Transition Ministry Opportunities and Areas of Focus
The Board of Trustees and the Interim Search Team identified areas deemed needing attention during the two-year interim ministry.
What are the strengths of this congregation?
- OWL and Coming of Age programs
- Vibrant mix of ages
- Excellent staff
- Commitment to social justice
- Depth of programming
- Culture of staff and lay leaders:
- We share a sense of purpose as a church that extends beyond serving ourselves.
- We trust and respect one another and can disagree with one another.
- We have both talented lay leaders and staff who are creative, adaptive, and willing to risk and try new things.
- People are committed to the church as a whole and our health as an institution.
What areas of focus are needed for the interim ministry? (what needs attention, where is there conflict, what are the challenges?)
- Maintain and grow the congregation
- RE on Sundays (volunteer teacher recruitment and training)
- Leadership development within congregation
- Stewardship: supporting acculturation of members, encouraging more volunteering, financial
- Caring ministry
- Developing metrics of success
Community building, leadership development and member integration– We have many new members, but many of the same volunteers serving in multiple leadership roles. How can we get to know each other better to deepen relationship and our sense of community? How might this strengthen member retention? How can we invite more people to share their strengths, passions and callings within our church? How can we invite more people to live into their faith through our shared ministry? What supports will be needed? How might we grow if we welcome new people to enter and change us with their gifts and visions?
Growth & structures– According to congregational growth studies, we are on the cusp of moving from being a mid-sized program church into becoming a large church. What structural changes and new ways of being might we need to embrace if we are to continue growing? What intentional learning would we have to do as lay leaders and staff to coordinate our efforts effectively? Reaching and engaging new members of more diverse backgrounds; deepen the financial commitment and volunteer base from a broader sub-section of the congregation.
Mission– We care greatly about our sense of purpose as a church as being about more than just serving us. Despite our ends statements and this sense of shared purpose, we do not yet have an easy way of talking about why we exist or where we see ourselves going. What is our story? What are the goals we want to work towards for the next 5 or 10 or 15 years? Developing a mission and developing a strategic plan using the ends. That gets to the area of metrics. The ends, in a sense, embody the over-arching goals we have for the church, but we need an action plan that will get us where we want to go. So we need to identify what needs to be done, or offered, in order to meet that end and how we’re going to measure it.
Shape of ministerial roles– We are in our third year with a second minister. How is that going? What is working? How is the current configuration serving the church’s vision and needs, embracing or engaging the minister’s strengths or passions? What areas could potentially benefit from some shifts or changes?
Desired strengths of an interim minister:
- Approachable (with office hours)
- Ability to reach out to and engage with all members
- Thoughtful pattern recognition (is there a single cause of multiple undesirable symptoms?)
- Ability to thoughtfully challenge patterns of thinking
- Variety and depth in sermons
- Knowledge and experience in working with mid-sized churches moving into large church structures, operations, and team ministry
Current areas of momentum that should not lose steam during the interim time:
- Musical offerings
- Strong community connections
- Wednesday night programming (possibly extending to Saturdays)
What current traditions or programs do you wish to maintain:
- Soul matters
- Wellspring; small group ministry
- Two one-hour long services each Sunday
- Many people have found meaningful ways to serve others and grow through our church