Pleasant Grove UMC makes long-term commitment to success


      The saying goes:  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  How does a church plan to succeed? 
     In a sermon at Pleasant Grove UMC in Dalton, Rev. Chris Mullis issued this challenge: “For the next month, prayerfully consider what you can do to fulfill our long range goals. Don’t pray about what the church should do. Rather, ask God what you can do personally or what your church group can do or what your family can do.” 
    The challenge was part of a long range planning effort to lead the congregation to strive toward three goals: 1) Give hope to the hopeless, 2) Build new relationships, and 3) Help our community. 
     People were encouraged to share inspirational books and a special table in the fellowship hall was set up to loan books and browse books to borrow. Many read books from the table as they prayed for God’s direction. Then on September 28, the congregation came together with staff of Connectional Ministries to brainstorm.
     “What I wanted to avoid,” said Rev. Mullis, “was coming up with a list of a thousand great ideas going in all different directions with no leaders committed to accomplish them."
     At the brainstorming session, the congregation listed possible ways they could fulfill their long-range goals.  Then, everyone indicated their personal support of each idea.  They put a green sticker beside an idea they support, a yellow sticker with their name on it beside an idea they would help with, and a red sticker with their name on it beside an idea they are willing to lead. 
     Ideas that came out of the meeting ranged from starting an addiction recovery program to supporting an overseas missionary, to building a stronger relationship with other churches and community organizations.
    "I think the goals our Long Range Planning Team discerned give direction to our enthusiasm," said Mullis. "I’m hoping the people of our church will take personal ownership of how we accomplish our goals.”