All plans are made with the understanding that God is in control, and that we operate under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. The intent of the Strategic Plan is to establish a sound context for decision-making that is consistent with the three-fold focus of the church: Worship, Evangelism, and Discipleship. This applies at the broadest level to the Church Board, but also to group and individual planning. The Strategic Plan is a continually emerging document, thus the Board will review and revise it periodically at its discretion.
Following are various elements of the overall Strategic Plan. The plan may be restructured to be more readable, comprehensive, or for other purposes.
Select a section below to read more.
We are committed to the general Camden-Wyoming area and Caesar Rodney School District as the focal point for local ministry and therefore the optimal location for corporate worship. This commitment takes precedence in the selection of worship facility and ownership vs. rental. Loosely described, the optimal location is within 2 miles of DE-10 between Wyoming and Dover AFB.
Full access to a dedicated (not shared) facility is optimal in order to support a broad range of ministry opportunities throughout the week. Similarly, the ability to customize the facility to our needs favors owning the facility, but leasing is an option as long as it provides for stability and some degree of freedom to customize. Financially, in order to maintain a focus on ministry, we want to avoid debt, therefore a good lease arrangement is preferable.
Congregational growth is desirable and should be a natural outcome of a healthy, evangelical church. In order to maintain a full range of core ministry and a culture of personal connection, we believe the optimal size for the church is between 150 and 500. As church attendance approaches 500, consideration should be given to church planting.
Pastoral staff should reflect the congregation size. Based on the optimal church size, the staff should be between 1 and 4 in traditional pastoral roles. The Senior Pastor will be a full-time salaried employee. Other pastoral staff may be full-time or part-time, co-employed, or volunteer. Each staff member will have a designated ministry focus. The Senior Pastor will provide the daily oversight in the role of a supervisor, and Ministry Heads will provide additional guidance. Other church staff will provide administrative or technical support and may be full-time or part-time, co-employed, or volunteer.
The church will remain unaffiliated with any larger denomination. However, association with other churches and para-church ministries is desired to achieve the broader missional purpose of the church. The Senior Pastor and Church Board will jointly oversee these complementary relationships.
There is a single Church Board with standing committees as determined by the board for core areas. As needs and opportunities present, self-directed teams may be formed, but should be reviewed periodically for “sunsetting”. Ministry Heads may be designated for specific focus areas and will usually be volunteer positions.
Tithe-based giving will be encouraged, and a conservative financial plan employed. Special giving should be avoided, including building programs and capital campaigns. Debt avoidance is a core principle, but if undertaken, should be based on a short-term satisfaction of the debt.
Using John 4:20-24 and Romans 12:1-2 as our guide, we want to lead our members into lives of worship. We seek to facilitate individual, family, and small group worship in various ways and at various times.
In keeping with the optimal church size and culture, a single worship service is strongly preferred in contrast to multiple services in a single facility or even multiple facilities. If facilities pose a constraint, multiple services may be employed for short term tactical purposes. The worship should be family focused, encouraging all ages to worship together. Cultural diversity and accessibility are highly desirable and intentionally pursued. If a Children’s Worship program is developed, it should be complementary to family worship.
God requires that the church worship in spirit and truth as revealed in the Scriptures. The preaching will be Bible-centered and evangelical in content. The worship service will include corporate prayer and singing. Communion will be served on a regular (periodic) frequency. Members will be encouraged to serve in various capacities including administration, technology, music and other elements as determined. Music will reflect a blending of tradit ional and contemporary styles. Worship will be facilitated by member leadership, and instrumental accompaniment will be encouraged.
The early personality of Three Stones Church was one of intimacy characterized by a warm greeting. Nurturing that personality is important in welcoming congregants and guests at entry, demonstrating appropriate and sensitive hospitality to all with a particular focus on those with special needs.
We will be a discipling church calling and equipping congregants to grow in their faith and service, empowered for ministry. Elders should demonstrate leadership in teaching and one-on-one discipling. Individuals will be encouraged to exercise a daily practice of Bible reading and study, prayer, and personal service and evangelism, and also to be in discipling relationships with others, ideally within the congregation. The church will encourage small group discipleship through Sunday School and home-based groups meeting at various times and locations, perhaps in conjunction with other Christian organizations. Congregational Care will be encouraged in both formal and informal arrangements. Conferences/seminars will be encouraged both as participants and as sponsors, especially community-focused offerings. Retreats are another excellent method of discipleship training.
There will be a celebratory spirit within the church reflecting the joy of salvation and the believer’s victory over sin. Regular celebrations are encouraged with focused themes, and should include recognitions within the church, graduations, etc.
The church exists for the primary purpose of glorifying God and revealing Him within the world, and the Holy Spirit is the power by which we accomplish this purpose. God has blessed us to be a blessing to the world by completing the Great Commission, that being to go into the entire world making disciples in our local church, our local community, the broader community, and to the ends of the earth (especially the unreached peoples).
We will engage directly in local and regional missions. In many cases, this will manifest in the form of financial and volunteer support for local para-church organizations. We will intentionally seek the unsaved in order to learn about them, build bridges where possible, and share the gospel with them as God enables. We will purposefully seek the opportunity to send and directly support through prayer and funding a frontier missionary into unreached populations in another continent. We will inspire our congregation to seriously consider and fully embrace God’s call for them to evangelize locally or globally.