Winnipeg. I'm sorry if you've had to be there.
Kidding (sorry, Pastor Clay...and anyone else who hails from the capital of Friendly Manitoba).
The first time I went to Winnipeg was when I was 19 and drove there to help a friend move to BC for university. Before we packed my truck with his belongings, we spent a day in the city as my friend was eager to show me around.
You know what he was most proud of? (and talked, and talked, and talked about)
Well, actually, not so much the traffic itself, but almost the near absence of it.
We tend to notice traffic under one ugly circumstance, don't we?
But when traffic is flowing smoothly it's almost as if there's hardly any traffic to notice at all.
My friend was delighted to point out the wisdom of Winnipeg's city planning and highway systems which (at least at the time) were constructed in such a way to keep commuters moving and make it possible to get clear across town with great ease.
Having grown up in the Lower Mainland, this was a stark contrast to all the traffic issues I was used to. The fact that Greater Vancouver is hemmed in by mountains to the north, ocean to the west, and the American border to the south doesn't help, not to mention the myriad of rivers, tributaries, and subsequent bridges everywhere in between. All of this means the flow of traffic begins 'bottlenecking' at key junctures. Though not facing the same geographical obstacles as the Lower Mainland, Winnipeg and its city engineers seem to have done a great job anticipating potential bottlenecks and avoiding them (bravo!).
As I suspect you're quite well aware, our church family is continuing to experience exciting growth. This Easter we had 120+ more people in our services than the year before. In 2019 our reporting to the PAOC had us as a church of 180 people. Our 2022 reporting has us (calculating very conservatively) at 375. We want to do our best to make room for what God is doing here, without getting hung up or held back by too many new bottlenecks.
Two weeks ago, our Leadership Council met for our annual two-day retreat for prayer, vision dialogue, and planning. We were blessed to have the help of a Leadership Coach & Consultant with decades of international experience with organizational management and church leadership to guide the bulk of our discussion times. We spent a good amount of time in conversation discerning what our new bottlenecks are and the ones we anticipate are just around the corner. We would rather identify and address these than allow them to become limiting barriers. The work of our Leadership Council discovered that the main bottlenecks we now face surround: Connecting Newcomers so that they feel connected (we need to see many new small groups formed in our future), Training new Group Leaders and Volunteer Leaders (we have an army of 150+ volunteers, and need to ensure these teams are managed and developed), and Pastoral & Administrative Capacities (more and more people translates into rapidly growing work in several of our already full staff roles). Of course, there are other bottlenecks being felt like our building limitations and parking, but we have things in motion toward addressing those.
Thank you for praying for our Leadership Council as we navigate the next steps God leads us into. Jesus is our vision! And there are 75,000 people who live within around 20 minutes of our church building; most of whom don't know Jesus yet. May our church family continue to flourish toward bringing the message and ministry of Jesus into everyday life here in the Comox Valley!
Maybe CPC can be a Winnipeg....? ...just with our winters, mountains, and the ocean.