Things Are Passing Away Walk-ins as a reliable source of growth and vitality Sunday worship as the central focus of ministry Looking inward – focus on members – as a sufficient agenda We don’t have the luxury of continuing business as usual!
New Things Are Coming To Pass The world around us is changing Hunger for God, not a hunger for church Relationships and mission matter more than worship, tradition and institution Small and face-to-face matter more than large and anonymous Challenge: How do we keep the great traditional aspects of our PPC, but still meet the changing needs above?
The Strategic Planning Process Rooted in Best Practices used by highly successful congregations 7 areas of focus: 1.Membership Development 2.Leadership Development 3.Communications Strategy 4.Spiritual Development 5.Young Adults Ministry 6.Listening Church 7.Metrics
Benchmark 7 Best Practices and create Gap Analyses Identify “low- hanging fruit” and develop Action Plans to quickly address External Focus Group identified unmet community needs as possible Strategic opportunities Consider Gaps and Focus Group feedback to identify 3-5 Strategic opportunities Develop Strategic plans for these opportunities; narrow to x(3) Provides easy-to- fix items, as well as larger, “strategic” topics (i.e., database, YA Leader, Comm Director) Generates a roadmap for Session to consider for immediate action Forces the church to consider larger community involvement as an opportunity to grow the congregation Areas the church will invest in (people, facility, money) to reverse the decline in membership Strategic Plan is handed off to Session for consideration, implementation and monitoring
Benchmark 7 Best Practices and create Gap Analyses Provides easy-to- fix items, as well as larger, “strategic” topics (i.e., database, YA Leader, Comm Director)
Step 1: Gap Analysis Involved benchmarking PPC’s current practices in each of the 7 areas against Best Practices, as outlined in Church Wellness Accomplished primarily through interviews with staff and members of the congregation, to understand current reality Results were grouped into 3 sets: 1.PPC follows Best Practice – No action required! 2.“Low-hanging fruit” improvement opportunities 3.Larger gaps, to be considered for Strategic action
Identify “low-hanging fruit” and develop Action Plans to quickly address Generates a roadmap for Session to consider for immediate action
Step 2: Action Plans Action Plans were then developed for the low- hanging fruit (LHF) items Dozens of actions were identified for Session’s consideration The team worked to pare down these recommendations to the Top 11 – Those actions that would have the most positive, immediate impact on our congregation, if implemented
LHF “Top 11” 1.Gather more accurate worship participation numbers (men, women, children, by age) (Membership Development) 2.Create a welcome area for new visitors; allow the Pastor time to personally welcome visitors and track this information for follow up (Membership Development) 3.Create a program to better educate volunteer leaders (Elders, Deacons) on expectations of these roles; have current volunteers speak with Nominees (Leadership Development)
LHF “Top 11” 4.Target young adults via online communication – Update email lists, create a separate area on the church web site, reach out through social media (Facebook, Twitter) (Young Adult Ministries) 5.Tailor non-worship events to participants: Track participants, offer rides for those who need them, survey often to determine programming effectiveness (Membership Development) 6.Develop social media pages for each Committee to reach a broader audience (Communication Strategy)
LHF “Top 11” 7.Permit the Pastor time to make same-day contact with new visitors (Membership Development) 8.100% visitation by Pastors; develop a tracking system of who was visited, when, and what their concerns were (Metrics) 9.Improve staff job descriptions, performance appraisal process (Metrics)
LHF “Top 11” 10.Expand joint meeting of Elders/Deacons to include (a) Christian basis of serving, (b) in-depth information on committee structure and scope, and (c) "Nuts and Bolts" training (Leadership Development) 11.Offer a series of classes on the classic spiritual disciplines, including prayer, fasting, meditation, study and service (Spiritual Development) These 11 Actions were reviewed in detail with Session on February 2 and most are in the process of being implemented
External Focus Group identifies unmet community needs as possible Strategic opportunities Forces the church to consider larger community involvement as an opportunity to grow the congregation
Step 3: Focus Group Why? We have the people, a facility, the money and the will to help others – Both within and outside of Poland Why? By successfully fulfilling unmet needs, we will draw people to the church; hopefully, many of these people will become members How: To better understand where Valley residents are struggling, we observed a focus group consisting of local experts in several fields, including parenting, local schools, area health and standards of living and autism
Focus Group Participants Rose Mary Memo – Parenting and family needs Poland Superintendent David Janofa – Needs of children in our schools Lucinda Blanch and Scott Marlin of Comprehensive Psychiatry Group – Autism Mahoning County Board of Health Commissioner Patt Sweeney – Tri-county community health needs Many unmet needs were identified for our consideration
Consider Gaps and Focus Group feedback to identify 3-5 Strategic opportunities Areas the church will invest in (people, facility, money) to reverse the decline in membership
Step 4: Select Strategic Initiatives Process involved considering larger items discovered during the gap analysis (internal) and feedback from the Focus Group (external) Team discussed and grouped ideas into 5 key areas of focus Team was divided into 5 groups to develop specific recommendations for proposal to Session
Strategic Initiatives Defined 1.Improve our Information Management System – We cannot improve what we cannot measure! 2.Create a Communications Director position – Support all Strategic initiatives: Data management, in-house and community-wide communications, marketing 3.Develop additional Community Mission offerings – Fulfill unmet needs, identified during this process 4.Restart the Preschool – Continue to support young families in the greater community 5.Create an ad-hoc team to determine how we can draw in Young Adults
Develop Strategic plans for these opportunities; narrow to x(3) Strategic Plan is handed off to Session for consideration, implementation and monitoring
Next Step – Step 5 The team broke into sub-teams in the first x(4) areas to develop “vote-able” recommendations to Session This also includes a significant amount of detail, including who will do the immediate work and who will own the effort, long-term; when the work will be done; required costs; and why these efforts matter! Anticipated presentations to Session in March
Background Planning Committee explored different ideas about the preschool, investigating different options and thinking “outside the box”. Primary focus is on younger families inside the church and in the greater community. Goal was a long-term initiative, based on “touches” described in Church Wellness: How could we “touch” young families? PPC Preschool license was suspended, due to low enrollment. We needed to have a new direction, a new light to restart the preschool
Vote-able Proposition Strategic objective: To provide loving, imaginative, and stimulating education to preschool age children PPC Preschool will reopen as a JV, operated by a new, independent owner Independent Owner will have responsibility for licensure requirements, advertising, salaries and operational costs Independent Owner, as Director, will run the preschool The Preschool Board will consist of PPC members and Preschool Director The Preschool Committee will serve as the first Board of Directors. Reporting responsibility is defined
Challenges and Successes The time constraints have been great – We had to have an open house for the Preschool ASAP because other area Preschools are already taking registrations the 2014-5 school year Committee members and the prospective Independent Owner cleaned out the preschool, throwing out old toys and cleaning up what was left behind Ray polished the floors, painted walls, and other completed other needed maintenance needed Thanks to all!
Why It Matters This action matters because of the vision it expresses, how it fits into congregation’s overarching sense of purpose and how it broadens and challenges that sense of purpose This initiative benefits program recipients and the congregation in several ways: It provides loving, imaginative, and stimulating education to preschool age children It assist young families with needed care for their children in a safe and nurturing environment It makes PPC a vital part in the lives of young families It allows us to maintain our current Preschool license It allows the Church to utilize the Preschool space without financial obligation We are involved with the Preschool and the Preschool will be involved in the Church’s life
Shameless Advertising Plug We would like to invite everybody to attend our Preschool Open House: March 1 & 2, from 11am-2pm
Objective To offer mission programming that fulfills a relevant and unmet needs, both in the church family and in the greater community
Vote-able Proposition #1 PPC commits to implementing a caregiver’s support group to offer caring support to congregation and community members dealing with this situation. The Outreach Committee will oversee this program Why it Matters: Offers support and guidance to caregivers in our congregation and local community Establishes PPC as a church that lends a helping hand to the growing number of caregivers out there Opportunity to partner with local caring agencies such as AARP
Vote-able Proposition #2 PPC commits to organizing a six-week series of parenting classes to run twice a year. The Christian Education Committee will oversee these classes Why it Matters: Benefits members of the congregation who are parents Helps establish our relevance in the larger community Wonderful opportunity to partner with – and be recognized by – both religious and secular service organizations in the Mahoning Valley
Vote-able Proposition#3 Poland Presbyterian Church commits to establishing a dry pantry to help fifteen needy families in the Poland Schools once a month by distributing paper products and personal hygiene items. The Mission Committee will oversee this program Why it Matters: Establishes PPC as a community-involved church Establishes a link between PPC and other churches in Poland
Vote-able Proposition #4 Poland Presbyterian Church commits to developing a senior citizen recreation program on the third floor of PPC that runs bi-weekly. Parish Life will oversee this program Why it Matters: Fulfills the need for more senior programs, with the aging population in Poland and surrounding communities Allows us to reach out to a population that is sometimes overlooked Provides a wonderful opportunity to welcome in people who may want to become involved in other programs at PPC (C.E., Parish Life, etc.) Serves as an example to other churches or organizations whom may want to start their own center
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