There were two churches that went through the DTP Consultation process this spring--the Wells Wesleyan Church and the Colton Wesleyan Church. The Wells report was posted previously. They voted 29 to 6 to accept the prescription and they are already hard at work on their prescriptions. The report for the Colton consultation is posted below.
Colton Wesleyan Church Consultation
April 5 - 7, 2013
1. A Sense of God's Presence - Many of those interviewed mentioned that one of the things they appreciated most about Colton Wesleyan Church was the sense of God's presence in the services and in the lives of the congregants. It is obvious to the team that prayer and the Holy Spirit are an important part of the DNA of this congregation.
2. A group of individuals committed to CWC and each other - Through thick and thin, good times and bad a dedicated core group has remained faithful to God and His church that worships in Colton.
3. A warm, friendly family atmosphere - Many indicated that it was this loving, accepting attitude that they felt the first time they attended CWC that caused them to return. "When we arrived we felt that we were home," one exclaimed!
4. Good Worship and Praise - It is evident that for a church this size the worship and praise is meaningful to the congregants. There is unusual harmony regarding the music style and service atmosphere.
5. Pastor Tom Chappell and spouse - The pastoral family is greatly respected and appreciated as evidenced by the recent vote. Pastor Tom's outgoing, genuine, community minded spirit is influencing unchurched and de-churched folk to once again try CWC.
1. Inward focus/ lack of clarity in the mission - vision of the church: The bulk of the energy and resources are spent on taking care of those already in the church. There is no clear mission statement and there is no compelling and strategic vision for the future.
2. Lack of organization and structure: Almost everyone that we talked to mentioned that the lack of organization, planning and communication was a major frustration and roadblock to the health of the church. "No one knows who is responsible for what," someone said. " As a result we are confused and frustrated much of the time."
3. Absence of purposeful outreach and prayerful assimilation: The congregation feels unfruitful in their efforts to evangelize the lost and to usher the guests into a continuing relationship with the church and Christ. There is no system in place to follow-up on guests.
4. A hit and miss children's ministry: Lack of worker's and training has led to a children's church that is spotty at best. The nursery is almost non-existent and no program for children exists outside of the 10 - 12 o'clock hour on Sunday.
5. Building and Grounds: Mirroring the attitude of some of the congregants, the building and grounds appear tired and worn out. If this is to change the leaders must invest time, energy and money into "getting ready for company". First impressions are powerful!
Inward focused/ Lack of clarity in the mission - vision:
On the day that this prescription is adopted, assuming that it is adopted, the mission statement of the Colton Wesleyan Church will be - The Colton Wesleyan Church exists to make more disciples for Christ. By July 1, 2013 a day of solemn assembly will be held in which the leadership of the CWC will lead the congregation in confessing the inward focus of the church and the lack of fruitfulness in reaching the lost with the Good News of salvation through Christ. A prayer drive will follow during which the congregants will ask God to break their hearts for those that reside in their target area. Stops will be made along the way at prominent and public locations and prayers will be made for those in leadership in these North Country communities. A target area will be selected and two outreach numbers will be chosen. One of these numbers will be the goal for souls won to Christ in the next five years; the other number will be the goal of lives touched with the love of Christ in the next five years. These will be in place by July 30, 2013. During the next year a ministry audit will take place to assure the leaders that every ministry understands the mission and has strategic plans to contribute to the long term goals. If a ministry fails to implement the mission/vision it means that the ministry has chosen to cease to exist.
Lack of organization and structure:
The leaders of CWC will read the book "Winning on Purpose" by John Kaiser. This will be completed by June 15, 2013. The method of church structure known as the Kaiser Model will then become the pattern that CWC follows. In this model the board governs, the pastor leads, the staff (paid and volunteer) manages and the congregation ministers. The pastor will give priority to recruiting and training individuals who will be ministry leaders in areas such as worship, children and assimilation. This ministry team will meet monthly beginning in August to set goals and implement programs, plan special days and events and participate in leadership development. This ministry team will be the engine of the church that drives the church onward and upward. Recognizing that the pastor will benefit from a coach the DS will select a coach to work with Pastor Tom for the next twelve months. The coach will be funded by the congregation. Also, the fresh initiative to organize the church calls for a part time administrative assistant. This person will work at least ten hours a week and will be paid a weekly stipend. He/she will begin work in July and will spend several months setting up job descriptions and putting systems in place that will greatly benefit the congregation in planning and communication. In addition, a website will be up and running by September 1, 2013.
Absence of purposeful outreach and prayerful assimilation:
The pastor, along with his coach, will plan four - five bridge events during the 2013-2014 district year. Pastor Tom will place a strong emphasis on reaching and assimilating new attenders and new believers into CWC. At least ten leaders will attend Unleash 2013 (the district training day) in Cobbleskill on June 15, 2013. They will receive coaching in skills that will aid in reaching and keeping individuals for the kingdom. It must be noted that whenever a conflict arises between ministry to existing attenders and reaching new attenders, the new attenders will get the time and resources. Pastor Tom will make every effort to be known as the community pastor. Beginning July 1, 2013 he will visit one community leader each week. This is to build relationships and to seek opportunities to serve.
A hit and miss children's ministry:
A VBS will be held this summer. If CWC does not have enough workers to staff the VBS they will approach sister Wesleyan Churches and ask for help in implementing this crucial ministry. By September 1, 2013 a children's director will be in place and children's church will be offered every Sunday. Attention will be given to recruiting and training enough staff so that no one person is burned out. Field trips will be taken to other churches to observe a successful Children's Church. The DS will offer suggestions as to the churches to visit. These trips will take place before school starts this fall. The nursery will be given an overhaul until it is the cleanest and safest place in the church. If no babies are attending, the nursery director will spend the Sunday School Hour praying that God will bring young children and their parents to the house of worship and instruction. The nursery will be open by August 1, 2013 The downstairs area will be lightened, brightened and renovated to reflect the new focus on children. Fresh paint and decals on the walls, new learning centers etc. will show children and their parents that kids are important to God and to us. The team understands that CWC has much renovating to do in other areas of the church. Therefore, the deadline on the basement upgrade is June 30, 2014.
Building and grounds:
The CWC building needs much TLC. This spring lights should be put on the sign and the new web address added to the sign. Outdoor spotlights will be put on the front doors after the doors are stained and the dark brown accent stripe on the front of the church and the handicapped ramp are repainted. Landscaping around the front of the church will add curb appeal. Prices will be gotten on enlarging the parking lot and adding a gravel base to make all parking less muddy. These outdoor projects should be done by June 15, 2013. The sanctuary will receive a fresh paint job. New lights will be placed in the foyer and bath. Also a new vanity will be added. The pews will be replaced with chairs and new carpet will be installed. Ernie Reed of Sherwin Williams will be the consultant so that all colors are coordinated. This will be completed by October 1, 2013. In May a dumpster day will be held with the purpose of removing clutter from the entire church. No hoarders are allowed on the campus that day!! We are getting ready for company. All things must be done with excellence! The "that's good enough" attitude must not have a place among us. While the worship center is receiving its facelift a new sound system and electric piano will be purchased. This major renovation of the worship center will be completed by September 15, 2013. The team understands that finances are always an issue. Therefore, the entire congregation will be challenged to read and discuss "The Treasure Principle" by Randy Alcorn. This should be completed by July 1, 2013. The pastor and coach will lead the church in fundraising so that the projects in this prescription can be implemented. It is anticipated that each family will prayerfully consider what God have them sacrificially give to invest in reaching the Colton area for Christ. After ninety days of vision casting and fundraising attention will be given to borrowing the needed funds to complete the renovations. $20,000.00 - $25,000.00 would be the cap on any borrowing.
THE CONGREGATION WILL VOTE BY MAY 5, 2013 ON THE PRESCRIPTIONS (THIS INCLUDES REGULAR ATTENDERS THAT MIGHT NOT BE MEMBERS). IF ACCEPTED THE DISTRICT WILL DO ALL THAT IT CAN WITH ITS LIMITED RESOURCES TO HELP THE CONGREGATION FULFILL THE PRESCRIPTIONS IF THE VOTE IS NEGATIVE THE DISTRICT WILL NO LONGER ENCOURAGE THE CONGREGATION TO IMPLEMENT THE PRESCRIPTIONS SINCE THE CONGREGATION WILL HAVE REVEALED ITS DESIRE NOT TO DO SO...
Rev. W. Paul James
Rev. Norm Mesel
Rev. Rusty Bissell
Rev. Marc Watkins