we've learned from the worship series, questions and Bibl study hour discussion
2.) Synthesize this into a summary and present to the congregation in multiple media; asking them to pray over and reflect on God's Word and our response
3.) Meet together to reaffirm/alter vision and mission plans that will inform a.) the position description and calling of a Senior Pastor,
b.) the case statement for a capital campaign in the fall of 2013
c.) the movement to a policy-based governance model

Congregational Forum: What We've Learned


1.) Review what we've learned from "larger questions" through a process called, "Generative Thinking" designed to focus information
2.) Review proposed leadership vision/mission: Invite. Develop (Disciple?). Send.
3.) Answer Questions from FL-GA District "Congregational Self Study"
4.) Decide for or against fall capital stewardship campaign
5.) Decide for or against policy-based governance transition

CONG MTG:Clear & Compelling Mission & Ministry


The goal by this Sunday is to have overwhelming consensus of our purpose and goals. This will then equip our capital stewardship campaign to be positioned for launching in September.

Orientation of Capital Stewardship Campign to Congregation


The Orientation is an announcement and introduction done in worship and continued in the Bible Study hour to illustrate the Biblical nature of sacrificial giving and spell out campaign goals.

Recruit, Train & Equip CSC Leadership Team

06/02/2013 - 08/31/2013

This is the behind the scenes work that involves detailed position descriptions, deadlines, team building, branding, and lots of planning...

Launch Capital Stewardship Campaign


In worship and Bible study, the nature of sacrificial giving along with the progressive events of the campaign are introduced. A reduction in calendaring is recommended for these next three months for the best stewardship of the volunteers working through the intensity of the capital campaign.

Celebration Sunday: Receiving Commitments in Worship


This is the high point of the campaign with festivities to follow worship. Some congregations meet in one worship service; others meet at a single off-site venue to house everyone...

Theme in Worship & Bible Study

These serve the purpose of focusing our attention on the community in increasingly personal ways.

Why We Did What We Did Then

01/27/2013 - 02/15/2013

A look at Biblical worship/gatherings as well as examination of Lutheran historical worship to examine how worship dynamics best proclaimed the Gospel message. Share information and demographics of our community...

Why We Do What We Do Now

02/17/2013 - 02/28/2013

A look at current worship practices and our current populations to see if they still effectively proclaim the Gospel... Share patterns in generations and in mainline congregations around the country from sources such as pew research.

What, Why & How Are We Planning to Express the Gospel

03/03/2013 - 03/31/2013

The theology and practice of "contemporary" worship expressions. Share stories and dynamics of people who have come and gone at First...

A Congregation In Mission "In/To/With" the Community

04/01/2013 - 05/31/2013

A look at how we might be a congregation that exists "in" in the community (with negative impact); "to" the community with minimal impact; or "with" the community in relationship with them & addressing their concerns. Share personal stories and how personal relationships are affected by the Gospel...

Theology & Practice of Sacrificial Giving

09/08/2013 - 11/17/2013

The heart of a capital stewardship campaign is the spiritual discipline of sacrificial giving. Essentially the entire campaign is built around this dynamic.

Church Year & Congregational Calendar

Tracking the church year calendar and noteworthy and specific events at First


01/06/2013 - 02/19/2013

The season emphasizing outreach...
"Default" Confession:
P:Worship in the church-year season of Epiphany emphasizes looking out for God's plans and reaching out to God's children
C:We confess, however, our focus bends inward to our plans and our needs and our desires. We pray, Lord, for your Light to enlighten our hearts to surrender our desires for your greater plans. In Jesus Name, Amen.
P:The same Jesus who eagerly sought the will of his Father - no matter the cost - wants you forgiven and assured your sins of turning inward are forgiven. Receive the gift of his Holy Spirit to empower you to turn toward and follow him from this sanctuary into the life he's given you from here. In Jesus Name, Amen.
"Default" Prayer of the Day (w options to reflect weekly theme)
P: Lord, it is during times of transition that the people of Israel sought you most,
C: and so, as we ask "Now What?" as a congregation, and as we our lives transition from year-to-year, month-to-month and sometimes even day-to-day, so lead us to rediscover your calling for us and this Body of Christ to seek the lost and love the least of these, in Jesus Name, Amen.


02/20/2013 - 03/29/2013

"Default Confession"
P: Worship in the traditional season of Lent is a call for self-examination
C: It illustrates our need for a Savior
P: Worship in Lent is a reminder of our need for God's mercy
C: It is a time for reflection on God's eternal love our eternal dependance on his grace.
All: So, Father, hear our cry for mercy, listen to our plea for forgiveness and prepare our souls to once again celebrate the Passion you have for us, your people, through Jesus, our Savior, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, for our good and to your glory. Amen.
P: Whenever we turn in repentance toward him he welcomes us as a Father greeting a lost son. He rejoices in our new relationships like the discovery of lost rare coins. He enables us to walk with him in life and love. Come, let us live with him together.
"Default" Prayer of the Day
Father and Lord in heaven, it is when we turn to you that we discover you waiting in our transitions to lead us again to the ultimate illustration of your love - the cross of Christ. Lead us faithfully through transitions by placing this symbol of your love ever in front and always before us to be confident in your grace, in Jesus Name, Amen.


03/31/2013 - 05/12/2013

Celebrating a promise kept...


05/19/2013 - 11/30/2013

The gospel comes to life...