Denver Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church exists to transform lives throughout our
community by living God’s love and sharing His word.
“A Light on a Hill”
ReVision Planning TeamPastor Eddie C. Polite, LeaderElder Rafael Small, Assistant LeaderSr. Debbie Jackson, MemberSr. Jennifer Rhyans, MemberElder Howard Webley, MemberPastor Kim Bulgin, Ex officio
“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world.” (EGW, Acts of the Apostles, p. 9).
“The Gospel Commission [Matthew 28:18-20] is the great missionary charter of Christ’s kingdom. The disciples were to work earnestly for souls, giving to all the invitation of mercy. They were not to wait for the people to come to them; they were to go to the people with their message.” (ibid., 28).
“To everyone who becomes a partaker of His grace the Lord appoints a work for others…. The church of Christ is organized for service. Its watchword is ministry. Its members are soldiers, to be trained for conflict under the Captain of their salvation.” (EGW, The Ministry of Healing, p. 148).
“The Savior’s commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of time…. For this work the church was established, and all who take upon themselves its sacred vows are thereby pledged to be co-workers with Christ.” (EGW, The Desire of Ages, p. 822).
“The very life of the church depends on her faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord’s commission. To neglect this work is surely to invite spiritual feebleness and decay. Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim.” (ibid., 825).
“Let no one think that he is at liberty to fold his hands and do nothing. That anyone can be saved in indolence and inactivity is an utter impossibility. The church must be a working church if it would be a living church.” (EGW, Christian Service, p. 83).
How well are we doing? Self-evaluation for a church is a solemn and sobering task. eAdventist, a denominational church membership service of the North American Division (NAD), has expanded its services to also provide administrators and church leaders with data trends and insights to help assess “church vitality.”
According to eAdventist and the NAD Evangelism Committee, church vitality is currently based upon two metrics: 1) attendance (the estimated average attendance is about 40% of its total membership), and 2) baptisms (self-explanatory). A third metric will soon be added to the equation—contributions). Collectively, these metrics act as “vital signs” for diagnosing a church’s vitality even in a virtual environment. When assessed, a church is determined to be in one of four stages of spiritual health:
Figures recently released by eAdventist indicate that 84% of the churches in the NAD are either plateauing or declining as opposed to multiplying or growing. In the Mid-America Union Conference, 88% of the churches are plateauing or declining. In the Central States Conference, 96% of the churches are plateauing or declining primarily because most of our churches are in rural areas. Unfortunately, the data also reveals that Denver Park Hill is among the declining churches in our Conference despite being located in a metropolitan area. So, how can we reverse this downward trend and restore church health and multiply?
Our scriptural mandate is to be disciples who make disciples (see Matthew 28:18-20). *When we reconnect to the purpose for which God has called our church into existence, it will have a reflexive, redemptive, revitalizing effect upon the spiritual health and trajectory of our church. The following narrative will seek to outline how we hope to prayerfully alter our present course.
“To every person is committed some peculiar gift or talent which is to be used to advance the Redeemer’s kingdom.” (EGW,
Testimonies, Volume 4, p. 618).
“Every church member should be engaged in some line of service for the Master.” (EGW, The Ministry of Healing, p. 82).
“It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All who receive the life of
Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men.” (EGW, The Desire of Ages, p. 822).
“Ministers should not do the work which belongs to the church, thus wearying themselves, and preventing others from performing
their duty. They should teach the members how to labor in the church and community. There is work for all to do in their own
borders, to build up the church….” (EGW, Notebook Leaflets from Elmshaven Library, Volume 1, p. 27).
“The best help that ministers can give the members of our churches is not sermonizing, but planning work for them. Give each one
something to do for others. Help all to see that as receivers of the grace of Christ, they are under obligation to work for Him. And let
all be taught how to work….especially those who are newly come to the faith….” (EGW, Testimonies, Volume 9, p. 82).
“Every church should be a training school for Christian workers. Its members should be taught how to give Bible readings, how to
conduct and teach Sabbath School classes, how best to help the poor and to care for the sick, how to work for the unconverted. There
should be schools of health, cooking schools, and classes in various lines of Christian work.” (EGW, The Ministry of Healing, p.149).
“Many pastors fail in not knowing how, or in not trying, to get the full membership of the church actively engaged in the various departments of church work. If pastors would give more attention to getting and keeping the flock actively engaged at work, they would accomplish more good, have more time for study and religious visiting, and also avoid many causes of friction.” (EGW, Gospel Workers, p. 198).
“Let ministers teach church members that in order to grow in spirituality, they must carry the burden that the Lord has laid upon
them—the burden of leading souls into the truth. Those who are not fulfilling their responsibility should be visited, prayed with,
labored for.” (ibid., 200).
“They [the Elders and those who have leading places in the church] should arrange matters so that every member of the church
shall have a part to act, that none may lead an aimless life, but that all may accomplish what they can according to their several
abilities.” (EGW, The Review and Herald, September 2, 1890).
God has bestowed upon each member a “spiritual gift” to be used for the advancement of His cause and to bring honor to His name. It is the responsibility of the pastor to teach and to train the members how to use their spiritual gifts in the service of the Lord; not to do the work that God has assigned for them to do. While God desires ALL to be co-laborers with Him, He’s also willing to use just a few if that’s all who are willing to fulfill His mission. The story of “Gideon’s water lappers” is a prime example of God’s willingness to use a few to accomplish His purposes (see Judges 7:1-8).
“He who becomes a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost.” (EGW, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 334).
Ultimately, our mission is to continue Christ’s mission. He declared, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10). Love was the motivating factor for everything He did. Consequently, it should be ours as well. Christ died for everyone regardless of whether they accepted His sacrificial gift or not. If we are to successfully replicate the mission of Christ, then love has to be the motive for all our efforts whether people join our church or not. Henry & Richard Blackaby wrote, “It is impossible for a Christian to be filled with this measure of love and not to be on mission with God. You will be incapable of ministering to everyone God sends you unless you have His love.” (Experiencing God Day by Day, p. 22). Our daily prayer should be, “Lord, lay some soul upon my heart, and love that soul through me; and may I always do my part to win that soul for Thee.” (Author Unknown).
Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, founder of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., once said, “We have a torch and we should use it to lighten
everyone else’s darkness.” (Alpha Pearls Magazine, March 2021, p. 14). Last year we cast a strategic vision for the Denver Park Hill
Church and designated it, “A Light on a Hill” based on Matthew 5:14-16. Using the acronym ‘CLIMB’ we outlined five action steps
based on scriptural principles that would enable us to ascend the summit of our purpose and pursue the vision God has in mind for us:
Notice that “mission” is the central focus of our visioning process and is reflected in each of our five action steps. As already noted,
mission is the only reason why the church exists; it’s the lifeblood of the church. Mission is “what” we do in the present, while vision
is “why” we do it, with an eye towards the future. Together, they consider where we’ve been, where we are, and where we need to go
on our upward ascent. Mission is the starting point for the work of the church, while vision is its ultimate destination. As Stephen Covey
succinctly put it, we should “Begin with the end in mind.” (The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, 1989, Habit #2).
*When God establishes a church within a certain community, He entrusts that church with stewarding that community with love,
kindness, grace, and compassion. The church is charged with ministering to the holistic needs of that community for a salvific purpose.
He also ensures that all the requisite resources and/or personnel needed to minister to that community are resident within that local
church. Therefore, the church should embrace its social and spiritual responsibility with dedication, purpose, and intentionality.
“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good.
He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me’”. (EGW, The Ministry of Healing, p. 143). Thus, Christ has already modeled a missional process by which we can effectively engage our
neighbors, minister to their needs, build better relationships between our church and our community, and make disciples as He did.
In deference to Christ’s method of community engagement outlined in the quotation above, we enlisted the services of the Percept
Group, Inc., to conduct a demographic assessment of the one-mile radius surrounding our church in order to determine the felt needs
of our immediate community. The survey revealed the following insights regarding our target area:
After filtering the responses of residents in this area regarding various personal and social issues raised in the survey, six primary areas
of concern emerged in the following priority: 1) Crime & Safety, 2) Health Matters, 3) Personal Finances, 4) Racial Discrimination
& Social Justice, 5) Family Problems, 6) Spiritual Guidance. Considering our current social context, ministering in this new normal
will require new strategies, new ideas, and new approaches. *Consequently, we have the daunting task of translating these concerns into
relevant ministries that service felt needs and open potential doors of opportunity for extending the gospel invitation.
“Let every worker in the Master’s vineyard, study, plan, devise methods, to reach the people where they are. We must do something
out of the common course of things.” (EGW, Evangelism, p. 122).
“New methods must be introduced. God’s people must awake to the necessities of the times in which they are living. God has men
whom He will call into His service, men who will not carry forward the work in the lifeless way in which it has been carried forward
in the past.” (ibid., 70)
“As field after field is entered, new methods and new plans will spring from new circumstances. New thoughts will come with the
new workers who give themselves to the work. As they seek the Lord for help, He will communicate with them. They will receive
plans devised by the Lord Himself.” (EGW, Testimonies Volume 6, p. 476).
An oft-used aphorism declares, “If you do the same thing, the same way, you’ll get the same results!” Misoneism is the fear, hatred,
or intolerance of innovation or change. We must not allow our fear of “change” to restrict our faith or paralyze our progress. God still
has a thousand ways to accomplish His purposes if we’d only allow Him to lead as He chooses. We must be willing to trust God’s
guidance as He leads, step outside of our comfort zones, embrace change as a friend rather than a foe, leverage the opportunities that
innovation presents, and work creatively, collaboratively, and consistently to enlarge His kingdom over the next five years, should the
Lord delay His coming. Someone said that “The seven last words of a dying church are, ‘We’ve never done it this way before!’” In
this they fail to realize that even their present way of doing things was once considered “new,” but is now ineffective for today’s needs.
“It is essential to labor with order, following an organized plan and a definite object.” (EGW, Manuscript 24). With respect to this
prophetic admonition, our Church Board voted a subcommittee called, the ReVision Planning Team. The role and function of this team
is: 1) to refocus the attention of our church on mission, 2) provide guidance in the strategic planning process, 3) collaborate in crafting
the church’s mission strategic plan, 4) assist ministry leaders with formulating mission-relevant action plans, and 5) monitor, evaluate,
and fine-tune our mission-effectiveness. ReVision ensures that the church’s mission/ministry activities remain on task and are
periodically assessed for mission impact by ascertaining whether our efforts are producing ideal progress or need to be modified.
Our proposed Mission Strategic Plan (MSP) is a dynamic document that serves as a road map for how to achieve our mission and
realize our vision. It was conceived through a seven-step strategic process: 1) reaffirm our biblical mandate, 2) reestablish the
preeminence of our mission, 3) conduct a community assessment, 4) filter the data to identify community needs, 5) realign church
ministries for optimal mission impact, 6) formulate and fund ministry action plans, 7) monitor and evaluate mission effectiveness and
sustainability. Additionally, ten Mission Objectives (MO) comprise the heart of our MSP. Each MO defines “what” is to be
accomplished in the mission, while Key Performance Indicators (KPI) show “how” they’ll be accomplished and by “whom.”
With regard to the “Jethro Principle” (see Exodus 18:13-26) our mission has been divided into four areas or Mission Groups (MGs)
designed to pursue the mission in a shared, specialized, synergistic way—they are Reach, Connect, Grow, and Support. These MGs
are superintended by an Elder/Pastoral Assistant (PA) under the guidance of the Senior Pastor. Each MG is comprised of four
Ministry Teams (MTs) responsible for achieving specific aspects of their mission assignment in a collaborative way and led by a Team
Coordinator (TC). MTs are comprised of various Church Ministries (CMs) that share a similar team focus or function. Working
together in teams or “small companies” is an idea born from the mind of God Himself: “The formation of small companies as a basis
of Christian effort is a plan that has been presented to me by One who cannot err.” (EGW, Evangelism, p. 115). The MTs capture
names of potential prospects by meeting felt, bridge, and spiritual needs sequentially, and entering them into an Interest Database (ID)
for follow-up purposes. The church will keep them informed of upcoming programs by building a bridge of communication via calls,
email, and social media ads. It is hoped that this need-based process will eventually produce disciples who will in turn make disciples.
“When the church awakes to the sense of her holy calling, many more fervent and effective prayers will ascend to heaven for the
Holy Spirit to point out the work and duty of God’s people regarding the salvation of souls.” (EGW, 1 Selected Messages, P. 116)
The great revivalist, Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “Whenever God determines to do a great work, He first sets His people to pray.”
Prayer is absolutely vital to the success of our mission! No amount of organization, planning, strategy, or human ingenuity can
supersede the wisdom, guidance, and power of the Holy Spirit. We can never realize true success without the abiding presence of the
Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is crucial that all our plans and activities be bathed in prayer. We must be prayed up, all in, and totally
dependent on God for success. It was Christ Himself who declared, “…For without Me, you can do nothing!” (John 15:5, NKJV).
“If they [the members] would be co-laborers with Jesus, we shall see the light in our churches steadily burning brighter and brighter,
sending forth rays to penetrate the darkness beyond its own borders…. The work of saving souls would stimulate the workers
themselves to greater piety and purity.” (EGW, Historical Sketches, p. 291).
“Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever
we may be, then whatever our profession, we are NOT Christians.” (EGW, The Desire of Ages, p. 504).
Following is our proposed Mission Strategic Plan. As stated earlier, only by reconnecting to our God-given purpose will there be a
revitalizing effect upon the spiritual health and growth of our church. We solicit your prayers, passion, and participation as we seek to
reach our community with the love and gospel of Jesus Christ during this post-pandemic new normal. As you prayerfully reflect upon
this proposal, please consider what part you will play in helping Denver Park Hill truly become, “A Light on a Hill.”
(Matthew 28:19, 20—NLT): “Therefore, go make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey all I have commanded you.”
(Ministry of Healing, p. 143): “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me’."
(What we want to be): The Denver Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church aspires to be a prominent light on a hill transforming our community with hope and wholeness until our Lord’s return.
(Why we exist): The Denver Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church exists to transform lives throughout our community by living God’s love and sharing His word.
(How that will occur): To carry out our mission, we will REACH people like Christ, CONNECT people to Christ, GROW people in Christ, and SUPPORT people for Christ.
(What’s important to us): As we actively pursue our mission, we value Collaboration, Authenticity, Relevance, Excellence, Service. In other words, Denver Park Hill CARES!
As the leader of a church ministry, you are asked to formulate Ministry Action Plans (MAPs) to help us achieve our Mission Objectives. Please
indicate in the table below which Mission Group/Ministry Team/Church Ministry you’re in to determine which KPIs you can help us to achieve.
This form should be carefully and prayerfully completed and given to your PA by the due date indicated for review.
This will enable our Finance Committee to budget resources more missionally and equitably for the ensuing year. If you have any questions or
difficulty completing this form, please contact your PA or Pastor Polite for assistance. Thank you for your ministry!
Budget Request Form