FAQ

Be Light
Q.

What is the strategy for reaching out to college students and making ICC a church for them by 2025?

A.

We are dreaming big, praying hard, talking often, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Currently, we are exploring a wide range of opportunities and approaches for expanding our relationship with the many thousands of local college students throughout Fort Collins. Specifically, in the early months of 2019, we are reaching out to the college students already vested in life at ICC as well as other local churches and parachurch ministries with active and healthy college ministry.

This enables us to  explore our unique calling amongst a wide range of church and ministry exposure in FC. In short, the immediate strategy is prayer, conversation, intentional relationship, discussion, and team-building. Our passion for investment in greater ways,  semester after semester, year after year will move us towards seeing this vision become a reality.

Q.

The narrative states that our facilities will be “building a center for activity evangelism and discipleship.” In which ways will opening our building allow us to Be Light? Practically, how will these steps engage and reach our local community? How do we publicly communicate these also?

A.

To clarify, the narrative doesn’t state we’ll be “building a center for activity evangelism and discipleship”, but rather, “our building will be a center of activity for the City Park community, hosting numerous events each year.”

Proper use of the building can never be a substitute for personal influence. It can only be a supplement. Our primary means of reaching out to our community will be through our Community Groups.

With that said, we will also seek to steward the gift of our facility to reach people for Christ. We will host gospel-centered events. We will house mission teams. We will make the building accessible to our community (examples might include PHS and CSU student  lunches, neighborhood meetings, school functions, common work stations in the lobby, funerals, and caring for the poor).

Our hope is that ICC will be KNOWN for blessing the community - that people will see we are FOR them, and that this is a safe place in which to be loved and ministered to. We will never compromise the Gospel, but we will always seek to leverage the Gospel to reach a world in need of Christ.

We’ve already begun this process, and we will continue to “get the word out” by telling those who use the building that we exist for this reason. Accordingly, word will spread.

Be Strong
Q.

How will discipleship happen at ICC?

A.

Our philosophy on discipleship is just one of many philosophy statements we’ve recently developed as a leadership team in conjunction with our drafting of the Belong 2025 narrative. You can find our discipleship philosophy and other ministry philosophies here.

As always, the Vision Team is available to provide more in-depth answers regarding discipleship at ICC.

Behold
Q.

At times it can be disruptive for parents who are processing the message and responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit to be told to go pick up the kids during the last set of worship songs. Can this be changed?

A.

We understand the difficulty here and have discussed changes. There are two main reasons for why we have not made changes:

1) At ICC we believe Family Discipleship is essential. This short weekly window ofr worship together provides an opportunity for children to experience worship with their parents and for them to see their parents engaged in worshipping God. Though the immediate effect may not seem great this allows parents to model heartfelt worship to their kids.

2) Previously, we had “post-service” pick-up. But, often parents would delay in picking up their children. This led to frustration among our faithful volunteers.

Additionally, we took a quick poll of some of our families and most everyone said they appreciated having their children in the service. Their feedback, combined with the above factors, led us to keep things as they are.

However, based on recent feedback, we are open to re-visiting this concern, so stay tuned.


Q.

Are changes pending for Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings? Does this plan involve more Sunday night informational gatherings similar to previous ones?

A.

There are no changes currently planned for Sunday mornings. However, there are numerous HOPE Nights (House of Prayer for Everyone: Isaiah 56:7, “...my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” ) scheduled on Sunday and Wednesday Evenings.

We will consistently evaluate their effectiveness in encouraging prayer and worship at ICC. Additional Hope Nights may be scheduled later.

The overarching goals of HOPE Nights are to help us develop a love for prayer, and pray for the unchurched of our city and the unreached people groups of the world.

Community Groups
Q.

How will discipleship happen at ICC?

A.

Our philosophy on discipleship is just one of many philosophy statements we’ve recently developed as a leadership team in conjunction with our drafting of the Belong 2025 narrative. You can find our discipleship philosophy and other ministry philosophies here.

As always, the Vision Team is available to provide more in-depth answers regarding discipleship at ICC.

General
Q.

We attended the 101 class, but were not sure of the path following to formally becoming members. What is the next step?

A.

We would love to meet with anyone interested in becoming a member of ICC. This is generally facilitated through our 101 class after which attendees can fill out a membership request form that is evaluated by the Elders.

In the coming weeks, we will begin discussions to formalize the assimilation process which will help make this process more streamlined and better answer these and other questions about membership and serving at ICC.

Q.

There was a mention of philosophies & metrics. Have they been published? Are they available?

A.

The philosophies and metrics for the 2019 focus areas of Belong 2025 have been written and vetted by the teams that are leading those areas. You can view them here.  

Many of the metrics supporting those philosophies are in the process of being developed. Some of the metrics will be only published to the appropriate leadership to get a pulse on the progress of the area they are focused on while others will be shared publicly.

Q.

Are you truly soliciting input or is this already set? Who are the people involved in coming up with this? (besides the leadership team)

A.

We understand that people own what they help create.

The overall mission, vision and values are firmly established. These serve as the guardrails for the individual day-to-day decisions.

The Vision Team will engage the entire church in a myriad of regularly scheduled events during the next six years. We won’t impose decisions that fail to engage the people’s gifts, passions, energy, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As our intimacy with God, community with one another, and influence with our neighbors grow, our strategies and tactics will also adapt. Again, input will be welcomed and used for developing strategies consistent with Belong 2025. God has a plan for ICC and Ft. Collins.  

We, leaders, members and regular attenders, will always consider our options and then take action toward what God wants us to become and  do.

Q.

What will be different in our leadership's decision making?

A.

We will seek to make decisions that align with the vision. This is easier said than done, but the purpose of a vision statement is to help make the hard, but right, decisions down the road.

For this to work, we have to be willing to eliminate, reduce or modify our “sacred cows” that don’t match the overall direction of BELONG 2025.

We’re seeking to move beyond doing many “good” things to doing a “few” great things.

Q.

Who gets the final say of "yes" or "no" to our programs and groups? It seems like our group of leaders is absent and it is one person's wants versus the many who belong.

A.

Ephesians 1:22 tells us that God “appointed him [Christ] as head over all things for the church.” Our church’s governance structure states that we are “elder led and congregationally ruled,” but we affirm that the ultimate authority over our church is Christ.

Elders, as servant leaders, seek to submit daily to His leadership. Within that critical framework, the elders, as shepherds and overseers of the body will lead Immanuel Community Church, while always seeking to be open to input from the congregation.

Check out our Elder Philosophy for some more information.

Q.

What outside organization is helping the church elders, deacons and staff develop and implement BELONG 2025?

A.

To help us get started we initially leveraged a consulting organization with extensive experience in helping church leadership teams work though all that needs to be considered in identifying and implementing a vision for the future.

However, at this time, we are not using any outside organizations; rather we are relying on the giftedness, expertise and leadership of the members of our Vision Team and other teams comprised of church members and leaders to think through ways we can help the church understand and embrace Belong 2025.

Q.

With the plethora of talents in our members and guests, are we equipping new leaders?

A.

We currently have no well defined mechanism in place for equipping new leaders. This is happening organically, but we will look into ways to do this more strategically.

In the past, we’ve tried to equip leaders through a series of classes called Growth Track - Belong (101), Behold (201), Be strong (301), and Be Light (401). It was a great idea, but it never gathered momentum.

In terms of newcomers, we are looking at a new system and curriculum for assimilation that will help people connect. This new plan has the potential of contributing to both “our vibrant walk” with Christ,  and our “community group” ministry.

Q.

The kids would like a new playground.

A.

ICC is blessed with a functioning First Impression Team. They are a group of church members who have oversight for the facility.

Since November 2018 they have been meeting and working on a new playground apparatus. They obtained quotes from three vendors. God has provided us with the resources for the anticipated $9,200 price tag.

They placed an order in Feb 2019 with installation to occur in mid-May 2019 (based on vendor lead-times).

Parents
Q.

How will ICC equip and encourage parents in how to disciple their own families?

A.

At ICC we believe Family Discipleship is crucial. Both Biblically (Deut 6:4-9) and because of statistical studies we are convinced that the single greatest spiritual influence in the life of a child is his/her parents. Hence we want to equip our parents.

We will do so through a multitude of resources, reminders, opportunities, and trainings. Four times a year we are hosting “Family Discipleship Nights” for the whole family during which we will learn from each other how to tackle a different aspect of discipleship with a “take home” to practice together in the weeks that follow.

Five additional times a year, when there are five Sundays in a month, K-5th will join us in the service and a “Family Discipleship Resources” document will be handed out that will help parents break down the sermon with their kids.

Every Sunday we will provide excellent Bible lessons using The Gospel Project curriculum in our classrooms (Discipleland for younger children) and provide the kids with memory verses to be studied at home (as well as weekly questions to talk about on the drive home).

We also have a living list of excellent parenting resources that can be picked up from the check-in counter or accessed via this link.

Prayer
Q.

What are the plans to increase participation, to train, improve and energize people in corporate and private prayers?

A.

We currently have a small Wednesday night prayer gathering with faithful people. Numbers don’t equate to strength in this arena. If two are there, so is God.

Currently, there is no “strategic plan” in place to move us to the place of becoming a “house of prayer for all nations” but we welcome your input and we will be working on this in the near future.

As a start, until September 2019, we will focus on ICC individuals having a “vibrant walk”. We will also seek to have three HOPE nights (House Of Prayer for Everyone) this calendar year.  And, we will continue to host a prayer gathering on Wednesday evenings. But much more will be developed for the next six years.

Vibrant Walk With God
Q.

How will you help people commit to a daily Bible reading and relationship? In practical terms, what will ICC do to help people achieve a "vibrant walk with God?"

A.

Starting in January of 2019, we made a commitment to the following tactics:

  1. Dedicating 4 weeks of sermon emphasis to the importance of a Vibrant Walk with God; specifically January 20th, January 27th, February 3rd, and February 10th.
  2. Prioritizing a Vibrant Walk with God in each of our community groups and in each of their weekly times together.  This was processed with our hosts and facilitators, and the weekly question guides began to include questions specific to providing accountability and discussion surrounding a corporate push towards deeper and stronger walks with Jesus.
  3. Providing access to materials and resources that allow our congregation to fairly and appropriately assess their walks with the Lord in biblical and helpful ways.
  4. Opening our church early each weekday morning for the same 4 weeks we were committed to sermon emphasis, and we’ve decided to extend this through February of 2019.  Church leadership not only opened the building and participated in using this time and space to foster their own walks with God, but they also provided materials and promptings for anyone to use this time well for study, prayer, and focus on their Vibrant Walk.
  5. Our staff has committed their work schedules to easy availability to anyone who might want more intentional training or mentoring or discussion surrounding our experiences in developing a Vibrant Walk with Jesus in effort to provide whatever levels of support anyone and everyone might need.
  6. Weekly processing of feedback from the congregation as to how we can help them commit to achieving a Vibrant Walk, including strategizing how we will continue this emphasis on various levels from mid-February into September of 2019.

In our minds and hearts, these six practical efforts are only the tip of the iceberg as it pertains to what we could and hope to accomplish as a church, together, in fanning into flame more Vibrant Walks with Jesus Christ.


Vision
Q.

How can we leverage our history and influence so that we become more involved in the Longs Peak Baptist Association (LPBA)?

A.

God’s Kingdom is better together and more is accomplished collectively than any one church can do alone. This is the heartbeat behind “Be Light.” It starts with a network of cooperation.

Partnering with LPBA will mean helping support church leaders in strengthening churches and starting churches. This starts “at the top” and requires ICC pastors/staff and even members to be involved at the level our body wants us to be.

ICC provides generously in finance; yet more can be done in the areas of our building’s use, networking, involvement in pastor lunches and  yearly meetings, and utilizing resources for outreach.

While not a 2019 priority, this emphasis is planned for 2020.

Q.

Help me understand how this will put “guardrails” up. When someone approaches leadership and says, "Let's start doing ________ as a church." How will that be tested against this vision in order to decide whether we throw ourselves behind it or not?

A.

Excellent question. We think the  immediate response to the suggestion “Let’s start doing ________ as a church” would be to ask “Does _______ help us move toward the fulfillment of Belong 2025, or is it detrimental to, or does it distract from, our ability to accomplish the fundamental elements of the vision?”

The vision statement and pathways, along with the supporting philosophies provide a framework for evaluating and prioritizing the infinite different possibilities of things God will direct our church to initiate, support and do.

Q.

The narrative statement, “In ways we have never seen before." seems to inflate who we are and what we will accomplish and potentially devalue the work of God in this church in the past. Do you think it would be wise say something like, "In creative ways" or "In ways that will connect well with 21st century Americans" to avoid the trappings of appearing arrogant?

A.

Of course our intent was never to inflate who we are, or devalue God’s work in the past.

However, to avoid this perception, and to clarify that God is the One doing the work at Immanuel, we have changed the wording of the vision narrative to say the following:  This is a picture of God ushering in His kingdom in fresh and exciting ways, and we believe it starts with Immanuel Community Church establishing a bigger and bolder faith.

Q.

How will this vision equip people to "bleed" for the church?

A.

When we look at the New Testament church in the book of Acts, people lived and died for God’s kingdom.

They sold their possessions. They met in homes. They prayed and received the Word. They broke bread together. They met in the temple courts daily. Church was not just an add-on to a better life. Church was life.

We long for Immanuel to live this way. We believe our Belong 2025 vision for beholding Christ, being strong in Christ, and being light for Christ, if taken seriously, will require some bleeding - some genuine sacrifice of time, money, and service.

Q.

How will the leadership put action plans together for this vision and see them fulfilled?

A.

Just as the Rocky Mountains are a blur when standing in Eastern CO, so are the action points for 2020-2025 in 2019. Caution is needed since the Church in America is addicted to techniques; which sometimes don’t bring the life we thought they would.

That said, within the Behold, Be Strong and Be Light vision, teams of lay volunteers have and are coming together to formulate specific action plans. Some are farther along than others, e.g., Community Groups. Some plans are now available upon request.

BTW, these teams are “open” and you should consider helping them to pray through, brainstorm, create, implement, and champion the vision-oriented actions.