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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Malone - One Year Later

At our fall DBA Retreat, I invited the pastors who had completed DTP consultations to come and share with the Board and other pastors yet to experience a consultation.  The following is an example of one church's progress and where they are one year following their consultation.  You'll especially enjoy seeing the photos at the end of the article depicting some of the physical work they have accomplished on their facility.  The church--First Wesleyan Church of Malone.  The pastor--Rev. Marc Watkins.

Note:  Pastor Marc's remarks are in italicized red, and the aspects of the DTP Rx Report are featured in black.


On November 13, 2011, we met as a congregation for a service dedicated to prayer and confession. This probably was one of the most important steps that we took as a church. Emphasis was given to seeking forgiveness for our past failures as a church and asking God to break our hearts over the lost in our community. At the end of the service we opened it up for people to bring names of those then they wanted to see experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We had people come forward and place those names on a cross. That cross has remained on our platform to remind us to pray often for the requests that are posted there.

One thing we have included in our Sunday worship service is have a “GAP” moment interceding for the needs of our community. This emphasis comes out of the prescription to pray for our community every week. (GAP moment comes Ezekiel 22:30)

In our service on November 13th we established a goal to see 500 people come to Christ in the next five years; which includes touching in some way 11,500 lives with the gospel in the course of the five years. That amounts to 100 people coming to Christ every year, and 2,300 lives will be touched over all. We don’t deny that this is a challenge but our hearts have followed our vision and with the help of the Lord we will apply ourselves.

Over the past year we have seen 45 people come to Christ and about 1600 lives touched. We believe that we’re well on our way to achieving this goal.

  • The pastor will call the congregation to a day of prayer for God to provide a vision for the future. This day of prayer will occur on a Sunday morning during a worship service. Time will be given to ask God to break the heart of the congregation collectively and individually for the needs of those who are not yet disciples of Jesus Christ to become His followers. Prayers will be offered for those who comprise different segments of the community e.g. teachers, first response personnel, those who work in the prisons, etc.
  • Also, the people will pray that God will open their hearts to a compelling vision for the future. Following the worship service leaders will invite the congregation to join them in a prayer drive throughout the community.
  • This day will occur by October 30, 2011. Following this day the pastor will initiate two weekly prayer events to pray for the community, the vision and the salvation of those apart from God. These prayer groups will begin the first week of November. The pastor, in consultation with his coach and DS will develop a vision statement for the congregation. This statement will be in place by December 31, 2011. 

Regarding our worship services we are experiencing some tension which seems to be the case in so many churches as they move from one generation to another. As prescribed in our prescription I have taken every effort to create an environment of ancient/future worship. My effort is frustrated due to the fact that musicians are somewhat difficult to come by. With that being said, we continue to make efforts every week to improve the performance of those who are working in music while I continue to look for other musicians. It has been a priority to include variety in our worship services as much as I can. Every week I strive to make the service clearly missional so that any guest in attendance can grasp our intentions of creating an atmosphere of worship. We are not where we want to be in every respect of our worship services but we are giving it everything we have to reach our goals in this respect.

The pastor will take on as one of his primary responsibilities the planning and execution of the Sunday morning worship service. He will function as both the producer (determining who participates) and the director (determining how worship will be carried out). Each worship service will be creatively planned in that there will be different formats (including the seating and lighting in the auditorium), often asking those in the congregation to participate in using their various senses as part of the worship experience. Various styles and kinds of music will be used on different Sundays. These services will be designed to help those who do not normally attend church feel safe and unthreatened in the worship environment.

The services will be missional in that people will be provided constant information as to what is occurring and what is expected, while helping them cross minimal cultural barriers to have a deep experience with God. This new style of worship service will begin the first Sunday in January 2012.

Developing Status:

The developing status of Malone Wesleyan church has been controversial as you well know. With that being said I believe we are making strides to become an established church. Over the summer our average attendances were as follows:
May - 76
June – 73
July – 68
August – 67
The attendances are about 20+ over last year. I believe that in the next few months we should achieve our goal of the averaging 75 two months in a row. At the present time our offerings continue to be strong averaging over the $6000 a month. This in itself has been a great blessing.
One area that remains a weakness is developing our structure around the Kaiser book “Winning on Purpose”. Plans are in the works now to begin working more diligently on this this matter this month.

The District Superintendent will recommend to the District Board to return the congregation to the status of an established congregation when certain milestones are reached. These milestones will indicate that the congregation is ready to take its rightful stance as a full fledged established Wesleyan Congregation. This will occur when the congregation’s giving averages $6000 a month for four months in a row and at the same time the worship attendance averages 75 people two months in a row. The DS in consultation with the pastor feel that these milestones are easily doable within the next nine months and will demonstrate the congregation’s commitment to be a healthy one fulfilling our Lord’s command to make disciples. These milestones will also evidence that the leaders are committed to having a congregation that is viable and open to the pastor’s leadership. The leaders will also create an annual budget by the beginning of the next fiscal year. Also when the congregation goes back to its established status it will be organized on the Accountability Leadership Model proposed by John Kaiser in his book Winning on Purpose.

Staff Members:

One of the most exciting steps of faith our church took during the DTP, was to add the staff position of children’s pastor. Last November, the church officially hired my wife, Becky as the director of children’s ministry. The result of this has been outstanding. The Wednesday night children’s Kids Club has gone from an average attendance of 20 to 25, to over 50. There is no doubt that God is blessing our church in taking this step of faith. Becky continues to work faithfully to grow every aspect of our children’s ministry.

Our VBS this summer was outstanding, with a total of 60 children attending throughout the week. One of the most exciting things that happened, 15 new children gave their hearts to Christ for the very first time. Also as a result of our children’s ministry, we have picked up numerous families who now attend faithfully every Sunday. I feel greatly blessed to have Becky for a wife and to be able to add her skills and spiritual gifts with children to the work of the church.

I am very happy that as of August of this year, Sharlene Jock has come on staff as the Administrative Assistant to the Pastor. Sharlene has been a wonderful blessing in more ways than one, but especially is she helpful in helping our church to assimilate our goals and objectives which we have established. Her sense of professionalism adds to the work as well as the atmosphere in our church office.

  • The pastor will assume the primary role of planning and implementing creative worship services beginning January 1, 2012. The congregation will hire Becky Watkins as the Children’s pastor for $1000 a month beginning November 1, 2011. She will also continue to serve in her janitorial role until funds are available to hire her replacement in order to let her focus entirely on children. The pastor will require a volunteer to help him with the administrative side of the assimilation process. This key volunteer position needs to be filled by January 1, 2012.


Regarding the matter of upkeep and improvements of our facility, the people have tirelessly jumped in to make much needed renovations putting us in better condition to meet and minister to our community. With the loan of $10,000 from the district we have been able to date to complete several tasks on our list. Instead of trying to explain to you every item. Below is a list for your preview:

  • The entire church has been painted upstairs and downstairs
  • The restrooms have been completely painted and freshened to meet the standards of our guests. Although they are not what we want, at this point they will do until we can completely renovate them top to bottom.
  • The downstairs has been converted to our Kids Zone. Commercial grade carpet has been laid throughout the entire basement to give it a very friendly look. Everything downstairs has been completely painted, lights have been added, murals on the wall have been painted, and live size children stickers have been placed throughout the Kids Zone.
  • Our sign out front has been rebuilt inside and painted.
  • We cleaned out years and years of junk (taking five truckloads to the dump).
  • We have completely striped our car parking lot.
  • We purchased a new Computer System for our worship center that is state of the art (we have a gentleman in our church, Jourdan Hazen who built a Computer System with everything that we needed).
  • Cleaned out the old library and made a new nursery for our children.
As of the middle of August, we completed the purchase of the house and lot next to the church. This past week we gutted the inside of the house and are presently painting it and updating it, so we can rent it out by the first week in October.

There are additional things that we need to complete, like new lighting in the worship center and flat screens on the walls in front to replace the digital projector and screen. We will also have to wait for a few months before we can convert the old nursery upstairs in two a unisex bathroom.

Overall I believe that God is continuing to help us to move forward to impact of our community for him.

  • The entire inside of the building upstairs and downstairs needs to be painted to provide a new fresh look. The upstairs needs to be lightened up and the downstairs needs to be painted to appeal to children. Once the painting is completed the District will send the congregation a gift of $1000 to be put towards the carpeting of the downstairs. This work (the painting and the carpeting) needs to be completed by December 31, 2011.
  • As the congregation looks to the near future and the possible purchase of near-by real estate, they need to consider how finances will be sought that will also allow them to update the rest rooms that are downstairs and build a restroom on the upstairs level. The upstairs restroom needs to be built as soon as it is financially possible. This will require the relocation of the nursery to a clean updated space.
In a closing thought, I would like to tell you one of our stories that happened this past spring. In May we had our closing program for Kids Club. That morning in the audience was a gentleman by the name of John. He was invited to attend the program by a friend of his named Marie. I could tell during the service that John was listening intently to every word and every song that we shared. At the close of the program I shared a story of Jesus and what it meant to have a personal relationship with Him. 

At the close of my story I invited those that wanted to take that step to pray that prayer with me and receive Him. As I asked for hands to be raised, one of those hands was John. After the service John approached me and wanted me to pray for him, because he was battling throat cancer for the third time. 

I invited John and Marie to come into my office so I could pray with them. During our discussion, John confirmed that he made a decision to follow Christ that morning. Over the next 60 days John and I became good friends. I was able to text him often and let it know that was praying for him. Just 60 days later, John passed away of this cancer. I was reminded that you can never underestimate what God will use to reach anybody. As a result of our children’s ministry, John is in heaven today celebrating for eternity with our Savior Jesus Christ

Committed to Serving,

Malone - Children's Worship Center

Malone - Children's Worship Center

Malone - Children's Worship Center
Malone - Kids Club Program

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