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Peter Barnes - October 11, 2015

Congregational Meeting: October 11, 2015

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Strategic Priorities

The Focus Statement of First Presbyterian Church Winston-Salem is: “To create space to enter, to belong, and to serve.”  These are our strategic priorities for the next five years.  The following initiatives – which are not listed in any order of importance or priority – are proposed to help our church fulfill these elements of the Focus Statement by 2020.  Each of these initiatives attempts to address one or more of these priorities.

Strategic Initiatives


  • Develop a clear path of discipleship and engagement.
    • Analyze the challenges people face in becoming a part of our community of faith and develop a clear path for entry, follow-up, exploration, and membership/covenant partnership to become fully engaged in our community, tracking the assimilation of new covenant partners.
    • Clearly identify what we want children and youth to know, believe, experience, become, and do with their faith as they enter key transition points in the church’s ministry and in life, and develop a plan to implement it. This should include the Arc of Scripture (the story line of the Bible) to be covered for all grades.
    • Intentionally work with the children’s and youth ministries to ensure proper and effective transitionsat all grade levels in order to keep students engaged in their faith and in community.
    • Develop a plan for discipleship for adult participants and covenant partners who span levels of spiritual maturity and different ages and stages which focuses on what everymaturing Christian should know, believe, experience, become, and do.


  • Invest in the next generation.
    • Create a sustainable youth ministry. Conduct an analysis of our church’s current youth ministry in collaboration with Youth Ministry Architects and develop and implement recommendations for more effective ministry to students and families.
    • Continue to invest our energies and commitment to reach college students on the campuses of Wake Forest and Salem College(and potentially other local colleges in the future) through a partnership with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and our re-envisioned summer college ministry program.
    • Evaluate and redesign our ministry internships and redevelop our efforts to recruit, train, equip, and send out the next generation of leaders.
    • Continue the implementation of the re-design of our 11:00 am worship service.


  • Improve the ways we connect and relate.
    • Make relationships an organizing principle of our church’s ministry.
    • Examine our current approach to creating and building community and take steps to develop new initiatives that will result in a greater culture of invitation, hospitality, and congregational care at our church across all generations, from youngest to oldest.
    • Strive to help every member understand their unique role in the missional call of God and to live into it.
    • Improve the ways we care for those who are lonely, ill or aging.


  • Leverage current and emerging technology to share our story and engage people in community and learning.
    • Develop digital platforms that enable and encourage shared creation and participation and provide easy ways for people to learn about, engage with, and become a part of our congregation and mission.
    • Update the aesthetic look and feel of our church’s communication tools to ensure they match our vision and values.


  • Plant a new worshiping community by 2020.
    • A new worshiping community could include nesting a new immigrant or multiracial congregation or alternate worshiping community in our building/church, providing worship at alternative times other than on Sunday morning, creating a vesper service on Sunday evenings, and/or planting a new church in another part of Winston-Salem.


  • Explore ways to best serve the working poor,and maximize the use of our buildings in service to others downtown throughout the week.
    • Areas for consideration could include developing a subsidized preschool, day care center, or after school program for the working poor and those on the margins in downtown, and building bridges to downtown businesses, residents, and the arts community.


  • Redesign the work of Session and the role of elders to fully align with the models in Scripture of governing, leading, teaching, and shepherding.
    • Create a program of discipleship and leadership development which results in a more robust experience of spiritual development and deeper community for our elders and pastors, better enabling elders to serve out of the overflow of God’s love in their lives.


  • Continue to encourage a staff culture and community that honors Christ, models a Christian workplace, reflects the church’s values, encourages innovation, provides margin in each staff member’s life, and reflects a deepening experience of Jesus in each staff member’s life.
    • Conduct regular staff engagement surveys to establish a baseline, develop an action plan to improve engagement, and monitor progress.
    • Achieve the goal of compensation for all staff at the 75th percentile of salary surveys.
    • Encourage all pastors and program staff to be engaged in external community involvement.
    • Exercise the principle of “prune and sharpen” when considering potential additions to or expansions of staff responsibilities and duties.


  • Make a comprehensive study of our facility and develop a Facility Master Plan and Building Program which will provide the necessary physical tools our congregation needs to:
    • Connect and integrate the campus;
    • Update and refurbish the older elements of our buildings and furnishings;
    • Create smart classrooms for teaching and discipleship;
    • Provide substantial places for people to connect and to build community;
    • Improve the “way-finding” in the buildings with clear and easy access and entry; and
    • Be an invitational campus that attracts visitors and downtown residents.


20/20 Vision Presentation