Ogdensburg Wesleyan Church
September 29, 2013
1. Pastor and Spouse
Although Pastor Jon and Jamie Wixson have been in Ogdensburg for only six weeks, they have won the hearts of the people. Their youth, energy, faith and expectancy have injected fresh hope into a congregation that was near death.
2. Unique Facilities
The old schoolhouse that is now the church is well maintained for its age. It is clean, neat, and offers a home base that can be used for the foreseeable future. The congregation has high hopes of soon outgrowing this space in the Sunday morning service.
3. Core Leadership
A small leadership group refuses to give up even in the face of great adversity and unexpected events. They cling to the hope that God is not through with this church yet and that it can have a viable ministry to this needy city.
4. Financial Resources
Over the years, the church stockpiled financial reserves. Without these funds, the church would have no future. However, strategically used for outreach, they offer hope for ministry going forward.
5. Community Center
Located in the heart of a residential area that is full of children, the whole building and adjacent lot has great potential as a community center. By faith, we see a multitude of uses that will build bridges to the needy and hurting lives surrounding the church.
The congregation has been inwardly focused; with many people more concerned about what the church can do for them rather than what the church can do for the city. The mission/vision must be refocused and redirected.
Unfortunately, stories are told of behavior by church attenders that have alienated those in the immediate community. Emphasis on repentance and healing must take place to recapture respect from the greater community. Also, it is believed that the greater Ogdensburg community has no idea that the church exists.
The limited space in the building is not equipped for the multi-purpose use that is envisioned. Reaching the young families and children means reconfiguring the largest and most useful spaces. Also, the field beside the church must be leveraged to aid in the mission/vision.
4. Finances/Cash Flow
Weekly tithes and offerings are only $300-$400. Unless this increases the church will struggle to stay on mission and to stay alive. Supporting the pastor, maintaining the property, and funding a vision will take many more dollars weekly.
Limited ministries now exist, and those that do exist focus almost exclusively on “us.” This must change or death is near. The three ministries that a church this size must focus on are excellent Sunday morning worship, assimilation of guests, and innovative ministry to children.
The congregation, under the leadership of the pastor, shall be called to a consecrated day of repentance. On this day, prayers will be offered asking God to forgive the congregation for being inward focused and failing to regularly reach souls for Christ. The fact that year after year, few if any souls have come to know Christ as a result of OWC ministries should bring pain to hearts and tears to eyes. This service will take place by December 31, 2013.
Following this day of repentance, prayer drives and walks throughout the community shall awaken a burden for the lost and hurting of this city that is often described as a spiritually dark place. The attendees of this church must believe that they are part of God’s plan to bring light and hope to broken lives. By April 30, 2014 every street in the city will have been prayed over.
The target area will be selected, demographic studies and goals set for the two vision numbers as taught by the vision team—one of how many lives will be touched by kindness and one of how many souls will come to Christ.
The pastor will lead the congregation in house-to-house visits. Rebranding the church to change its image will be a priority. Whenever there is a decision to be made regarding whether to use resources and energy on “us” (those already in the church) or “them” (those in the world who need Christ), “them” shall receive the priority.
During the next year, 80% of the pastor’s time will be spent on outreach and evangelism. Every day, he must be out in the community meeting influential people, joining key organizations, knocking on doors and meeting folks and neighbors. Attention must be given to repairing broken relationships with neighbors who have experienced unloving attitudes and conduct by church members.
During the month of December, tins of cookies and hand-written Christmas cards will be delivered to homes in the area between State Street and the river, Highway 37 and Lafayette St.
Also, the pastor will lead the congregation in 3-6 bridge events. The events must have strategic follow-up dates (not date) as taught by the consultation team. Touching people, changing lives must be the theme every day, all year.
The building is now configured to be used two or three hours a week. In order for that to change, the worship center must become a multi-purpose room. The pews will be removed and replaced by stackable, interlocking chairs. This will make this space available in various configurations for children’s clubs, community activities, community meetings, exercise, youth events, etc. Two large-screen TVs (60” or larger) will be mounted on the walls to enhance the worship experience. To add warmth, hospitality, and to encourage fellowship, a coffee bar will be placed in the lobby. These renovations will be completed by February 28, 2014. The congregation is encouraged to raise the money as soon as possible for the 75 chairs. As soon as $3,000 is raised (approximately 65 chairs), the District Vision Fund will contribute $500 for the final 10 chairs. It is expected that chairs will be in the worship center by January 15, 2014.
Attention will be given to utilizing the lovely park-like lot by the church for ministry. Soccer, enlarged playground, outdoor movies, community campouts, etc. are all ideas to help the community view this place as a place to belong. As this develops, the congregation will move to “build bridges” to the families and children who begin to use this space.
Continual upgrading of the basement space to better serve children and youth will also take place.
4. Finances/Cash Flow
The congregation will read the book The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn and a series of messages on this spiritual topic will be given. This month, known as Stewardship Month, will take place in January 2014.
In addition, the leadership team and pastor shall set aside a $4000 Emergency fund and divide the remaining reserves into 24 equal amounts to be used for ministry over the next 24 months.
Also a coach will be provided for the pastor by the District and paid for by the church.
The pastor shall lead the congregation in focusing on three ministries this year: Sunday Morning Worship, Assimilation, and Children. These must have all the attention and focus.
The pastor is the director of the worship service and must see that all is done with excellence - so that guests will have a wonderful experience with God and new friends.
An assimilation team following the plan of Nelson Searcy will be put into place. Church management computer software will be purchased, mailing list developed, and a deliberate follow-up, marketing plan put into place.
A weekday children’s club, children’s church, and children’s sermon are three points of emphasis that will be put in place almost immediately.
The Kaiser Model, as taught by the consultation team and explained in the DTP town hall meeting, will be the way the church is governed going forward.
The congregation will vote to accept or reject this report by October 20, 2013. All regular attenders will vote. If rejected the District will not work with the congregation in relation to the report since the congregation will have spoken. However, if accepted the District will provide whatever resources are within its power to give assistance for the congregation to achieve the prescription.
Rev. Paul James
Rev. Stephen O’Dell
Rev. David Norman
Rev. Juanita Brooks