– VCI 2.0 Leadership –
Prescription #1: STRENGTHEN COMMUNICATIONS
The pastor, in consultation with the coach, will develop a Communications team of 5-7 people by November 15, 2018. The team will review all BCUMC communications, internal and external, and recommend actions to inform and connect better with those inside and outside the church across generations. This team will research and implement healthy and effective ways to communicate clearly about major decisions, updates, activities and ministry needs. Particular attention will be given to accuracy, accountability, focus and consistency to yield positive results both within and beyond the membership.
- The church will have a communication workshop with consultant April Canik by December 31, 2018 to discuss best practices, establish a consistent information flow chart and formulate a written plan for overall communications detailing accountable personnel and milestones. (Costs shared with Center for Congregational Excellence)
- Bear Creek UMC’s communication plan will seek the focused correlation of messaging, diversification of media, a broadening of target audiences, and increased utilization of online technologies.
Prescription #2: ENHANCE HOSPITALITY AND ASSIMILATION
The pastor, in conjunction with the coach, will select a team of 5–7 people by October 31. They will begin by scheduling a consultation/workshop with Jan Floro of the company Grow Church Now(Costs shared with Center for Congregational Excellence). Then they will consider the following strategies:
- Audit facilities for guest-friendly environment, including external and internal signage, and improve as needed
- Comprehensive welcoming system to reach new people, including improved system to collect contact info and assure prompt follow-up
- Continuous recruitment and training of new hospitality team members
- Consider update of the website to include special navigation for first-time guests looking for information about what to expect.
- Update welcome packets and other materials for guest constituencies
- Intentional strengthening of post-service attention to guests
- Visit three churches that do this well to find models for an ongoing system that helps newcomers integrate into church’s life and work
- Design BUMC’s own comprehensive system for assimilation and decide on needed leadership, training and line of responsibility to implement it.
- Enlist assimilation team partners, train them well, and establish accountability by good tracking and regular progress reports.
- Employ small groups in the responsibility for new member integration
Prescription #3: FOCUS ON THE YOUNG
The pastor, in consultation with the coach, will form a team of 7-9 (to include representatives of youth, young adults and younger families) by February 28, 2019 to invite a church wide commitment to making the “Young” a prioritized focus of Bear Creek UMC. This will include teaching about the gap between the membership and demographics of the surrounding community regarding youthfulness and young families. The team will research best practices and create a comprehensive plan to live out the priority in the following areas:
Programs<evaluate existing curriculum for the young of all ages, target new offerings to mission-field, like Just Me and the Kids, Parenting Safe Children, etc.
Facilities <improve to increase child and family friendliness
Worship <young-friendly experience, environment, visibility, etc.
Mission <bridge-building and service activities engaging all generations
Fellowship <small groups, relationship-building, family-friendly events
Leader Development <mentoring, multi-generational succession plans
Communications <age-appropriate/targeted to younger constituents
Preschool <increase enrollment, visibility, and linkage with membership
Prescription #4: DEVELOP DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAY
The pastor, in consultation with the coach, will name a Discipleship Team of 5-7 people by March 31, 2019. This team will represent persons of various ages and stages of spiritual maturity within the congregation. They will work to create a systematic pathway for intentional faith development from the cradle to the grave.
- By October 2019, the discipleship pathway will be designed using the Identity-in-Christ Development Model developed by Pastor Leo to guide and equip Five-Star Participants for the transformation of the world. The Five-Star Participants become Worshipers, Servers, Givers, Inviters, and Followers.
- The formation process will
- Provide multiple entry points for a person to become a Five-Star Participant.
- Focus on the faith journey, the lifelong formation, rather than on programs that provide quick fixes. Periodic Bible studies on Jesus’ work with the disciples, his encounter with Nicodemus, or the Ephesians’ growth to maturity may aid in helping people understand the need for lifelong formation.
- Include faith-forming ministries for all ages, including children and youth.
- Incorporate Wesleyan heritage (kings of grace, the means of grace, acts of piety and mercy, the General Rules, for example.)
- Include spiritual practices of faith and means of grace.
- Provide resources at every level in a disciple formation plan to help individuals move form stage to stage, increasing the flow of intentional growth.
- Include periodic assessments for individuals, the church, and the plan itself.
3. By January 2020, the Pathway will be authorized and implementation underway.