Looking into the future, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Naperville, Ill. knew they would have to build to remain locally relevant. The leadership was no stranger to building programs, but past projects were obvious – they built because they were out of space. This time leadership didn’t have clear direction, just an undeniable passion to prepare for the future.
“We felt very adolescent,” Pastor Greg Wenhold said. “We needed someone to partner with, someone to help us know who we were and where we needed to go.”
The leadership team chose to partner with Aspen Group because of their like-minded approach to building facilities that enhance ministry. Aspen’s Visioning process helped create clarity in the alignment of Good Shepherd’s leadership passions, congregational giftedness, and community needs…Good Shepherd’s unique mission.
To discover Good Shepherd’s gifts, Aspen Group and their Visioning consultants attended worship services and listened to key leaders express their passions for the church. The Aspen team helped Good Shepherd realize they are a large church with an intimate “small church” feel. They are especially gifted in hospitality and compassion.
Demographic studies, yielding a comprehensive assessment of their neighborhood based on the latest census data, helped discover the specific needs of the community. They discovered that the young families that moved to Naperville several years ago are growing up. These families are experiencing difficulties that the church can help them address: relationship strains, increasing debt, and retirement planning.
After discovering their leadership passions, congregational gifts, and community needs, Good Shepherd formed their compelling call:
"Reach and transform spiritually distracted families in the local community so that they come to know and love God."
At the end of this process, Good Shepherd knew who they were and where they were heading. This clarity has allowed them to effectively communicate their vision to the congregation and has affected a powerful response from their people. It has also created clarity for their building committee. They can now wisely discuss their facility needs to support the compelling call and effectively reach the spiritually distracted families in Naperville.
About Josh Gregoire
Josh Gregoire serves as Associate Director of Development at Aspen Group. Since he joined Aspen in 2004 he has had roles in design, construction, IT, marketing, project development, and currently, business development. He is often the first point of contact for churches who are considering a church facility renovation or new building project. His experiences at Aspen and in pastoral ministry have prepared him to come alongside church leaders and help them navigate the earliest conversations and stages of a facility project. Josh also serves as the Discipleship Pastor in his home church, providing vision and leadership for ministries such as Small Groups, First Impressions (hospitality), and Next Steps. He has also served as his denomination’s District Sunday School and Discipleship Ministry Chair, and he continues to provide coaching and training to leaders and volunteers in these areas as needed. He and his wife Missy are raising two kids.