Cornerstone Wesleyan Church
September 29, 2013
In his book Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby wrote that followers of Christ should discover where God is at work and then join Him. It is evident that Cornerstone Wesleyan Church (CWC) is such a place at this season. God's Spirit is moving, resulting in transformed lives! The team is very aware that their job is simply to address issues that bring frustration to a congregation that is experiencing many changes brought on by the movement of God.
Many expressed that the congregation was known for its prayer meeting. Sixty people recently attended a prayer service that focused on a severely injured attender. The altars are being used more frequently as a place for meeting with God. Many are discovering spiritual power and peace in doing so.
3. Pastor and Spouse
Pastor Rusty and Sally are perceived as a perfect fit for this congregation. Rusty's messages are anointed, practical, interesting and used by God for life change. His ability to move through the community, connecting with people from all walks of life is greatly admired. He has a unique gifting from God to gather people. Sally is loved and respected for her willingness to take on the systems and structures so desperately needed in a growing congregation. Keeping up with the details brought on by a movement of God is almost impossible, yet with her lovely smile, she bravely tackles the "stuff" every day.
4. Children/Men/Connection Groups
These three programs are particularly successful in reaching people. The children's ministry is growing rapidly and filling its newly renovated space. Young families are attracted to its vibrancy. Several men's groups are flourishing. Wives and mothers joyfully speak of transformed husbands and sons! Connection groups offer folks of all types and interests a place to belong. Fellowship is vital at CWC.
5. Big Events/Guest Flow
During the past year, several big events have been extremely successful. This has raised the visibility of the church and brought scores of guests through the doors of CWC. Many have returned. Assimilating new folk into the congregation has become a major priority.
It would be fair to say that almost all with whom we spoke mentioned the lack of organization as the main thing that needs to be worked on. The rapid growth and blessing of God has strained the systems/structure/communications and those involved almost to the breaking point.
Churches this size should have at least two full-time pastoral staff members and a church secretary. CWC is playing catch-up in this area. Much of the lack of organization, communication, and structure can be addressed by staffing the church properly for future growth. Since the appropriate staffing level may be unattainable at present, some modification that addresses at minimum the need for both clerical support and ministry support should be implemented.
The giving is below average for a church this size. In order to fund the ministry opportunities that God is giving, emphasis must be given to scriptural teaching on the tithe. Jesus speaks of giving more than any other topic, therefore we must study and obey His teachings to be blessed by God.
The ongoing projects and renovations have taken a toll on the energy of the congregation. Rapid completion of the many unfinished projects will free time and energy to invest in people and systems.
Because of the large influx of new believers into CWC, it is easy for spiritual growth and discipleship to fall through the cracks. This leaves spiritual babies adrift in their new lives. One of the systems that must be addressed is discipleship - moving individuals from spiritual new birth to spiritual maturity.
Upon adoption of this report, the Local Advisory Council (LAC) and the ministry leadership team will immerse themselves in the eight systems necessary for a healthy church. It is imperative that these systems (the weekend system, evangelism system, assimilation system, small group system, volunteer system, stewardship system and leadership system) are implemented. All leaders will read the book or complete an audio version of Nelson Searcy's Healthy Systems, Healthy Church by December 31, 2013.
Cloud-based PowerChurch software that brings all administrative functions into one program will be subscribed to. An experienced consultant will be obtained to expedite the process by November 1, 2013.
In order to educate the congregation regarding the Kaiser Model of Church Governance, the district superintendent will offer a presentation during the DTP town hall meeting on October 12, 2013. This will enable the congregation to understand who is in charge and how decisions are made.
Each quarter, a "church chat" will take place. Led by the pastor, this will be a time of questions and answers. It is believed that an informed congregation is a happy congregation. Financial reports will be posted regularly and minutes from the LAC will be made available upon request.
A part time assistant to the pastor with gifts that are complimentary to the lead pastor will be hired to give attention to systems, organization, recruiting and leadership development. Additionally, the church will obtain a volunteer or part-time secretary who will focus on clerical details. These individuals will be selected, hired and report to the lead pastor. Both individuals will be in place by January 1, 2014.
The pastor and newly-hired assistant to the pastor will lead the church in implementing a ministry team that meets at least once a month for prayer, planning, goal-setting and accountability. All ministry leaders will be recruited and trained by April 15, 2014.
Once leadership for the ministries is in place, a ministry fair will be held so that people can sign-up to serve in areas of expertise and interest. This ministry fair will be held by May 1, 2014.
The pastor will continue his coaching relationship with David Cook. CWC shall pay for this service.
The pastor will lead the church in a study of the book The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. Small group lessons, Sunday School classes, and sermons will all focus on this important biblical teaching. There is a reason that the Jesus talks more about money than any other subject. We must understand God's plan for giving. This study will take place by February 28, 2014.
In addition, the Financial Peace course by Dave Ramsey will be offered to the church constituents and the greater Heuvelton area. Attention will be given to money management and debt reduction. The course will be completed by summer of 2014.
CWC shall continue to maximize its current facility until it is no longer feasible to do so. Some adaptions to the schedule of Sunday services and spaces will be necessary. Children will need to spend the entire hour in children's classes and overflow cafe space will need to be utilized. Only time will tell how long it will be until the facility is 75% full on a regular basis. When that occurs, the congregation will seek an alternative site off-campus for their a.m. service.
Meanwhile, attention will be given to completing with excellence the projects that are now underway in the building. Once the cafe/overflow space is complete and the sanctuary carpet installed, the biggest part of the renovation will be completed. CWC is to be commended for paying cash for the egress, AC, chairs, etc. In order, however, to quickly finish the renovations, the LAC and pastor should consider borrowing up to $20,000.
The front of the sanctuary is really cluttered and does not make a great impression when you first walk into the room. Exploration and study should take place to reconfigure the platform.
It is imperative that CWC implement a Next Steps process to assist those that are new in Christ in moving toward maturity. A discipleship team will be formed to design and implement a clear and concise plan for intentional discipleship at CWC. The plan will include a definition of discipleship and the characteristics of a fully devoted follower of Jesus, as well as clearly identifying which connections or classes meet particular steps of discipleship. Immediate attention should be given to launching a 6-12 week New Believers Class to be offered a minimum of twice in the coming year, beginning no later than January 2014.
Additional classes to be implemented will include baptism and membership. Other discipleship classes will be determined by the needs within the congregation. Classes/workshops to be considered would be premarital counseling and spiritual gift discovery.
Given the needs of the surrounding area, the pastor's experience with recovery ministries, and the presence of professionals with expertise in counseling, CWC needs to launch a recovery ministry such as Celebrate Recovery or another similar ministry by fall 2014.
THE CONGREGATION WILL VOTE BY OCTOBER 13, 2013 ON THE PRESCRIPTIONS (THIS INCLUDES REGULAR ATTENDERS THAT MIGHT NOT BE MEMBERS). IF ACCEPTED, THE DISTRICT WILL DO ALL THAT IT CAN 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. Paul James
Rev. Steve O’Dell
Rev. Juanita Brooks
Rev. David Norman