The vision for ministry at Woodlawn United Presbyterian Church is centered on spiritual growth and serving others through the love and teachings of Christ. Within our vision, God’s Word is instrumental in providing a deeper understanding of who we are through spiritual enlightenment. To expound on this vision, our congregation considers the Bible to be the authentic source of God’s inspired word. Therefore, His word is a key driving force that keeps us rooted in what we believe and helps us live out His will for our ministry.
Our Church strives to express God’s love through a number of facets. The following perspectives below support our vision: Support new members in Christ through their faith journey; earnestly follow God’s teaching by proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel; to spark the membership to higher levels of spiritual growth; to develop a strong youth ministry; to broaden the scope of our community outreach programs.
It is our desire that this vision expands deep within our surrounding community to instill a sense of hope to the hopeless. The congregational vision can be further implemented through prayer, service and commitment in order to reach those seeking the truth.
Woodlawn’s aspiration is for our existing members to mature in Christ through study and new worship experiences. Through Worship the Holy Spirit can provide the intrinsic motivation for all existing members to carry out the will of God through the congregation’s vision for ministry.
For over 148 years, Woodlawn United Presbyterian Church has sustained ministries to address the needs of its urban community. Through our outreach programs, we have committed to serving God’s people both inside and outside of church, where outreach can have the greatest intentional impact on the community. Our outreach services include: an Alzheimer’s support group; serving meals to the homeless at a local homeless shelter; active participation with Interfaith Coalition of Action Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE); community line dancing; exercise classes; Shaping Christian Leaders of Tomorrow (SCLT) Youth Group; Prison Ministry; Food Bank; Widows and Widowers Luncheon and distributing Thanksgiving baskets. In addition, we host a Presbyterian Basketball League for youth in our Family Life Center, and Sunday Play Day. Each summer we sponsor a Vacation Bible School open to youth and adults and a Summer Youth Outreach program designed for youth from under-served homes in our community.
As we proclaim to be faithful witnesses to others by serving our community and the world, our programs and related services are geared to promote the Kingdom of God on earth. We provide experiences and opportunities through which the membership and community may become strengthened in this Christian endeavor.
The ideal pastor must be of strong faith, well grounded in God’s word and possess the heart of a servant leader. The person who is open to being called to this congregation should be an articulate, inspirational and effective preacher and teacher who can bring the necessary energy to provide pastoral care to the congregation as well as to those who will come to know Christ through the Church’s expanding ministry. The prospective pastor should be able to create a shared vision with the congregation that generates enthusiasm, momentum and commitment to reaching our youth and young families, while sustaining and supporting current members in a time of transition. Strong leadership skills that reflect knowledge of administrative, financial, strategic planning, and church growth and development are necessary to ensure the church’s strong and long history of service to the community. This person must be open-minded, a good listener, compassionate, patient, flexible but also have a sense of humor. He/She should be able to interact in the community, with other organizations and various levels of the Presbyterian Church USA.
The pastor will be expected to:
- Preach, teach and model the gospel of Jesus Christ with power and inspiration through leadership of worship services, Bible Study, Christian Education programs, other spiritual events and programs.
- Administer the sacraments, officiate baptisms, weddings, funerals, and other church related activities.
- Provide pastoral care by visiting members in the hospital, nursing homes, hospice care, emergency rooms, shut-ins, and members confined in a manner that prevents their participation in the activities of the church.
- Provide professional, compassionate, spiritually-based counseling to members of the congregation and the community, as necessary.
- Provide administrative leadership, vision and direction, in collaboration and partnership with established bodies of the congregation and the Presbyterian Church USA, to ensure the effective, efficient, financially sound, strategically relevant operations and growth of the church. Establish and maintain community partnerships with churches and organizations that seek to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Provide training that builds leadership within the church to fulfill its mission.
- Actively participate in and represent the congregation in activities at all levels of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
- Observe healthy habits of self-care and be attentive to relationships with family and friends.