4Engage the Church Family in Five weeks of focus on the various topics Form focus groups to study each topicEnlist the help of the Sunday School classes via discussion and reflection on each topicChallenge the Congregation during each week of the program with sermons, special music, and drama focused on a particular topic
5Fruitful Congregation The Five Practices of aFruitful CongregationRadical HospitalityPassionate WorshipIntentional Faith DevelopmentRisk-taking Mission & ServiceExtravagant Generosity
6#1 Radical Hospitality Work Group Chair: Mark Parsons
7Creating a Welcome at Charity Church A Hospitality PrimerCreating a Welcome at Charity Church
8What is hospitality?When we speak of hospitality we are always addressing issues of inclusion and exclusion. Each of us makes choices about who will and who will not be included in our lives…. Hospitality has an inescapable moral dimension to it…. All of our talk about hospitable openness doesn’t mean anything as long as some people continue to be tossed aside…. But calling hospitality a moral issue does not tell us the whole truth about hospitality either. A moral issue can become bogged down in legalisms, and hospitality is no legalistic ethical issue. It is instead a spiritual practice, a way of becoming more human, a way of understanding yourself. Hospitality is both the answer to modern alienation and injustice and a path to a deeper spirituality.
9Thoughts on Hospitality from Henri Nouwen 1. Free and friendly space - creating physical, emotional, and spiritual space for the newcomer to join us.2. Stranger becomes a guest - in that atmosphere of hospitality, the stranger is treated like a guest and potential friend.3. Compassion - hospitality is basically a sense of compassion, a realization that we are more alike than we are different4. Confrontation, honesty - hospitality is not being a doormat to the guest, it includes confronting one another in honesty, as well as with compassion.5. God as the ultimate Host - hospitality reminds us that we are all guests of God who is the ultimate Host who welcomes us
10A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church Develop and Traina group of Ambassadors…not just greeters. A team of people who are passionate about hospitality and who can assist in both welcoming, identifying and assisting those visiting by introductions, provision of guest bulletin, and gaining their name and phone number. This group would also be the first point of contact AFTER the service by phone message, inviting the visitors to join them as their guest for a Wednesday Fellowship Dinner or coffee in the coming week.
11A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church Design and Implementa visitor’s bulletin. A worship guide (serving as a welcome packet) that will welcome, assist and guide newcomers through the service. Should be printed on a different colored paper and should include a welcome sheet that provides them simple and basic information. It should NOT have all the regular ‘stuff’ that is in the regular bulletin. This unique bulletin would assist members and regular parishioners in identifying those visiting. During the ‘meet and greet’ portion of each service an Ambassador would be responsible for going, introducing those around them and gaining their contact information. Some token or remembrance (flat and useful….magnet, bookmark, calendar, etc.) should be included in this bulletin.
12A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church Coordinatea ‘team concept’ of those interested in serving and promoting hospitality. This should include all age groups. NO ONE is too young to be polite and welcoming. It is our job to train ourselves and our youth and children to reach out and be hospitable. Utilize this team to constantly seek and promote new initiatives and means by which to keep hospitality at the forefront of our work at Charity.
13A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church Promotea bi-annual Progressive Dinner that includes ALL church members. Utilizing homes, groups of would interact and come together OUTSIDE of the church in a home setting. Simple meals and great conversation would become a hallmark. Coordination and a systemic approach would diversify the people who were grouped…including guests and newcomers who have shown interest in Charity. This would nurture a sense of community and allow others to feel the bond of Christian love that exists or should exist between us.
14A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church Consider and Prayabout a quarterly event that is geared to all those who have visited for the first time in the past three months. Staff and the Hospitality Team would welcome and provide feedback and nurturing for this group.
15A Hospitable ConceptCongregations committed to breaking from the status quo are called to develop a sense of "radical hospitality." Rather than seeking out like members for mutual support, they seek people who consider themselves beyond the reach of organized religion. "Radical hospitality" has not only social, but political and economic implications; it is the act of extending community beyond the margins to those unserved by church, synagogue, or mosque. Rather than limiting their public theology to outreach or charity that maintains the unjust distribution of power and resources, congregations formed in radical hospitality exercise a commitment to justice. This model seeks to transform both the believer and society as a whole.
16A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church Prioritiesfor 2010Recruit and train a Hospitality TeamInsure integrityInsist on consistencyInclude all demographicsDesign and Implement a Visitor’s Guide to CharityKeep it simpleMake it engagingMonitor it closelyInitiate a church-wide progressive dinner twice yearly to promote fellowship, energy and focus as a church family.Build a team to head & hostTarget dates to maximize a connection to key services
17Work Group Chairpersons: #2Passionate WorshipWork Group Chairpersons:Rebecca StraseskieCrystal White
18Let’s set the stage for this discussion… Worship is a highly personal topicPeople are passionate about their ideas of… and preferences for worshipCharity Church has two very distinct and very vocal groups who favor two very different styles of worshipDistilling the data gathered into a short and concise presentation is a difficult task… that said, here’s what we have…
19What did we learn? 8:30 Service Likes…Relaxed Feel of the serviceContemporary MusicCommunion every SundayGathering in a circle to end the service
20What did we learn?8:30 ServiceDislikes…Too many “church words”… ie. NarthexService seems rushedService seems disconnected from one part to nextWould like sermon series v. lectionary preachingNot enough time for Holy Spirit to ‘move’Not enough time for personal witnessesGreeting time breaks flow of service
21What did we learn?11:00 ServiceLikes…Traditional in formatChoir & Organ
22What did we learn?11:00 ServiceDislikes…Choir not in robes and not in loftWant more organ musicPeople take ownership of a seatNot traditional enoughWant return of Apostles Creed
248:30 is Changing…Bob Williams formed a work group to facilitate change and to remake the contemporary service, with the understanding that this service is likely to be the growth engine of our church.The goal is to try and meet the attendance targets set by Lay Leadership for 2010.Changes will take place starting this week (14th)
258:30 is Changing…Annoucements will be moved to a video loop 15 minutes prior to the serviceGreeting time will be moved to Charity Cafe after the serviceMusic will be less at the start, but more reflective right before the sermonAn emphasis on including layity in the service will evolve over the coming weeks.
268:30 is Changing…Focus groups will provide feedback right after the service each week… initial impressions etc.Bob’s work group will meet to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of changes made and work to continue the evolution of our contemporary service into the vehicle for growth that Charity Church needs.
27What about 11:00?It would be the recommendation of this team that a work group be formed that is similar to what has been done for the 8:30 service.Within the bounds of what Charity Church sets for Traditional Worship, this team would suggest that an effort be made to determine if any change is needed and if so how to make it happen.
28In ConclusionMost folks in both services think we do worship pretty well… however,There are many comments on how to do it betterThe 8:30 transition is underway… stay tuned for the resultsThe 11:00 service could stand to be studied.
29#3 Intentional Faith Development Work Group Chair: -Unfilled-
30Let’s set the stage for this discussion… Intentional Faith Development involves a personal commitment to engage in doing something that furthers one’s understanding of and growth in relationship with Jesus ChristIn general folks feel that Charity Church is doing a pretty good job of helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ
31What did we learn?Likes…Classes like Disciple Bible Study, Beth Moore, Vacation Bible School and others fill a needWe have a pretty consistent group of folks who engage in these classesIt’s obvious that programs for the Youth have increased and as such they are finding more time to study as well.
32What did we learn?Dislikes…Seems to be a lack of direction or focus from leadership in the church on this topic, such that a vision is not evidentNeed more communication in advance of offerings, in addition to what is already doneNeed to include more of the church body in this effort… seems to be the same folks over and overNeed more for preschool, and young kids
33Other Programs to Consider Companions in ChristExperiencing GodJesus in the GospelPurpose Driven LifePurpose Driven ChurchBasic Christianity
34Suggestions for Action Develop a vision from the Lay Leadership team and communicate that visionDevelop Cell Group or Small Group ministry to facilitate more people in study and fellowshipNeed a Methodist 101 or Christianity 101 class for new membersNeed mentoring program for new members that will guide them into this and all aspects of the church bodyNeed intake assessment of new members to make sure they’re plugged into the right studies
35#4 Risk-Taking Mission & Service Work Group Chair: Ed Sievers
36Let’s set the stage for this discussion… At Charity Church… this topic falls under the Outreach Work Group.“Missions” means many things to many people, and thus we have many ideas as to how to proceedCharity Church seems to have much going on… but not a lot of communication back to the Church Family about it.
37What did we learn?Likes…Far away mission tripsMisson work close to homeThose involved get a lot out of itWe think we do a lot
38What did we learn?Dislikes…Far away mission trips limit participationFew in the church actually get involvedOur Youth are not actively engaged in muchGetting outside our comfort zoneWant more to do locally“I did it… why can’t you?”
39Things to Consider…Find something for EVERY person in the Church Family to do for missions… everyone can do a littleSewingCard MinistryCooking for local mission teamsEngage the Youth early… so that a passion and comfort for doing mission work can growCarolina Cross ConnectionAppalachian Service Project
40Suggestions for Action Provide clear direction and vision from the Lay Leadership to the Church FamilyReinvigorate the Outreach Work Group (done)Be ready for approving an aggressive list of goals from the Outreach Work GroupSupport Church wide missions focus starting on Feb 21st, with Missions Fair on SundaySupport “No Church Sunday” coming in the Fall
41#5 Extravagant Giving Work Group Chair: Alan Peterson
42Let’s set the stage for this discussion… Talk about a personal decision… this is about as personal as it gets for most folks!Extravagant Giving is finding the joy and excitement in giving. Giving more than you’re used to… and trusting in God all the whileThis discussion is not the strong point for most United Methodist Churches
43Most would like to give more but find it hard due to other priorities What did we learn?Neither good nor badMost would like to give more but find it hard due to other prioritiesFolks give without regard to prayer or input from God… it’s just what they do… a habitSome feel that we don’t share the financial picture of the church enough… we don’t communicate well on this topicMost are not excited about giving to the church… again… it’s just what they do
44What did we learn?Neither good nor badGiving should not be considered as financial only… time and talents are also part of the offeringA lot of the time, we are as a Church Family more willing to write a check than to give of ourselves to get something done.Give folks a goal, or a target to obtain, and they are more focused on giving. Tell them what we need and they will respond.
45Suggestions for Action Set a vision/goal for giving and start communicating the target. Communication is keyDon’t be shy about informing the Church Family of our financial situation and of our financial needsPay attention to the first four parts of the Five Practices… if we get those right, then giving will be a natural and uncomplicated result of God’s work in the lives of our Church Family.
46In Conclusion:Time and again the feedback included the need for vision and direction from Church Leadership. If the vision is there, then communication needs to be improved.We have a wonderful Church Family that is willing and able to help / work / cook / build / comfort / study / worship / sing / and do just about anything asked of them… we need to ask in a coordinated fashion, and expect God to handle the rest.
48Should have been more visible to the work groups that met for support. Enlist the help of an assistant to facilitate the gathering of team leaders and to follow up with them.Could have done a better job of informing the Church Family about the pending effort.Communication is key.Should have been more visible to the work groups that met for support.
49Fruitful Congregation The Five Practices of aFruitful CongregationRadical HospitalityPassionate WorshipIntentional Faith DevelopmentRisk-taking Mission & ServiceExtravagant Generosity