Yesterday afternoon at 3:15 p.m., I dropped Dr. Borden off at the Albany airport. As I drove away, there was a feeling of sadness mixed with exhilaration. Throughout 2011 he and I have spent 40 days together doing consultations, lay training events, pastors’ clusters and arranging for coaches. All eight consultations were very well received, and the votes of six of them very affirming. The final two churches will be voting within the next few weeks.
This weekend we were with Pastor John Gillette and the people of the Mooers Wesleyan Church. It is obvious that God is at work in this congregation, and we expect even greater things in the future.
I’m dictating these paragraphs to Cam from the road so that she can get the prescription posted on the website. It is amazing to me how God is using this website to minister. Often, when I log on, I see that over 200 people are on the site, probably reading the prescriptions, listening to Dr. Borden or looking at what God is doing in our district, and I am humbled.
Along with the prescriptions, video clips of interviews of pastors whose churches have participated in a DTP consultation have been posted, and later this week, come back and look for audio and video files of Dr. Tim Brown’s messages from the District Ministerial 2011 (Leadership Development Tab -> Ministerial Retreat).
This has been an intense two months in my life and I want to thank all of you who pray for me. I am very conscious when I’m on the road and tired, or in a meeting with a church board, that I’m just an instrument in God’s hand.
Susan and l love each of you and are grateful that we can do the journey together with you. You will find the Mooers prescription below.
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MOOERS WESLEYAN CHURCH CONSULTATION
OCTOBER 28-30, 2011
1. Pastor and Mrs. John Gillette: The people of the congregation value highly the ministry of John. They speak well of his preaching and his care and concern for the congregation. In the last two years he has led the congregation to grow and reach out to a number of new people. His wife, Diane, has stepped up to fill key ministry positions that needed immediate leadership. They demonstrate team work in both their marriage and in congregational ministry.
2. Youth Ministry: The congregation has a large, growing and vibrant youth ministry. The youth not only attend their weekly meetings but are serving in the congregation as well as conducting mission work in several communities.
3. Compassionate and Non-Judgmental Congregation: We heard from many that this congregation demonstrates love to those within their midst and to those who attend that are new. They model openness to people who are exploring their relationship with Jesus Christ as well as to those new in their faith journey.
4. Resources: God has blessed this congregation with a number of key resources for ministry. Those resources are its buildings and grounds (which are maintained with care), no debt (though the congregation is asset rich and cash poor), a growing congregation, and room for future ministry growth.
5. Desire for Growth: Almost without exception, everyone we spoke with wants to see the congregation grow. The congregation is not afraid of growth and the people want to see it happen quickly and in great numbers.
1. A Passion for Lost People: Currently the pastor is the primary evangelist in the congregation. The desire for growth was not always related to reaching lost people. Few people expressed broken hearts for the lost of the community.
2. Mission/Vision: The congregation does not have a clear mission (purpose) and therefore many decisions are not made in relation to implementing a clear mission. There is no compelling vision that fuels the soul of the congregation.
3. Worship: The current style of worship is not meeting the needs of many and is not helping the congregation reach out to many people under the age of forty.
4. Staffing: The congregational ministry structure does not marry responsibility, authority and accountability.
5. Facilities and Growth: The current facilities are not conducive to help produce the growth that the congregation wants to see, including the building of larger facilities (we understand that facilities in and of themselves will not produce growth).
1. A Passion for Lost People: The pastor will lead the congregation in a Sunday morning worship service of prayer and repentance. First, forgiveness will be sought for not making the evangelism of lost people the priority of the congregation. Secondly, the congregation will pray that God will give the people, individually and collectively, a passion for the lost in the community. Thirdly, the congregation will ask God to give it a compelling vision for the future that includes envisioning a large number of lost people coming to Jesus Christ. Finally, each member o f the congregation will commit to pray daily for one specific individual to become a disciple of Jesus Christ within the next twelve months. This day of prayer will take place by January 9, 2012. Following this Sunday of prayer the pastor will lead a weekly prayer meeting. This meeting will focus on prayers for the community, as well as the mission and vision of the congregation.
2. Mission/Vision: Upon the acceptance of this report (should that be the case) the new mission statement of the congregation will be Mooers Wesleyan Church exists to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ. The pastor will then lead the congregation in a mission/ministry audit. The purpose of the audit is to examine how every ministry of the congregation meets the mission statement. The ministries that are not focused on and contributing to the mission statement must be changed or be cancelled. This audit will be completed by December 31, 2012.
In 2012, the pastor will lead the congregation to conduct four bridge events that occur on Sunday mornings. The purpose of these events is to reach out to those in the community that are not yet disciples of Jesus Christ. The pastor, in consultation with his coach and the DS, will present a vision statement to the congregation that is compelling and produces accountability. This statement will be presented by February 6, 2012. Understanding that today most people search for a church by using the internet, a new updated website will be in operation by March 30, 2012.
3. Worship: the pastor will put together a worship team that he will oversee. The purpose of this team is to provide extensive planning for each service and rigorous accountability for how well each service meets the expectations expressed in the plan. Each service needs to be creative and different. The intent is to allow unbelievers to see believers worship their God (Isaiah 2:2-, 56:6-8, Psalms 47:1, 100:1-5). Such worship means getting unbelievers into worship, making worship understandable to unbelievers, and leading them to make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Such worship experience requires extensive planning and implementation. The issues are not seeker worship vs. traditional or contemporary worship, but worship designed to minister to the soul through a variety of the senses. This team will be in place by March 1, 2012.
4. Staffing: The current ministry structure will not help the congregation grow since the element of accountability is missing. Also, the pastor’s current job description is designed for keeping the congregation small and not producing growth. Therefore, the pastor’s job description must be changed. He is to be the Spiritual Leader (preaching and calling the congregation to follow God’s collective promptings). He is to be a leader and he is to develop leaders. He is to hold ministry people accountable (paid and/or volunteer staff), either directly or through the ministry overseers. He is to help assimilate new people into the congregation. This includes overseeing bridge events until an assimilation director and team can be put in place. The pastor is also the congregation’s representative in the community. The pastor will implement this new job description by March 1, 2012.
The current Spiritual Formation terminology will be changed to the Ministry Team, with the two directors being called the Ministry Overseers. The first job of the ministry overseers is to help the pastor conduct the mission/ministry audit. The ministry overseers also assist the pastor in helping the staff to set goals in the areas of evangelism, leadership development and growth. The initial goals need to be in place by March 1, 2012. The congregation will pay the pastor’s expenses to attend the Nelson Searcy seminar in NYC on November 18, 2011 (it would be good if several leaders could accompany the pastor in attending this seminar).
5. Facilities and Growth: The congregation needs to deal with Phase 2.5 before moving to Phase 3 (the congregation has already successfully completed Phases 1 and 2). The purpose of Phase 2.5 is to provide flexibility in the current facility. By maximizing the current square footage the congregation can grow, eventually gaining enough momentum to go to two services. The additional human and financial resources resulting from this growth will make it possible to finance Phase 3 sometime in the future. Phase 2.5 will include new or expanded restrooms in the fellowship hall, the removal of the wall between the worship center and the fellowship hall and replacing the worship center pews with decorative padded chairs. The renovation shall also include updating the downstairs with modern lighting, vibrant paint and floor covering and decorative accessories that make this space child friendly. The former youth room will be retrofitted as a children’s worship area. It is believed that this area will be used not only on Sunday mornings, but also for an alive mid-week ministry.
The top three positions to be considered are children, worship and administration/ assimilation. The sooner this can be done, the better. In order to fund these capital and human resource improvements the LBA and Trustees, in consultation with the DS, will come up with a fundraising plan by June 1, 2012. A capital campaign and/or a loan are two options to consider. Meanwhile, the pastor will select someone(s) who will raise $1000-$2000 from 10-20 people to jump-start the implementation of this prescription. This will be accomplished by December 31, 2011.
THOSE WHO ATTEND THE CONGREGATION REGULARLY WILL VOTE TO EITHER ACCEPT OR REJECT THIS REPORT ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20, 2011. EACH BALLOT WILL BE SIGNED. NO BALLOTS WILL BE COUNTED IF NOT SIGNED. IF ACCEPTED IMPLEMENTATION WILL BEGIN AND THE PASTOR AND SPOUSE WILL RECEIVE HELP AND COACHING FROM THE DISTRICT FOR THE NEXT YEAR TO ASSIST IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW PLAN FOR RE-INVENTION.
Dr. Paul D. Borden
Rev. W. Paul James
Rev. Tom Flanders