Annual Conference is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren.
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference
Mission, Vision, Values, and Objectives
Developed by the Annual Conference Council: March, 2005
Approved and Amended by Standing Committee: July 1, 2005
Below you will find the mission, vision, core values, and objectives that are part of Annual Conference's strategic plan. You may also download a pdf version of the entire plan.
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference exists to unite, strengthen and equip the Church of the Brethren to follow Jesus.
Annual Conferences must be special times in the life of the Church of the Brethren. We envision Annual Conferences . . .
- that bring or revive commitment to Jesus;
- that glorify God in excellent worship, work and fellowship;
- that facilitate the business of the church through business sessions, study committees, agency reports, and disposition of queries;
- that are open and welcoming, and bring together Brethren from all cultures and points of view to proclaim Jesus as Lord;
- where we humbly celebrate our oneness in the Body as well as our unique place and ministry in the Body;
- that reach out to the local Conference community with the Good News through word and deed;
- that have dynamic preaching and quality leadership development;
- that have open and compassionate dialogue;
- that are a catalyst for personal and corporate change, and Kingdom momentum;
- that make people enthusiastic about witness and service;
- that value substance and depth of faith over politics;
- that encourage one another and build the community;
- that call, nurture and thank denominational leadership;
- that provide memorable, safe and joyful experiences for the whole family;
- that involve and challenge all of our congregations in the New Testament model;
- that maximize technology for the glory of God;
- that value the past while looking forward;
- where we have enough quality time, well spent.
We believe that Jesus is the head of the Church. As part of the larger Body of Jesus Christ, the Church of the Brethren has a unique ministry to the world. Therefore, Annual Conference, the Church of the Brethren assembled, is committed to:
- The Lordship of Jesus Christ
Our ministry centers on the Godhead, focused in Jesus. All that we do is because Jesus Christ is Lord. We focus upon Jesus. We find discernment and truth in Jesus. Scriptural basis can be found in Mark 9:7, Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:15-20 and Hebrews 12:2-3.
As a community of faith, worship is the primary means of expressing our love for God in Jesus Christ. We worship because God is. We believe we are to love the Lord our God with every fiber of our being. Annual Conference values worship and will provide rich and full opportunities to do so every time we gather. Biblical instruction to do so comes from Mark 12:28-31, John 4:21-24 and Revelation 4:9-11.
As we worship together under the lordship of Jesus Christ, true unity can be found. All that could possibly separate us is laid aside, in order that we might be one. Unity comes through our expression of love for Jesus Christ and our devotion to him, as clearly seen in John 17:22-23 and Ephesians 4:1-13.
- The New Testament as our rule of faith and practice
Though all of the Bible is God's inspired word, we believe that the New Testament fully reveals God's will in Jesus Christ -- through His ministry, death, resurrection and ascension into the heavenly places. The New Testament confirmation of this is found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 8:7-13.
Unity is found not only in worship of God but through building loving relationships with one another, despite any differences we may have. We are called to love and respect each other. This happens as we look to the relational model Jesus gave us, take the time to know each other, worship and pray together, and extend God's grace and love, as revealed in John 15:17 and Romans 12:8-13.
It is important to remember who we are in Jesus Christ and the unique calling we have as Brethren in this world. We have a significant ministry and message, part of the larger Body of Jesus Christ, that is affirmed and renewed each time we assemble for our annual meeting, corporately and individually. These special times remind us why we exist. Biblical references include Romans 12:3-8 and I Corinthians 12:12-13.
- A variety of faith experiences
A full spectrum of worship, prayer, business, learning, discerning and fellowshipping is valued and experienced, by all age groups within the church. Abundant life in Jesus Christ is developed through this variety, as God has the opportunity to shine the light upon us in many ways, in different settings. Quality and excellence is valued in all of these varied experiences. It is a time and place for the whole family to have fun, grow together and be strengthened in faith. See scriptural examples in Acts 16:31-34 and Romans 14:1-8.
Objectives to Achieve Our Vision
- Develop intentional community in the Annual Conference experience.
- Foster Christian spirituality and affirm it.
- Combine the broadest possible welcome with the strongest possible commitment to following Jesus.
- Develop a relational discernment style that is open to others of different cultures.
- Enhance age group programming.
- Foster open and compassionate dialogue in the Annual Conference experience.
- Develop an Annual Conference marketing plan to strengthen the event.
- Review and recommend enhancements to insight sessions.
- Incorporate intentional Bible studies that relate to the Conference theme and the issues facing the church.
- Strengthen the financial position of Conference.
- Minimize risks associated with planning and conducting Conference.
- Leverage technology to maximum advantage for Annual Conference use.
- Complete administrative tasks that strengthen Conference and unite the church.