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The UMC Vital Congregations Project A collaborative project of The United Methodist Church.

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Presentation on theme: "The UMC Vital Congregations Project A collaborative project of The United Methodist Church."— Presentation transcript:

1 The UMC Vital Congregations Project A collaborative project of The United Methodist Church

2 VITAL CONGREGATIONS THE VISION: o To fulfill the Mission of The United Methodist Church by equipping and empowering congregations to become vital and healthy congregations in their communities and in our world. o Matthew 28:18-20 o Matthew 22:36-40 o Romans 12 – The Body of Christ

3 Call to Action Report The Critical Adaptive Challenge: To redirect the flow of attention, energy, and resources to an intense concentration on fostering and sustaining an increase in the number of vital congregations effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. (p. 14)

4 Metrics Research Study Found: 16 Ministries/Strategies that were common among the 16% of churches noted as having indicators of vitality (growth- engagement-generosity) 4 Primary areas of effectiveness: o Engagement of disciples in small groups (which include children and youth ministries) o High % of congregation who serves as lay leaders who are effective, demonstrate personal faith, and rotate leadership. o Lead pastors who focus on developing, coaching and mentoring lay leaders, are influential, goal-setters that inspire the congregation through preaching and have a longer tenure in that congregation. o Worship that is contextual, mixed and relevant.

5 Four Key Observations Our denomination is in need of more turn-around leaders. Our denomination has an adverse reaction and fear of metrics as a means of accountability. There is a serious lack of trust across the denomination. Our denomination has not been effective in reaching marginally churched and non-churched people.

6 Setting Goals to Becoming Vital! The Call to Action Research indicated that there was a lack of measures and accountability within The United Methodist Church. o The primary elements that drive structure and process effectiveness are: clarity of responsibility (goal and role clarity), authority to carry out responsibility and accountability for results. (CTA Report p. 167) o the lack of a Church-wide strategic plan or Church-wide strategic plans focused on the Churchs mission objectives are a symptom of the structures and cultural behaviors that get in the way. (CTA Report p. 174)

7 A Vital Congregation IS: GROWING (Over the past 5 years have shown statistical data of growth in Average Worship Attendance and Professions of Faith.) ENGAGING PEOPLE (Over the past 5 years have shown congregational engagement in multiple ministries including small groups, mission and outreach.) GENEROUS (Over the past 5 years have shown increases in stewardship and giving within and beyond the local church.) Data from Call to Action research collected in 2010 by Towers Watson, Inc.

8 A Vital Congregation HAS: Inviting and inspiring worship Engaged disciples in mission and outreach Gifted, equipped and empowered lay leadership Effective, equipped and inspired clergy leadership Small groups that include children and youth designed to encourage, support and hold disciples accountable in their Christian walk. Data from Call to Action research collected in 2010 by Towers Watson, Inc.

9 The Metrics Set goals to reach the vision of becoming a more vital and healthy congregation based upon 5 measurable indicators of vitality: o Disciples in Worship (Average Worship Attendance) o Disciples making new Disciples (Professions of Faith) o Disciples growing in their faith (Number of Small Groups = Groups that meet together regularly in order to support, encourage and hold one another accountable in their relationship with Christ.) o Disciples engaged in mission (Number of Disciples doing outreach in the community and in the world.) o Disciples sharing their resources for mission (Amount of financial resources given to mission – including World Service, etc.)

10 Strategic Planning for vitality! Although structural change may be prerequisite to broader strategic planning, best practices at the Agency, Annual Conference and Local Church levels could at least be shared and disseminated. (CTA Report p. 174) The Vital Congregations Project is designed to EQUIP Annual Conference Leadership (Directors of Connectional Ministries, Conference Staff and Cabinets) The Vital Congregations Project is designed to EQUIP clergy and lay leadership in local congregations to reach their goals and fulfill the vision!

11 The Strategic Plan Assess baseline health of every congregation. (Church Health History – Community History and Needs – Stories or circumstances that have affected the congregations health.) Current health assessment. (How is the church today? Clergy Leadership – Lay Leadership - # of Small Groups – Average Worship Attendance-Mission Participation-Missional Giving) Set GOALS that lead to future health and vitality for each individual congregation. Goals collected and reported by Annual Conferences. Goals collected and reported at General Conference 2012!

12 Vital Congregations are everywhere!

13 UMCvitalcongregations.org Website resource designed to equip and empower leaders as they foster, sustain and nurture vital congregations in our denomination. SIMPLE USER-FRIENDLY EASILY ACCESSIBLE

14 Our Story: Know your churchs story Each congregation has a history – a past that has affected where they are at today. Even the denomination has a history that has affected our health and vitality today. This webpage uses GBGM church profiles research to help a congregation see its historical report. Questions to consider when looking at historical reports: o Pastoral Leadership – Was there a change in the lead pastor? How long did the lead pastor stay? o What significant events in the church may have affected the worship attendance? o What significant events in the community may have affected the data of the congregation?

15 GOAL-SETTING Set goals to reach the VISION based upon the 5 measurable indicators of vitality: o Disciples in Worship (Average Worship Attendance) o Disciples making new Disciples (Professions of Faith) o Disciples growing in their faith (Number of Small Groups = Groups that meet together regularly in order to support, encourage and hold one another accountable in their relationship with Christ.) o Disciples engaged in mission (Number of Disciples doing outreach in the community and in the world.) o Disciples sharing their resources for mission (Amount of financial resources given to mission – including World Service, etc.)

16 The Goal-Setting Card for Each Congregation People and Ministry Disciples worship Average worship attendance Disciples make new disciples Number of people who joined by profession of faith Disciples engage in growing as a disciple Number of small groups, Sunday school classes and Bible studies. Disciples engage in mission Number of people from the congregation engaged in local, national and international mission/outreach activities Disciples give to mission The total amount given by local church to other organizations for support of benevolent and charitable ministries (this amount includes apportionments paid and support for all United Methodist and non-United Methodist organizations active in work such as advocacy, education, health, justice, mercy, outreach, and welfare anywhere in the world)

17 Districts, Conferences and General Conference A report of every congregations goals will be compiled by District and by Conference. Conferences will be invited to set goals based upon the congregational goals. The Conferences Goals will be offered at General Conference as a gift to God to fulfill the vision of more healthy and vital congregations throughout our denomination that Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world.

18 VitalSignsUMC.org DASHBOARD – Allows congregations to track progress towards their goals for health and vitality. o Congregations receive a weekly to record their metrics. o Weekly recording of data that will be directly linked to GCFA. o Everyone in the connection can view data. o There will be a place for congregations to share weekly success stories via the website. o Leaders can celebrate milestones for the congregation regularly!

19 PROPOSED TIMELINE The UMCVitalCongregations.org website will be a resource available to all congregations beginning July. We believe you will find this to be a great resource for congregations and conferences. It will have the following tabs: a. Our story – a brief history describing how the Wesleyan tradition began as a movement to help Christians live their faith through the means of grace and spreading scriptural holiness. It describes that today we are living in paradoxal times, some congregations highly vital and growing some congregations declining. b. The Call to Action – We are called to grow vitality and address our adaptive spiritual challenges. This tab will describe vital congregations, our adaptive spiritual challenges and the Call to Action report. c. Setting Goals – This tab will have everything a congregation needs to set goals. A planning guide, information on goal setting, why these goals are critical to vitality, past statistics for the goal areas for each congregation, district and conference, a chart for churches to input their goals, and a site for district superintendents and conference staff to review if a church has completed their goals and how their goals compare to their track record.

20 Timeline continued for UMCVitalCongregations.org Reaching Goals – This tab will be live in the fall and will provide processes and resources to help churches of all sizes reach their goals, including modules for reaching goals for Worship – Small Groups – Missions – Generous Giving. Best Practices – Resources and stories of how vitality has been achieved by congregations and conferences. Churches will learn about ministries and programs of other churches and conferences as well can learn about what other conferences are doing to increase vitality in congregations. This tab will be live in November Church Dashboard – A site in which churches can enter their weekly progress and conference staff can follow the weekly progress of their churches. This site will be live January 1, 2012.

21 Timeline Culture Shifting… Between January leadership (including Bishops, District Superintendents, Conference Leaders, Clergy, Laity and congregations) will work together using resources, sharing resources and developing resources to help every congregation REACH their goals for becoming healthier and more vital congregations. o Each year congregations can evaluate their goals, celebrate their successes and re-adjust goals as needed at each charge conference. o Leaders will highlight and celebrate successes, offer congregations challenges to continue to move towards vitality and strive towards health in each congregation.

22 Your churchs health and vitality Depends on YOU! Church vitality can not happen without YOU! o Acts 2 – The outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. o 1 Corinthians 12 – The healthy church is one body and it is the body of Christ. o Ephesians 4:10-13 – Christ has gifted the church through a variety of gifts. o Galatians 3:28 – All are welcome in the body of Christ. o Luke 10:25-37 – We are called to be like the Good Samaritan. o Micah 6:8 – Righteousness and justice are the expectation for Gods people. o Luke 4:17-21 – Jesus announces his ministry, which is a calling for the body of Christ TODAY!


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