How are we Tracking with Vision?
On Sunday 17 June, I gave the first of three brief presentations on Vision, Mission and Stewardship. Our Church strategic plan was launched in June 2017.
I shared about a book that he had been reading which described vision as a map. Whether we use an 'old school Melways' or SatNav or Google Maps, the reality is that when going to a new destination we need a map to show us where we are, where we're going and how we will get there.
In turn a good strategic plan asks these questions:
1. Where are we?
2. Where are we going?
3. How will we get there?
4. How much does it cost?
Where are we?
In the 6 and a half years that Heather and I (collectively) have been at St Catharine's we have seen tremendous growth. In the last two years alone our average attendance on Sundays has doubled and that does not even account for the very regular people who attend our meals, community groups and other events.
Therefore where we are is at a crossroads from what is typically known as 'Family Size Church' (up to 40 or so people) to 'Pastoral Size Church' (40-200 people). Like a family in a family-sized Church, the Pastor is like the parent who attends to most of the needs of the community. He or she can do so because the network of relationships is reasonably straightforward. The Pastor is typically the only staff member and the workload is manageable. Once a Church grow to the next size and is in a state of growth), the nature of the Pastor's role needs to evolve. It will be a hindrance to growth if the Pastor tries to be everyone's 'parent', instead he or she now needs to be considering various forms of team ministry to respond to the growing need and so a church requires some sort of a system of smaller groups with their own leaders if it is to meet the growing need.
Where are we going?
Our Strategic Plan made the following statement (separate from it's measurable goals):
In June 2017 we launched our five year strategic plan. 13 goals deriving from our four values. Where will God take us over these five years? By His grace, we hope to have: - Solid Foundations, - Godly Leaders, - Good Stewards, and - 200+ People strong
In affect, by the end of the five years, we would like to be at the next major Church transition size.
How will we get there?
You can read for yourself the Strategic Plan Document before or the visual snapshot provided. However this is the core work that I have been engaged in this year:
Throughout the Church each month, Leadership Groups, Staff and Community Groups are meeting together to be praying about the direction the Holy Spirit wishes to move our Church in. Ultimately this is Jesus' Church that all of us have the privilege of serving in. We want to be attentive to the His direction and His leading.
Leadership has been a major focus for me as the leader of the community and much work has been done in the first part of this year to sow into leadership.
In the area of staffing we have employed a Worship Pastor, Jo, and have recently received a grant to also employ a Children's Pastor. I will take my time in appointing this role because I believe it to be so central and would anticipate it growing and developing in the coming years.
There has also been an increase in volunteer involvement predominantly in our kids ministry. However I am now exploring ways that we could staff some of our administration with volunteers who could benefit from some work experience. Check out our positions vacant page for details.
Our two Leadership Huddles have been a particular highlight. As I identify new leaders within the Church, I invite them to be involved in a Leadership Huddle. This is a place where we eat together, pray an worship together, theologically reflect on issues pertinent to our leadership and look at vision together. Our original huddle took a long break during the vision process but has recently commenced meeting again (5 people) and our new huddle meets fortnightly in my home and comprises many of our younger / newer leaders (12 people). Considering that a major issue raised during our vision casting process was a gap in leadership, this is a very exciting outcome.
Last year we launched a new Internship Program that saw Anna and Jonno Weir begin as Interns to the YMS ministry. I am about to appoint a new Intern to the Kid's Menu ministry later this month.
I mentioned earlier that in larger Churches you need smaller groups where people can pray together, read the bible together, care for one another and have the intimacy of community in a smaller context. At the beginning of this year our Community Groups where in a state of flux (which is an expected trend) and so some work was done to invite more leaders and get this back on track. Nic Wong responded to this call to become the leader of the Meals Community Group as well as the Saturday Night Meals Coordinator. Theo, Ella and Charlotte have also become Community Group leaders in addition to Anna and Jonno. There are now four groups meeting regularly, you can find out more here.
The St Cath's community has some great ministries that it is involved in not least of which is the Kid's Menu, YMS, Concerts & Worship, Meals and more. Ensuring that all of these have capable leadership and are firing well has been an important work also this year. Jeff and Noel are working on a new concerts series with one booked in October and another one to be announced soon in August (God-willing) and Kid's Menu will hopefully have a new appointment soon too.
We area a Church that has property and as such there is the constant need to transform our almost 100 year-old facilities into safe, contemporary, functional space for ministries to work effectively. Much of this falls to me to dream about and then, with the wardens, budget for and so forth. Much has happened and much still needs to happen. But this is an important area that needs constant attention. Watch this space.
How much will it cost?
This is a question that we will look at in more detail over the next two Sundays. The simple answer is that we need to keep making budget and to be bold (as well as wise stewards) in setting that budget in the first place. This year we are about $12k ahead in our live giving which is AWESOME! However some of our anticipated income streams have not delivered as expected and so we still have some challenges.