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[This is a fable] It had been a long time since Dave, the head elder, had been this excited. This evening, he sat in anticipation at the monthly church board meeting.

Pastor Peters asked for the REACH Coordinator to give her report. Rebecca, the beloved church matriarch, beamed from ear to ear as she directed the board members to the top of page two. "It's an answer to prayer!" she exclaims."It's taken six months. But with the guidance of the Holy Spirit you now hold in your hands a proposed recommendation to bring to the church next week. We've worked so hard on this."

Rebecca acknowledged Dave. "Dave, we could not have completed this without your leadership. Thank you. Would you mind going through some of the highlights of our REACH Action Plan?"

"Not at all." Dave looked around the table at, not just his fellow board members, but his true friends. He said, "As you know, it has taken a lot of teamwork to put our REACH Action Plan together. And Pastor Peters has reminded us in his sermons and visits that God planted our congregation in this town for a reason. The REACH Grid* and REACH: Step by Step* documents, provided by the Conference, has really helped us wrestle through the issues. We now believe that we are clear on what God's vision is for our church."

Dave shared with great enthusiasm how his dream for his church was being realized. He said, "Notice how our recommended mission statement aligns with the conference mission to reach our community with the Christ-centered message of hope and wholeness. And we are not alone in this. Other churches are doing it too!" There were loud"Amens".

Dave continued, "Then, starting on page three, we've listed the action plans for each of our five core values. Note where your names are. We believe that if we can help each church member live out these five values we will accomplish our mission for God."

Dave noticed that Donna, the new head deaconess, wanted to say something. He nodded to her. Donna piped in,"Those five ministry values made everything fall in place so easily. My deaconess team sat down and discussed how our ministry relates to each of the core values."

"Yes!" said Bill, the Men's Ministry leader. "I've done the same. Now we have a men's mentoring program because the REACH Grid showed us that we were weak on Education for Discipleship. It is one of the action plans on page four."

Carl, the newest member on the board, asked, "What were those five core values again?" Dave answered, "Everything we do will flow from these five core ministry values. Here they are:

Revival and Transformation: that's about a relationship with God. The action plans on page three outline what we intend to do to enhance people's relationship with God through corporate, family and personal worship.

Education for Discipleship: that's about training members toward Christian maturity. Our Sabbath School Council has a great plan for that. It's listed on page five.

Alignment Within the Church: that's about teamwork, and collaborating with other churches. Our plans for alignment start on page six.

Community Outreach and Evangelism: that's about sharing the gospel in works and words - page seven.

Healthy Leadership and Management: that's about leadership empowering others for mission based on their gifts and talents. See page eight for that." Dave concluded, "As you see, we have at least two action plans for each core value."

As the board members discussed their plans for God's work the board meeting turned into a praise meeting.

They couldn't wait until the church met in business session - because they knew God had guided them thus far.

It had been a long time since the church board had been this excited. They were launching REACH!