At our Leadership Retreat in January, we did lots of important learning and working together. We spent time talking about our Safe Sanctuary Policy and what we can do to keep our children, youth and adults safe; unveiled our new website; talked about our leadership structure; and spent some time talking about our church and settings goals. This last exercise was part of a movement within The United Methodist Church to create more Vital Congregations. While the goal-setting felt forced and somewhat artificial, we had a great conversation about who we are as a church, and I wanted to share some highlights from it…
What do you love about Christ UMC?
- Feels like home
- Diversity of many kinds
- Community service
- Empowered to follow your passions
- Open and honest about our faith and struggles
- Authentic discipleship lived out here
- Wide-range of ministries
- Grounded in the real world
- Active ministries with young people
Why are you active and engaged here?
- Involvement brings life
- This is not a Sunday only church
- Blessings received
- I was asked
- Spiritual nourishment comes from many sources
- Congregational life is moving forward
What do we value and prioritize as a church?
- Doing (not spectating)
- Growth in faith
- Getting new members plugged in
- Family feeling
- Shared Leadership
What do we do well as a church?
- Integrate new folks
- Leadership equality across genders
- Making people feel needed
- Evolving, moving forward
- Open to new things
- Don’t lose sight of the important things
- Self-care and family-care
- Great staff
- Communicate care for others
- “Govern” ourselves well
- Outward (rather than inward) focus
- Discerning God’s will
- Leadership is unpretentious
- “Staying power” with our ministries
What are some areas where we could improve?
- Keeping up with missing members
- New member assimilation
- Content to know who we already know
- Welcoming new folks into our lives
- Older Adult Ministry
- Singles Ministry
- College Ministry
- Sharing our faith (through words)
- Broadening leadership base
Who from our community is missing from our church?
- Non-English speakers
- Other races
- Lower income families
What challenges do we face as a church?
- Size (transition from medium to large)
- Plugging folks in
- Communicating opportunity and accountability
- Christmas Eve
- Moving away from a consumer mentality
Where are we headed?
- Deeper in Christ
- Out into the world in new ways
- Being in real relationship with all people
Our time together was uplifting and encouraging. Christ UMC is a wonderful church, and God is doing amazing things in our midst. But, like with any church, there are ways we can be more effective in our ministry and mission together. Overall, we are a healthy, vibrant, growing, and vital congregation. I hope this sharing will spark new ideas and conversations that lead to new ministry opportunities as we grow together in our knowledge and love of God. What do you love about our church? Where can you help us to make a difference?