Vision2020 is a plan for growth. It is a framework to inspire and support mission planning at every level of the United Reformed Church: local, Synod and Assembly. Vision2020 was adopted by General Assembly in 2010.
In 2007, General Assembly decided to restructure its work into three main areas (Mission, Ministry and Administration) and formed a new Mission Committee. The Mission Committee together with the Mission Team at Church House were asked to develop a 10-year strategic plan for the mission work of the URC. This became vision2020.
Vision2020 is a 10-year strategic framework to support and strengthen the mission of the church at local synod and denominational level. It will seek to provide a framework for the many activities already taking place and to bring coherence. And it will be a tool that will help all of us to respond more faithfully to God's call to mission.
The basis of vision2020 is formed by the ten statements of our mission and purpose and the ways by which we know we are achieving them. These priorities arose from a survey in a number of URC congregations and from discussions in Mission Committee and at Assembly in 2008. Very few of the priorities are new; many churches are working on these already. But they sum up what we believe God is calling us to be and to do, as local churches and as a denomination. Vision2020 affirms these activities and strengthens them, but at the same time it also encourages churches to work on them more or perhaps to look at new priorities, such as for example, identity, evangelism and church growth, as these are the areas in which we have been weaker in the past.
The key idea of vision2020 is that, on a regular basis, local churches look at their mission priorities and do so in a context of prayer and discernment. Perhaps, you do so already - either as part of the Local Mission and Ministry Review that is being introduced in many Synods, or as part of other mission planning process, such as Healthy Church Check. If not, there is a simple vision2020 resource below that can help you get started. We believe it is important to do this not to tick any boxes, but because all of us are called to be witnesses to the life and work of Christ in our communities. It is why the church exists: we are called to be God's people, transformed by the gospel, making a difference for Christ's sake.
There are ten priorities in vision2020 and churches are invited to identify one or two mission priorities which are particularly pressing or relevant to their context. A church in a small rural community will have different priorities from a church in a large urban area. Each church has to discern for itself what its greatest priorities are. No one is asked to work on all ten priorities. One of the marks of a health church is to do a few things and to do them well.
With each statement (or priority) comes a set of actions, suggesting things you might do as a way of working on your chosen priority. A full list of priorities with the suggested actions can be found (here). But note, they are only suggestions; you may prefer to design your own.
Once a local congregation has identified one or more activities that might give expression to their mission priority, they will make a pledge or a commitment to try to achieve them over the course of a particular period. This is what is called the Local Mission Pledge. It is a written mission (action) plan that could be the result of going through Local Mission and Ministry Review, drawing up a Pastorate Profile, doing a Healthy Church Check, other mission education processes, or the vision2020 exercise. What is key is that you share this pledge or plan (the Synods use different terms for this) with your Synod and with the Mission Team at Church House. You can do so by filling out this form.
The Local Mission Pledges are important for the Synods as they will help shape each Synod to plan how better to serve the local church in its mission. They will also help Synods to ensure that the local churches get the right support and resources. In turn, Synods shaped by the mission plans of local churches can make a pledge to the Assembly and, in doing so, help the denomination to see where support and resources are needed. This will shape the work of Assembly staff and committees. In that way, vision2020 will have significant implications for the United Reformed Church as a whole. It will help us to make sure that our resources for mission are used in the most effective way. It will make sure that it is the mission priorities of local churches that shape the work of the Church as a whole. Most of all, it will give all of us a sense that we are part of something bigger, something special, something of God.
Many churches already make regular mission plans. Where you are already active, please tell us about it by entering your pledge or plan below. Tell us your story as well and we will place it on this website as an encouragement to others. Find resources, both programmes and funds to help you in your mission. The Mission Team pages will tell you what programmes there are to help you, and a list of grants available can be found below.
If you haven't thought about mission planning yet, you will find a simple resource on this website to help you get started. Your Synod Mission Enabler or Training and Development Officer (TDO) will also be able to help. Click here for a list.
Click below for more vision2020 information, logos and a powerpoint presentation:
Making a mission pledge
A form to make your mission pledge or tell your mission story will be added in September.
Money for mission