One way to encourage discussion and wider parish participation is to use the feedback data we have received so far to frame alternative stories for St. Timothy’s 2020 future to stimulate our discussion. These alternative stories are called scenarios.
Scenario planning is a powerful way to manage uncertainty and imagine the future by challenging our conventional wisdom—“we’ve always done it that way” and instead ask—“what if” to imagine a different calling.
Preparing scenario stories creates a common language across the parish to consider new ideas and consider risks both known and unknown. These scenario stories enable the clergy and Vestry to plug St. Timothy’s vision 2020 results into the work of the Diocese of California and collaborate with other parishes in our Deanery and across the diocese.
What follows are four completely alternative stories of St. Timothy’s future. These scenarios are NOT predictions of the future. They are designed to facilitate discussion by imagining completely different ways the Holy Spirit could call St. Timothy’s to live into our unbroken chain of faith by 2020.
I prepared these scenario stories were prepared using the survey and small groups input received plus an inventory of the economic and demographic driving forces going on around us, major players, key events in the Church and elsewhere that predetermine some outcomes, key uncertainties we know are on the horizon and surprises we are yet to discover. In short, I am trying to imagine all the things that could happen to our lives and the work of St. Timothy’s over the next ten years asking ourselves one simple question:
What is the Holy Spirit Calling St. Timothy’s to be in 2020?
This category contains four equally plausible alternative stories of St. Timothy’s 2020 future to start imagining ‘what if’. Those scenarios are:
- Aging Gracefully
- Following Paul
- Doubling Down
- Mission Transformation
As posts are added to this category I will attempt to flesh out the scenario stories, develop timelines and assess the implications of the scenarios on the parish, the Diocese and the work of the church.
It is important to remember that scenarios—these or others—are not predictions. They are alternative views of the future that provide a planning foundation for playing ‘what if’ for strategies, program ministries and parish impacts.
While I have encouraged St. timothy’s to consider using scenarios like these or others they develop as part of the Vision 2020 planning process, but no decision to do so has been made.