A new beginning on church renewal
While it may seem odd, fall always seems like a time for new beginning for me. When I see the leaves fall, I see an ending of the old and a the start of wiping the slate clean. Winter comes and creates a blank white canvas for spring to erupt and birth something new. Fall is when the seeds fall that allows spring to be born.
As thing slow down at work for me (I still work at Dassault Systemes for my day job), it gives me a chance to catch my breath, think a bit about the past year (or years sometime) and think about the future. What is most important and what is the direction I want to head in the coming year? How can I renew my energy for the next year.
Why did flock:ology go silent?
I have been writing for for United Methodist Communications MyComm newsletter for over 2 years. II really enjoyed it and it allowed me to reach a broader audience than this blog. Flock:ology suffered but I think it served God’s greater good.
I’ll try to post a recap article of all my posts about church marketing, communication and strategy a little later next week (or check out my LinkedIn profile and look at the “publication section” but I have the check if it up to date.) It was a joy to see many of the articles recapped in the new UMCOM eBook called “Reaching In, Reaching Out: A Guide on Church Communications.”
In between a crazy work schedule and working with UMCOM, it left little time for me to write on my own blog. I missed the unfettered freedom of writing my own thoughts, but it worked!
A busy 2015 at my local church…
The other aspect of my life that has been keeping me busy is our church is currently working through West Ohio United Methodist Church Conference’s Missional Church Consultation Initiative (MCCI) process led by Sue Nelson Kibbey and Joe Bishman. Here is a brief overview of the process from their website:
First launched in 2010, the West Ohio Missional Church Consultation Initiative (MCCI) resources churches and their pastors with an intensive consultation and clergy coaching model designed to intervene in local churches that are currently plateaued, are in decline, or are on the way “up” but not sure what should come next — and have the pastoral leadership and potential resources to jumpstart a new life cycle of ministry fruitfulness.
The MCCI process helps helps churches understand their past and their present in order to be able to move forward. It includes looking at all aspects of the church from its history and staff, to its programs and performance. While many groan when it comes to doing financial analysis and problem identification, I am a sicko because I like it. We had a great consultation process and the church is sprinting towards a new future of growth.
The interesting thing about the process was this: People want their churches to change, but they just don’t know how. They need to be willing to take an honest look at themselves, given a step by step process on what to do, and encouragement through the process.
In other words, many of the things I have written about in the blog but in a more structured way.
So, this got my thinking. How can I leverage the First Church experience (otherwise known as the First United Methodist Church of Wapakoneta) to create a guide to for churches to look at what they are doing, where they are currently going, and then make changes to better serve God and their local communities?
So, what does this mean?
A new focus on church renewal!
You will start to see me updating much of the blog to reflect this process. The goal will be to help create a guide of churches going through the MCCI process in West Ohio as well as the other churches Joe and Sue consult at, but it can be useful to you too. (We will just let them know when we have enough meat the share, so shhhh…don’t tell them yet.) That way, people interested in bringing change to their church can have help thinking through the process and learning some of our tips and tricks along the way.
I’ll also try to bring in the perspectives of others either working the MCCI process or experiencing it (like my wife who is the Senior Pastor at First Church) to provide their thoughts as well as the work I have done with United Methodist Communications.
MCCI is just a process to examine our churches in an open and honest way. You do not need to be part of that specific process to do the same thing to drive your own church renewal!
The goal is simple: How do we make our churches better avenues for God’s grace to reach the world?
Do you want to join along and be part of the conversation? Subscribe to the blog, make a relevant comment (mean ones will be deleted) and join the conversation.