Okay, so here goes. These are just my random thoughts about what we’re doing and how we’re doing around 6 marks of discipleship
Reading the Bible – We provide weekly Bible readings in the bulletin and on the website every week. Our Care Groups discuss “classic Bible stories”. The Bible is read aloud in worship and is the centre of preaching. The elders have committed to reading and discussing books of the Bible together – right now we are reading Acts. Children’s Ministry is always based on a Bible story.
In the fall we are thinking about adding a minister-led Bible Study.
I think we are doing fairly well here.
Prayer – Prayer happens in our worship services (and now beforehand with worship leadership), meetings, care groups. We asked people to pray for people as we delivered flyers and people reported that they did it and they found it meaningful. We take prayer requests on our new response cards. We have a number of new ideas around prayer that came up at a workshop we attended, so growth in this area is happening and on its way.
Worship – Lately worship planning has not really worked. Up until about a month ago we were having weekly worship planning meetings (usually), which worked okay. I need to do some thinking about how worship planning and leadership can work better. The summertime is difficult to get people together for planning meetings, so that’s part of it. All that being said, worship is happening and the people seem to be responding well to what is happening in worship. I would like to see some better “response” for people to engage in each service. Music is good in the service, but could be better. A big part of this is that we have awesome musicians and a great leader, but we aren’t paying that leader. If we started paying our music director, we would get these results: 1) our director could devote more time, 2) our director would be thinking more about how to take the music ministry to the next level, 3) we could have greater expectations of what the director is to do.
Community – There are a couple of big things for this one. I think community is being built in our Care Groups, but I have been very lax in communicating with and supporting the leaders of the two groups. We have also done very little to help people who are not in a care group get into one, or make sure they are in some form of Christian community. We have not done a very good job of helping people discover their gifts and put them to use. Those who are connected in community find it to be a blessing and think it is going well, but this is a huge area of growth for us. Community is also forming in ministry areas (eg. those who play in the band together build community on Sunday mornings running through the songs, Children’s Ministry leaders are building community with each other) – but these are people who are already involved. We did just start a follow-up team so that when someone brand new comes they will receive a note or phone call from someone in the church . This is a good first step in building community
Service – We have a Mission/Justice team who have met a number of times. They have great hearts and are very excited about justice issues, but it has been difficult to be focussed, and to actually bring the issues to the congregation. Basically, we need to make this area way more central, and I need to devote way more support to this area to make sure stuff is happening. This is huge.
Giving – We aren’t doing much talking about financial giving, but we will talk more about it as the months roll on, I think. The way this is on the radar is that as a church we are continuing to give 10% of our general offerings to mission projects. This is a good thing.
Well, after looking at my mini-evaluation, we need to do the following:
1) better support for leadership in all areas (including paying a music director as a start – other paid staff may need to be added later)
2) make Mission/Justice more central and visible
3) renew our commitment to helping people discern their gifts and figure out the best way to do that
4) help new people find actual relational community.