Dr. Borden and I completed ten intense days of consultations, pastoral coaching, and lay training. It is thrilling to me to see the excitement come to congregations as the possibilities for the future are shared. Following is the prescription that was given to the Turnpike Wesleyan Church yesterday. Your continued prayers for the district and for me are greatly needed.
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TURNPIKE WESLEYAN CHURCH
SEPTEMBER 16 – 18, 2011
- Pastor: Pastor Norm Mesel is leading the congregation with positive energy. The congregation is growing and people are becoming new believers in Jesus Christ. He is and has been a healing influence in a congregation that had experienced some hurts and difficulties in the past.
- Evangelism: People are becoming disciples of Jesus Christ on a regular and consistent basis. The number of new disciples last year was almost twenty percent of the average worship attendance.
- Facilities: God has blessed the congregation with a newer building and land for expansion. The facilities look nice and are well kept.
- LBA: The Local Board of Administration is providing competent leadership for the congregation. They are allowing their pastor to be a leader; serving his needs and standing with him when those who find it difficult to follow do not treat him or his spouse well. They also are committed to congregational health and growth.
- Finances: The leaders and congregation have worked hard to turn their financial deficit around in order to be in a strong financial position.
- Mission/Vision: The current mission and vision statements do not motivate the congregation for an exciting outward focused ministry to the community.
- Small Church Mindset: The congregation functions well in a small church mindset which however, inhibits future growth spiritually (evangelism) and numerically (providing influence in the community).
- Structure: The current structure of the congregation does not marry authority and responsibility with accountability.
- Assimilation: There is no system in place to assimilate people new to the congregation.
- Facilities: The current configuration of the facilities is not child friendly.
- Mission/Vision: The pastor and leaders of the congregation will adopt the mission statement that Turnpike Wesleyan Church exists to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ. This mission will be adopted by November 1, 2011. The pastor and his ministerial team will conduct a mission/ministry audit that will evaluate every ministry of the congregation. Each ministry will demonstrate how it is making new disciples and if such is not the case, it will be changed or discontinued. This audit will begin January 1, 2012 and completed by December 31, 2012. The pastor in consultation with his coach and DS will create a vision statement that produces both excitement and accountability by January 1, 2012. The pastor will lead the congregation to conduct four invitation bridge events in 2012 that help people move across the bridge of faith to become disciples of Jesus Christ.
- Small Church Mindset: Upon the acceptance of this report the leaders of the church will begin to function with a large church mindset. First it means being mission and vision driven (see prescription #1). Second it means the pastor’s role must change from being the congregation’s chaplain to its leader. His new job description is:
Spiritual Leader (Preach the Word and Call the church to maintain a Godly witness to other believers and the community)
Keeper of the mission and caster of the vision
Leader of the LBA and Ministry Team (Includes the appointing and removing of staff members-paid and volunteer)
Develop other leaders in the body
Represent the church to the community
The pastor will hire a half-time children’s person to oversee all children’s ministries. This person will be in place by January 1, 2012. The pastor will have a volunteer/paid staff in place by January 1, 2012 to cover all of those ministries people expect when they come into a church (worship and music, groups and making friends, care, age appropriate ministries, assimilation, facilities and finances). The current assistant pastor will become the Spiritual Care staff member. Some of her primary responsibilities will be hospital visitation and leading and preaching at the Sunday evening service. Staff will be expected to set goals, including evangelism, growth and leadership development goals. The pastor will hold the staff members accountable for goals and the LBA will hold the pastor accountable for goals.
The church will schedule two Sunday school hours to run concurrently with the two Sunday morning worship services. Adult Sunday school will move to an elective model with classes scheduled at both hours. The pastor will also lead the congregation to move to a small group model. This will start the first Sunday in January 2012.
- Structure: The LBA will read the book Winning on Purpose by Dr. John Kaiser. This will be completed by December 1, 2012. The congregation will move to the accountability model of governance described by Dr. Kaiser in his book. This will occur on January 1, 2012. This new model means the LBA consisting of five members will govern the congregation. The pastor will lead the congregation. The staff members will work for the pastor and manage the ministries of the congregation. The congregation will do the ministry. All other committees and boards (except the Trustees) will no longer exist.
- Assimilation: The pastor will create an assimilation process based upon the work of Pastor Nelson Searcy. This process will be in place by January 1, 2012. The system will cover all initial contacts with the congregation through the Yellow Pages, a new web site, newspaper ads, flyers, signs etc. It will help new people connect with the church from the time they first drive on to the parking lot (e.g. visitor signs, a first touch ministry etc.) until they become mobilized for ministry. The leaders will allocate up to ten paid hours a week for staff help, if it is deemed necessary, to establish the system and implement it with effectiveness. The new system, including the new web site and computer programs required to track people, will be in place by January 1, 2012.
- Facilities: The leaders under the direction of the pastor will dismantle the last four classrooms at the end of the upstairs hall and use the space to create an attractive children’s education area. The entire hallway needs to be painted/decorated for children not adults. Places need to be provided for parents to register their children and infants so the area is kept safe. This renovation needs to be completed as soon as possible. If it is physically possible it should be done by April 1, 2012. The downstairs fellowship hall needs floor to ceiling room dividers that are sound proof. The dividers need to be placed to create four rooms if necessary. This work needs to be completed by June 1, 2012.
THE CONGREGATION, INCLUDING ALL REGULAR ATTENDERS, WILL VOTE ON THIS REPORT TO ACCEPT OR REJECT IT. THIS VOTE WILL OCCUR BY OCTOBER 16, 2011. IF ACCEPTED THE DISTRICT WILL HELP THE PASTOR HAVE A COACH THAT WILL ASSIST THE PASTOR AND LEADER IN FULFILLING THE PRESCRIPTIONS IN THE REPORT. IF REJECTED THEN THE PROCESS IS OVER SINCE THE CONGREGATION HAS SPOKEN.
Dr. Paul D. Borden
Pastor Paul James
(A Recommendation but not a prescription – This means that the vote on the report does not require this recommendation to be carried out). The leaders need to remove the pews and replace them with chairs as soon as it is financially and physically possible). This will provide more flexibility and usage of this space.