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Fruitful Congregation

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Presentation on theme: "Fruitful Congregation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fruitful Congregation
The Five Practices Of a Fruitful Congregation Report To Charity United Methodist Church Lay Leadership 2-9-10

2 Review of Each Practice What Could We Have Done Better Conclusions
Agenda What was the Process? Review of Each Practice What Could We Have Done Better Conclusions

3 What Was The Process?

4 Engage the Church Family in Five weeks of focus on the various topics
Form focus groups to study each topic Enlist the help of the Sunday School classes via discussion and reflection on each topic Challenge the Congregation during each week of the program with sermons, special music, and drama focused on a particular topic

5 Fruitful Congregation
The Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation Radical Hospitality Passionate Worship Intentional Faith Development Risk-taking Mission & Service Extravagant Generosity

6 #1 Radical Hospitality Work Group Chair: Mark Parsons

7 Creating a Welcome at Charity Church
A Hospitality Primer Creating a Welcome at Charity Church

8 What 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.

9 Thoughts 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 different 4. 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

10 A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church
Develop and Train a 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.

11 A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church
Design and Implement a 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.

12 A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church
Coordinate a ‘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.

13 A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church
Promote a 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.

14 A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church
Consider and Pray about 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.

15 A Hospitable Concept Congregations 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.

16 A Hospitality Primer for Charity Church
Priorities for 2010 Recruit and train a Hospitality Team Insure integrity Insist on consistency Include all demographics Design and Implement a Visitor’s Guide to Charity Keep it simple Make it engaging Monitor it closely Initiate a church-wide progressive dinner twice yearly to promote fellowship, energy and focus as a church family. Build a team to head & host Target dates to maximize a connection to key services

17 Work Group Chairpersons:
#2 Passionate Worship Work Group Chairpersons: Rebecca Straseskie Crystal White

18 Let’s set the stage for this discussion…
Worship is a highly personal topic People are passionate about their ideas of… and preferences for worship Charity Church has two very distinct and very vocal groups who favor two very different styles of worship Distilling the data gathered into a short and concise presentation is a difficult task… that said, here’s what we have…

19 What did we learn? 8:30 Service
Likes… Relaxed Feel of the service Contemporary Music Communion every Sunday Gathering in a circle to end the service

20 What did we learn? 8:30 Service Dislikes… Too many “church words”… ie. Narthex Service seems rushed Service seems disconnected from one part to next Would like sermon series v. lectionary preaching Not enough time for Holy Spirit to ‘move’ Not enough time for personal witnesses Greeting time breaks flow of service

21 What did we learn? 11:00 Service Likes… Traditional in format Choir & Organ

22 What did we learn? 11:00 Service Dislikes… Choir not in robes and not in loft Want more organ music People take ownership of a seat Not traditional enough Want return of Apostles Creed

23 So… What do we do with this information?

24 8:30 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)

25 8:30 is Changing… Annoucements will be moved to a video loop 15 minutes prior to the service Greeting time will be moved to Charity Cafe after the service Music will be less at the start, but more reflective right before the sermon An emphasis on including layity in the service will evolve over the coming weeks.

26 8:30 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.

27 What 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.

28 In Conclusion Most folks in both services think we do worship pretty well… however, There are many comments on how to do it better The 8:30 transition is underway… stay tuned for the results The 11:00 service could stand to be studied.

29 #3 Intentional Faith Development Work Group Chair: -Unfilled-

30 Let’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 Christ In general folks feel that Charity Church is doing a pretty good job of helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ

31 What did we learn? Likes… Classes like Disciple Bible Study, Beth Moore, Vacation Bible School and others fill a need We have a pretty consistent group of folks who engage in these classes It’s obvious that programs for the Youth have increased and as such they are finding more time to study as well.

32 What 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 evident Need more communication in advance of offerings, in addition to what is already done Need to include more of the church body in this effort… seems to be the same folks over and over Need more for preschool, and young kids

33 Other Programs to Consider
Companions in Christ Experiencing God Jesus in the Gospel Purpose Driven Life Purpose Driven Church Basic Christianity

34 Suggestions for Action
Develop a vision from the Lay Leadership team and communicate that vision Develop Cell Group or Small Group ministry to facilitate more people in study and fellowship Need a Methodist 101 or Christianity 101 class for new members Need mentoring program for new members that will guide them into this and all aspects of the church body Need 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

36 Let’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 proceed Charity Church seems to have much going on… but not a lot of communication back to the Church Family about it.

37 What did we learn? Likes… Far away mission trips Misson work close to home Those involved get a lot out of it We think we do a lot

38 What did we learn? Dislikes… Far away mission trips limit participation Few in the church actually get involved Our Youth are not actively engaged in much Getting outside our comfort zone Want more to do locally “I did it… why can’t you?”

39 Things to Consider… Find something for EVERY person in the Church Family to do for missions… everyone can do a little Sewing Card Ministry Cooking for local mission teams Engage the Youth early… so that a passion and comfort for doing mission work can grow Carolina Cross Connection Appalachian Service Project

40 Suggestions for Action
Provide clear direction and vision from the Lay Leadership to the Church Family Reinvigorate the Outreach Work Group (done) Be ready for approving an aggressive list of goals from the Outreach Work Group Support Church wide missions focus starting on Feb 21st, with Missions Fair on Sunday Support “No Church Sunday” coming in the Fall

41 #5 Extravagant Giving Work Group Chair: Alan Peterson

42 Let’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 while This discussion is not the strong point for most United Methodist Churches

43 Most would like to give more but find it hard due to other priorities
What did we learn? Neither good nor bad Most would like to give more but find it hard due to other priorities Folks give without regard to prayer or input from God… it’s just what they do… a habit Some feel that we don’t share the financial picture of the church enough… we don’t communicate well on this topic Most are not excited about giving to the church… again… it’s just what they do

44 What did we learn? Neither good nor bad Giving should not be considered as financial only… time and talents are also part of the offering A 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.

45 Suggestions for Action
Set a vision/goal for giving and start communicating the target. Communication is key Don’t be shy about informing the Church Family of our financial situation and of our financial needs Pay 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.

46 In 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.

47 Wrap Up What Could I Have Done Better?!

48 Should 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.

49 Fruitful Congregation
The Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation Radical Hospitality Passionate Worship Intentional Faith Development Risk-taking Mission & Service Extravagant Generosity

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