How The Board Sought God’s Mission and Vision and How You Can Do it In YOUR Life!

A Different Approach to Mission & Vision

RIPLEY, LynnDavid_IMG_1982_webbMission and Vision is critical. “Where there is no vision, the people perish (Pr 29:18).” But it can be a frustrating process to arrive at one, with lots of competing ideas and personalities.

Pastors David and Lynn Ripley have been through the process numerous times and desired to let God lead as He had in their previous mission-focused congregations they’d seen double in size.

So President Ripley invited the Conference Board of Directors to convene for a different type of Mission & Vision retreat:

“Too often we meet in committees and boards and make great plans, then we ask God to bless our plans. But our plans cannot be as good as God’s. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,” Isaiah 55:8-9. We cannot simply continue to ask God to bless our plans, but must seek the mind and will of God. The Board of Directors retreat is designed to do just this. Please come with an open mind, spend time in prayer, and petition God to reveal His will for the conference.  We dare not move forward until we know where God wants us to go.”

How many of us too often make our own plans and ask God to bless them as we head out the door? There is a better way. First seeking God’s will and then joining Him in the work He is doing already.

Here’s how the Board sought this and how you can too.

The Mission & Vision Process

Board Vision all groupsOver several meetings there were common elements. Time of praise, united prayer sessions seeking God’s presence and guidance, short presentations on relevant Bible topics, followed by group discussion. It could be summarized as Praise, Prayer, Presentation, Processing.

After a time of bonding and getting to know each other in worship, Sabbath afternoon was spent in three small groups prayerfully answering seven questions.

Guiding Questions

  1. What ministries of the Man-Sask Conference have been successful in the past?
  2. What do you see that uniquely equips the Man-Sask Conference and its churches to complete its mission in the future?
  3. What do you see as the main purpose of the Man-Sask Conference and its local churches?
  4. What do you believe that God wants the Man-Sask Conference to look like in 5 years?
  5. What do you see as a challenge to the Man-Sask Conference and its churches?
  6. What are the best ways the Man-Sask Conference and its churches can minister to the church family?
  7. What are the best ways the Man-Sask Conference and its churches can reach out to the community?

Board Vision Group 3 Board Vision Group 2 Board Vision Group 1






The groups then met together to share their top answers and seek common themes. These shared ideas formed the basis for the Mission and Vision and after 7 revisions and input from board members it was voted on July 28, 2016. It’s a comprehensive and audacious Mission and Vision. But we believe God led us, so we believe He will accomplish it. After all, it’s His plan, not ours.

How About You?

Would you, your family or even your church benefit from this process? Why not spend some time in Praise, Prayer, Presentation and Processing of God’s Word? Ask yourself those 7 questions, substituting your names for “Man-Sask Conference”. Believe that God is working in your life right now, He may just be waiting on you to discover His plan!

Board Member Reflections

Here are a few reflections from three board members on their experience. Perhaps it can be yours too!

Patti Hetland – Spalding, SK

patti_hetlandAs I reflect on the Man/Sask Board Mission/Vision weekend the thought comes to me that it was kind of an Upper room experience. As a Board we were together the whole weekend. We praised God through songs, prayer, personal testimonies and responses to His Word. We discussed, ate, and relaxed together.

I was especially blessed during the Sabbath morning worship when we read, shared, and responded to various scriptures. This helped us get to know and trust one another more. This sense of unity and opportunity to connect with one another was a real highlight. As we discussed questions pertaining to the Mission and Vision statement within our groups we were listened to and validated by one another. I believe God was leading by His Holy Spirit.

I believe that as members in our various churches likewise connect in meaningful ways, especially through Bible study, Spirit of Prophecy counsel, and prayer, a disciple making culture will develop and God will use us to impact our communities for His glory. This gives me hope and enthusiasm for the future.

Dave Wiens – Morden, MB

dave_wiensThe weekend was very enjoyable.  I felt that God was working through our group because when we separated into the three smaller groups, and brought our work sheets together there was a very interesting consensus between them.  Obviously the Holy Spirit was working through the three groups to arrive at the same destination.  It truly is amazing how God can take a few humble people and work his will through them.  It was such a prayer filled, wonderful time.  I am new to this Executive Committee and really had no idea what to expect, so it was very inspiring and encouraging to see how God uses the people that are asked to serve.





Sonikile Tembo – Winnipeg, MB

s-temboIt has been a pleasure to get to know and work with David and Lynn Ripley. Their focus on the necessity and power of prayer, their complete reliance on Gods leading and their dedication to Total Member Involvement, is very inspiring. The May 2016 Board of Directors visioning session was a good opportunity to get to know other the Board of Directors and come together to pray about and discuss where we see Gods church going in the next few years.

This experience brought to mind the importance of unity. Many times we slow down Gods work because we allow the devil to bring in a spirit of division. 1 Corinthians 1:10: “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

My prayer is that we can remain of one mind and allow the Holy Spirit to take us where we need to go. We are living in a time in which there is plenty of opportunity for division. Lord help us stay together and stay relevant. We have a good spirit and great people in our conference office and as we continue to pray for one another and for Gods work, I know greater is coming. I’m excited to see what God will do as we get our members involved in active relevant ministry.

Read the New Mission and Vision Here