What are the next steps for the vision/how do we get involved?
Initiative teams focused on the areas of men’s and women’s ministries, building bridges across race and ethnicities, discipling the next generation, first time guests, and our Sunday experience, from worship to class offerings, are praying and practicing spiritual disciplines together as they discern our next steps forward. God is shaping their efforts in unique ways and as they move into research and planning many more opportunities to lead and serve in these areas will be available.
In the meantime, invest in the relationships around you, take time to practice spiritual disciplines that you may have overlooked before and be ready to serve, both in the opportunities that are growing at PV and in your communities outside this church. If there is a specific strategy you are interested in, please let a minister or shepherd know.
Questions below are listed in the order they were received.
How can the church as a whole be involved now? (7/21)
Thank you for your patience! Volunteer opportunities are being added and we ask that you pay attention to the weekly emails and announcements for more ways to serve and get involved. In the meantime, invest in the relationships around you, take time to practice spiritual disciplines that you may have overlooked before and be ready to serve, both in the opportunities that are growing at PV and in your communities outside this church.
Why haven’t events and programs that were canceled due to COVID resumed?
This is a God-sized vision and we all have to be very intentional, seeking God’s direction, as we put things back together. So we will all need to take our time and give everything we’ve done in the past a fresh look to see how we can better use every opportunity from our gathering times on Sundays and Wednesdays, to ministries, to small group Bible studies to facilitate a strong path toward discipleship and diversity for everyone involved.
How are we defining discipleship?
At PV, we are defining a disciple as someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus. This means that we all take Jesus seriously in our everyday life. It means that our hearts and minds are being transformed by time spent with Jesus and it means that we are each, actively making disciples.
Where are we in the process? (7/21)
initiative teams focused on the areas of Men’s and Women’s ministries, Building Bridges across race and ethnicities, discipling the next generation, first time guests, and our Sunday experience, from worship to class offerings, are praying and practicing spiritual disciplines together as they discern our next steps forward. God is shaping their efforts in unique ways and as they move into research and planning many more opportunities to lead and serve in these areas will be available.
Is there a true A to B to C methodology or strategy that is in place or forming to achieve these goals or is it more of a 10,000 ft. view with the 40 days of prayer hoping to deliver our pathway to this? If there is more tangible specifics of how… what are they and what actual actions will it require from members?
The simple answer to those questions is yes, all of the above. The 10,000-foot view shared on Vision Sunday is outlined in the “Vision Overview” on this page. While we pray together for 40 days over these initial strategies, PV shepherds and staff are also praying over the church to select volunteers that will begin to form an initiative team for each strategy listed in the “Begin Immediately” section. Staff and shepherds are also developing discipleship pathways to add on the individual level as well as in Sunday morning courses.
Initiative teams will then pray, learn, research and discern together on the best way to implement each strategy. More members will be added, including youth who will lead alongside a discipler, as we go along.
Churchwide, discipleship is the foundation for all our strategies and so the success of any one strategy, as well as the overall vision, hangs on members going deeper in their own personal spiritual development and discipling others. Discipleship paths and training will be shared through very small groups, that will multiply themselves over time, Sunday morning courses, etc.
In what ways does the children’s ministry fit into the vision?
Over the next ten years we will pour 50,000 volunteer hours into discipling the next generation and passing on the gospel of Jesus-only. Our youth will work alongside disciple-makers, actively involved in decision-making for ministries and committees across the church through a new, “key-chain” leadership approach. As they feel welcomed and empowered as the vital members of the family of God that they are, they will have ownership in the mission of the church and be less likely to graduate from it when they graduate High School.
We will also break down the traditional barriers between adults, teens and children’s ministries forming a support system around whole families, creating a culture of church-wide discipling, with parents on the front line and the church supporting and equipping them. The first step in that process will be this summer when PV will host a time of family discipling in the gym in between worship services this summer. More details will be coming soon but if you have children in your home, make plans to be there!
Some think the phrase “campuses” meant there would be “mini” churches throughout Little Rock, that people would be “encouraged” to not attend PV, rather to attend one of the campuses. Please define campuses of support. Thank you.
One important point to keep in mind is that this is a ten-year vision and some strategies, like “multi-site/campus” will be discerned and carried out much later in the process. That being said, the idea for additional sites comes from the knowledge that Pleasant Valley is what most would call a “commuter church,” i.e. it is not uncommon for members to travel more than 20 minutes to worship in person with us. Having a campus in another area of Central Arkansas would allow members to attend church closer to their homes and schools and make it easier to invite friends and neighbors. These campuses would operate under the vision, name and leadership of PV, most likely with a rotation of gifted preaching staff and worship teams. So yes, if a PV member lived close to a new campus they would have the option to worship in that local facility on Sunday mornings instead of commuting to PV but would not be pushed away from the 10900 Rodney Parham campus if that is where they choose to stay.
What are some of the benchmarks for the next two to three years to determine if there should be changes or keep moving the way we are?
Measurable goals will be so important along the way and will be developed by the members and staff working within each initiative. They will be the ones doing the praying, planning, and pivoting within each strategy because they are the experts in each area.
Will Sunday morning Bible classes look the same?
This summer, adults will have the opportunity between Sunday morning services to participate in a series of disciple-making courses in the eWing focused on following Jesus, building bridges and making disciples. A new time of family discipleship will be offered for families from 9:30 – 10:15 am in the FLC. This format will utilize PV families and ministers to model Jesus’ method of disciple-making, inviting people to follow and live alongside Him.
Beyond that, the content of our Bible class time will be determined by a team of PV leadership and members with the focus on how we can build on the communities we’ve enjoyed through Bible class in the past while making and multiplying disciples through each gathering.
PVKids will begin offering infant and toddler care during the worship hour with birth- 4years in May, and birth through 1st grade in June.
What will the discipling of families look like? Will it be multigenerational, through classes, or do in dedicated smaller groups?
It could be all of the above. A foundation of discipleship will be vital to every type of small group, class and ministry moving forward and those decisions will be made by the leader and volunteers who are most involved and knowledgeable about it before moving forward. The first opportunity will be the family discipleship time mentioned above.
My question concerns our current mission points. Where can we find updates on our missionary families and where do they stand in the vision?
Missionary updates are added to pvcc.org/missions as soon as we receive them from each team. To be added to the missionary email listserve, please contact Ricky Bittle. Foreign missions have, and always will, be very important to PV. There are no plans at this time to discontinue the support of our current missionaries and future plans within the vision will be decided by a team of PV leadership and members with the focus on how we can best grow and multiplying disciples through each mission point and within this church body. One specific addition will be the discipleship of PV members through more short-term mission trips.
Will short term missions be more domestically or foreign focused?
Both. Those decisions will be made by a team of PV leadership and members with a focus on how we can best grow and multiply disciples through each trip.
How does the budget look to pay for all these new ideas?
The good news is that the fundamental changes proposed in this vision involve more of a culture shift than costly programs and events and many will not have any financial impact. For strategies, like the bus ride, that are beyond our budget, we will raise funds separately from our weekly budget through capital campaigns or work them into future year’s budgets when appropriate.
Is there a plan for PV to be debt-free in the next ten years so that funds can be used more efficiently toward our new goals?
We hope to have a capital campaign in the near future to fund specific parts of the vision and pay off debt.
How do we teach people to disciple who have never been discipled? Where do we start and how do we start with discipleship?
Organizationally, we plan to start with a Jesus model in mind; small groups, learning and practicing spiritual disciplines together. We are currently developing a discipleship path that will ensure that every small group, Bible class and even committee is helping to not only accomplish their individual goals but disciple the members within the group, keeping the mission to follow Jesus, build bridges and make disciples at the forefront of everything we do.
There will also be small groups dedicated just to discipling each other, much like the teens have modeled for us for years. On an individual level, we recommend a person begin working through personal spiritual disciplines in your own life. The Rule of Life Workbook is a great place to start. If you would like some additional book or personal study recommendations contact Jonathan. If you would like to get involved in these initial small groups, let a minister or shepherd know.
You mentioned a new school partnership. Has that school already been identified? Will we continue to work with Boone Park?
Within the scope of the vision, PV leaders have identified the importance of supporting a local school that is close enough to also be convenient to parents and families of students. We have some ideas and recommendations but acknowledge first that those who have volunteered within the walls of Boone Park for years are the experts in that area. They will be part of the team meeting, researching, praying and discerning God’s will in how we move forward in this ministry. All that being said, we will definitely NOT arbitrarily the flip the off switch, so to speak, on our support of the Boone Park school. We are invested in their continued success and committed to that end.
Will we reorganize lifegroups/tiny churches?
First, to clear up past confusion… Life Groups = Tiny Church. If you are meeting in a small group of any kind, please continue to do so! These communities are vital to personal spiritual development and easy front doors to invite other to church. Down the road, an initiative team of staff and volunteers, specifically put together with this gifting and passion, will develop the plan for these types of small groups moving forward to see how we can set a better framework in these groups to ensure that each on has a solid foundation of disciple making, both with members and guests.
What does the term, “crisis of masculinity” mean?
There are numerous indicators that physical, psychological, and social well-being are trending negatively for males. Arkansas is the 2nd highest state in the US for domestic and sexual abuse. The vast majority of those crimes being committed by men. Men commit 90 percent of homicides in the United States and represent 77 percent of homicide victims,” writes Stephanie Pappas in the APA Monitor.
“They’re the demographic group most at risk of being victimized by violent crime. They are 3.5 times more likely than women to die by suicide, and their life expectancy is 4.9 years shorter than women’s.”
Addressing the crisis of masculinity does NOT mean that our women’s ministry will take a back seat, but that our vision recognizes the church’s failure to disciple men well has led to broken homes, lives, and hearts. Over the next decade we will be deeply committed to the discipleship of men of all ages.