We just completed a wonderful, busy, exciting, fruitful week in Eastern New York/New England. Last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, over 70 leaders gathered at Schroon Lake for two-and-a-half days of inspiration, team building and leadership development. Dr. Tim Brown, from Growing Healthy Churches, shared practical and life-changing lessons. Lots of positive reports were heard from our churches and the buzz and energy indicated that momentum is flowing in the right direction for our district.
Thursday through Sunday, Dr. Borden, Rev. Buddy Rampey, DS of South Carolina District , Dr. Dan Berry, DS South Coastal District, and I were engaged in the consultation process at Waterford WC. The strengths, concerns and prescriptions are included for your information further on in this blog.
Sunday afternoon we drove to the Cooks Corners WC, where approximately 90 individuals joined us for a training event entitled, A Great Commission Congregation. Dr. Borden and I got home late Sunday, about 11:15p. These seven days have included 100 hours of ministry! They were both tiring and exhilarating.
Now, this week, we turn our attention toward launching coaches with four of our consultation churches, and on the weekend we will be doing the consultation at Mooers WC.
As I looked into the eyes of our leaders at the retreat, I was proud. Personal and spiritual growth is evident, and as our leaders grow, souls are finding Christ and the Kingdom is being expanded. It truly is fulfilling to be a part of this district.
Also, Susan and I would like to thank you for the cards, notes, and financial gifts that you gave us for Pastor Appreciation Month. The fact that some of you made your gift to the Vision Fund in our honor was very kind.
Let me wind up this opening part of the blog, so that Cam can get the prescription posted. My understanding is that some time this (or next) week, some personal stories that were video-recorded at the retreat will be posted on the website. It's just another way that we are trying to communicate to you what's happening across our district. Here is the Rx from Waterford...
WATERFORD WESLEYAN CHURCH
OCTOBER 21 – 23, 2011
- Pastor and Spouse: Pastor Paul Barna and his wife Pam are the best assets the congregation has today. God has used Paul to lead this congregation to its best days of ministry. His commitment to God, the congregation and the community has been used by the Holy Spirit to make many new disciples for Jesus Christ and to lead congregational growth. Pam, acting as a key volunteer staff member, has been used by God to lead an outward focused children’s ministry that is top notch.
- BLAST: This ministry is reaching out to many children and families that would not normally attend any congregation. Children are being changed spiritually, emotionally and socially in numerous positive ways. This ministry is providing an opportunity to reach many un-churched adults.
- Outward Focus: Under the leadership of the pastor evangelism is occurring, the reputation of the congregation is undergoing a positive transformation and a portion of the congregation’s resources are focusing on serving the needs of the community.
- Recent History: During the last eight years God has led the congregation to take risks of faith in order to bring honor to Jesus Christ. The congregation took a risk on an inexperienced pastor, the purchase and move to new buildings, and being part of the District’s Transformation Process.
- Compassion: The congregation reflects an attitude of compassion for each other and a concern for reaching lost people. Almost everyone interviewed wanted to see the congregation grow in order to reach more people with the love of Jesus Christ.
- A Passion for Lost People: Although the congregation has a concern for lost people the passion for evangelism demonstrated by the pastor is not true for the congregation.
- Mission/Vision: The congregation has no clear mission statement and there is not a specific and strategic compelling vision for the future.
- Staffing/Leadership Development: The volunteer staff of the congregation is not being developed as leaders nor has there been a leadership development strategy employed with regularity and consistency.
- Worship/Assimilation: These two ministry programs need to be strengthened in order to assist the congregation in turning around the downward trend in growth that has occurred over the last two years.
- Finances/Facilities: The congregation has limited finances. If not addressed this situation will inhibit immediate facility changes required for growth as well as staff needs required for growth.
- Passion for Lost People: The pastor will lead the congregation in a day of prayer during the Sunday morning worship service. The purpose of this day of prayer will be to ask God to break the hearts of the congregation, individually and collectively, for the spiritually lost of the community. The whole worship service will be geared around this theme. Following the service the leaders will rent a bus to take the congregation on a vision ride through the communities to provide time for people to pray for those that do not yet know Jesus Christ. These events will take place by December 11, 2011. The pastor will take ten weeks in Jan, Feb, and March of 2012 to lead the Sunday morning congregation through the ALPHA course. This training will replace the Sunday morning worship service. The pastor will contact Rev. Gilbert Foster of Redeemer Church for training. The congregation will remunerate Rev. Foster for the training.
- Mission/Vision: Upon the acceptance of this report the new mission statement for the congregation will be: Waterford Wesleyan Congregation exists to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ. The pastor in consultation with his coach and DS will develop a vision statement that is specific and produces accountability. This vision statement will be presented to the congregation by January 8, 2012. The pastor and his staff will conduct a ministry/mission audit between January and December 2012. The purpose of this audit is to demonstrate how every ministry of the church meets the mission of the church and its overall strategy of start, stay, serve and send. Those that do not align with the mission will be changed or discontinued. The congregation will change its programming from a Sunday school/small group model to a small group one, with one exception. This also means that Wednesday night will become a small group for people who are not in one already. These programming changes will occur by September 1, 2012.
- Staffing/Leadership Development: The pastor will assume five main roles of responsibility. These roles are: A. Spiritual Leader (preaching and calling the congregation to address major issues that affect the entire body), B. Producing and Directing Worship, C. Developing Staff (developing staff as leaders, holding them accountable, conducting leadership development), D. representing the congregation to the various communities the congregation serves, and E. over seeing bridge events. This job description, while being developed during the Spring of 2012 will be in place by September 1, 2012. The pastor will begin meeting with his staff on a regular basis by March 1, 2012. He will hold them accountable for goals, including evangelism, leadership development and growth goals. He will expand his new leadership development initiative to include the LBA, staff, and ten other people in the congregation by September 1, 2012. The pastor will employ Rev. Dean Brown for $1500 (total) for 12 months to provide coaching in setting up key systems, for leading staff, and for overseeing key ministries of the congregation. This coaching will begin by February 1, 2012.
- Worship/Assimilation: The pastor needs to become the producer and director of worship. The congregation has very good musicians and music leaders; however, the over all plan for how the entire worship service is structured is the pastor’s responsibility. Much more must be done to make the entire service a participatory worship experience appealing to the heart through multiple senses. He needs to begin to assume this role by February 1, 2012. The pastor is also to be the key assimilator of new people into the congregation until a team can be put together to do this. The congregation will pay for him and two others to attend the Nelson Searcy seminar on assimilation in NYC November 18, 2011. A new assimilation plan must begin its initial implementation by December 18, 2011.
- Finances/Facilities: The pastor and a capable teaching partner will teach the Financial Peace seminar (or an equivalent) to all adult Sunday school classes from April 16 through the end of May 2012. He will lead the congregation in a capital campaign to raise $100,000 in the Fall of 2012. The trustees will begin work as soon as possible to remove pews from the back of the worship center and to make room for a café type greeting and reception area at the back of the center. This should be completed by Feb. 1, 2012. A permanent wall needs to be placed to make a closed in nursery. This should be completed by May 1, 2012. Room dividers, of excellent quality need to be installed down stairs to provide flexibility in the usage of that space. This should be done by September 1, 2012. The pastor will recruit a key leader to raise $1000 each from ten to twenty families by December 31, 2011 to cover some of the costs required to implement this report. The leaders will also place quality, visible and guest friendly signage throughout the church building and grounds. The signage will be completed by December 31, 2012. The pastor is to be given extra time off over the holiday season, including the first Sunday in January in preparation for leading all the change prescribed in this report. In light of the consultation team’s concerns the pastor will consult with his coach and the DS about future location for children’s ministry and office space.
THE CONGREGATIOIN (INCLUDING THOSE WHO ATTEND REGULARLY BUT MAY NOT YET BE MEMBERS) WILL VOTE ON THIS REPORT ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13, 2011. IF ACCEPTED THE DISTRICT WILL DO ALL IT CAN IN ITS POWER TO PROVIDE HELP AND RESOURCES TO IMPLEMENT THE REPORT. IF THE REPORT IS REJECTED THEN THE PROCESS IS OVER AND THE DISTRICT WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO ENCOURAGE SUCH CHANGES SINCE THE CONGREGATION HAS SPOKEN.
Respectfully submitted by:
Dr. Paul D. Borden
Rev. W. Paul James
Dr. Dan Berry
Rev. Buddy Rampey