The DTP team and I just completed a good consultation at Shokan Wesleyan Community Church. It was great weekend and there was a great spirit. This time the team consisted of Rev. Paul Barna, Rev. Dean Brown and me. Below, you will find the full report.
Shokan Wesleyan Community Church Consultation
November 2-4, 2012
1. Worship: Most of those we spoke to remarked that the worship was excellent and carried them into the presence of God. Others repeatedly referenced the sense of the Holy Spirit that hovered over the congregation. It is evident that in this church God is the audience of one, the worship team is the prompter and the congregation the performer.
2. Prayer: The focus on prayer, both corporate and individual, gives this congregation a firm foundation to stand upon as they increase their efforts to assault the gates of hell and depopulate Satan's zip code. Focusing on the God of miracles is more important than focusing on problems and circumstances.
3. Pastor and Spouse: The congregation wholeheartedly believes that God brought Pastor Andy and Doreen to their church for such a time as this. Worship, music, prayer, timely messages and the anointing of God are frequently mentioned in connection with this pastoral team.
4. Friendly Family Atmosphere: Many spoke of the welcome that they received at SWCC. Both smiles and tears were present as stories were told of what this congregation means to both old timers and newcomers.
5. Outreach: Many, although not all, have adopted the mission of reaching the community for Christ. It is evident that the congregation is shifting from a "it is all about us" mentality. Most are eager to embrace the next challenge in caring for the spiritually hungry who are all about them. Some told us that they expect this weekend to clearly define the next steps of the church.
1. Building/Space/Finances: It is evident that the building must undergo some maintenance and upgrades if the congregation is to continue to grow. Many of these items have been discussed for years.
2. Administrative Assistant/Assimilation: The pastor must be freed up to concentrate on the areas where he is most gifted. Involving others with the gift of administration will greatly add to the effectiveness of the ministry.
3. Children: Since children's ministry is one of the driving forces of today's effective churches, more workers, money and dedicated space must be made available to this team.
4. Leadership Development/Small Groups: People are inspired and challenged in worship. However, life change takes place best in small groups. Therefore, emphasis must be placed on developing leaders who are able to lead effective small groups. This dramatically increases places to serve and places to grow.
5. Structure/Ministry Team: The ministry team, otherwise known as staff, must take responsibility for managing the programs and ministries of the church. Half-hearted effort is not acceptable in the greatest endeavor on the planet.
1. Building/Space/Finances: 200 padded interlocking chairs will be ordered for the worship center. They will be in place by Christmas Eve, 2012. The balcony will be removed adding a sense of space, as well as seating, for 60 more parishioners. This will be completed by Feb.1, 2013. In addition, the ramp at the entrance of the church will be replaced with a large deck or porch. A proper handicap ramp will extend from the porch.
In the spring of 2013, insulation and vinyl siding will be installed. This is a maintenance issue that is long overdue. An all church work day will be held by December 15th to cut the trees near the main road to increase visibility. Also, wiring for the kitchen will be updated. The completion of these tasks will greatly add to the beauty of the property and will give the congregation a great sense of accomplishment. The upstairs bathrooms will receive a simple facelift. All of these issues will be completed by May 1, 2013.
These updates should aid in the church growth for the immediate future. By the time the enlarged church is 80% full enough critical mass will be in place to enable the congregation to hold two energetic, spirit anointed services. During the months when weather permits, a tent will be placed near the new deck as a setting for food and fellowship. The pastor will lead the church in investigating the viability of a name change to one that better reflects the mission and vision of the church. Attention to visible and attractive signage both inside and out will be addressed. The website address will be prominently featured as a part of the new branding.
Immediately upon the acceptance of this report the congregation should begin raising funds to complete these initial projects. The team believes that $60,000.00 will make these dreams possible. Whatever the cost the congregation must aggressively meet this challenge. If the money is not raised then it must be borrowed so that these upgrades can be completed in a timely fashion.
In the spring the congregation shall engage the services of an architect to design a large entrance way that will serve as the center point of the church. A kitchen/cafe that can serve both the worship center and the entrance way and large bright restrooms will greatly enhance the SWCC experience. Underneath the foyer or entrance way will be a large open space to be used for future expansion. Once the design is approved, a colored drawing will be commissioned and hung on the wall for all to see and pray over.
In addition, a capital stewardship coach will be engaged to lead the church through a three year faith promise adventure. Decisions will be made along the way as to the feasibility of the actual construction date. This coach will be in place by September 1, 2013.
2. Administrative Assistant/Assimilation: By Easter 2013 a part time administrative assistant to aid the pastor with clerical and assimilation tasks will be hired. A stipend will make sure that this position is taken seriously and make accountability possible. In addition, this person will assist the pastor in making sure that guests are tracked, involved in a newcomer's fellowship and attached to a small group where they have friends and ministry.
With the addition of an admin person, the pastor must see his role evolve from being the chaplain of the congregation to the following:
* Preaching and calling the congregation to address spiritual issues
* Producing and directing worship (which he now does effectively)
* Developing leaders, empowering leaders and holding leaders accountable
* Representing the congregation to the various communities that the congregation serves
* Overseeing bridge events and assimilation/follow-up
During the next year, the pastor shall lead the congregation in four bridge events designed to increase visitor flow. The admin person shall track follow-up and the retention rate.
3. Children: The basement will be painted and decorated to make it attractive to children. The children's team will visit other churches to see how effective children's ministry is contributing to the growth and health of the church. Rooms and closets in the basement area must be de-cluttered. Every congregant must ask themselves if God is calling them to work in this crucial ministry. The leaders of this team will be sent to a national children's conference yearly to learn new methods and view new materials. By March 1, 2013 this expanded ministry will hold an open house! Easter will see thirty five in children's church.
4. Leadership Development/Small Groups: The pastor will select six to eight potential ministry leaders and spend time training them to be leaders of small groups. As the church grows people must have choices of places to get involved. Prayer groups, study groups and affinity groups led by individuals who have bought into the vision of the church to make disciples and have been trained by the pastor will greatly add to the church health. Those who have their own agendas must understand that agenda harmony is paramount to reaching the community for Christ. By April 15, 2013, this training will be underway and ongoing. Everything does rise and fall on leadership!
5. Structure/Ministry Team: The church will operate with a ministry leadership team that meets twice a month for training, planning and accountability. It will be made up of ministry leaders such as children, assimilation, worship, nursery, youth, audio visual, etc. Those placed in these positions must understand the commitment necessary to build an effective disciple making church. Responsibilities and authority will be given to these team members and accountability will be required.
The church will provide a coach for the pastor for the next year to help facilitate changes in leadership style that will enable the church to reach and disciple an ongoing stream of souls.
Once this report is adopted a day of vision and prayer will be set to kick off this new initiative. People will be encouraged to take prayer walks and drives throughout the target area. It cannot be emphasized enough that we are doing all of these things in the prescription to reach the lost for Christ. We are focusing on those outside the walls of the church. It is not about us. Whenever conflict arises regarding taking care of those already in the church or those who are outside the church, those who are still unbelievers will get the attention and energy.
The pastor will lead the LBA and finance committee in developing a financial plan that will fund the measures called for in this report. It is expected that each church family will prayerfully consider stepping up their weekly giving to help reach this needy area for Christ.
THE CONGREGATION (INCLUDING THOSE WHO ATTEND SHOKAN WESLEYAN COMMUNITY CHURCH REGULARLY BUT MAY NOT YET BE MEMBERS) WILL VOTE ON THIS REPORT ON SUNDAY DECEMBER 2, 2012. IF ACCEPTED, THE DISTRICT WILL DO ALL WITHIN ITS POWER TO PROVIDE HELP AND RESOURCES TO IMPLEMENT THE PRESCRIPTIONS. IF THE REPORT IS REJECTED, THE DTP PROCESS IS OVER AND THE DISTRICT WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO ENCOURAGE THE CHANGES SINCE THE CONGREGATION HAS SPOKEN.
Rev. W. Paul James
Rev. Dean Brown
Rev. Paul Barna