Last week I wrote a bit about the church strategy sessions held earlier in the year. Today I am writing about the goals that were proposed as a result of those sessions. I say proposed goals because because they do not become designated goals until the strategy group presents them to the congregation and listens to the congregational feedback. In this step we will be looking to determine what the will of the people of the church is. It is for all of us TOGETHER to discuss and then move ahead with what the majority of the people decide is the correct course. This work cannot succeed unless the majority of the people believe in it and are behind it.
The Bishop’s Committee is still working to define and refine the proposed goals. In August we will present to the congregation our proposed goals in detail with proposed action steps and names of people responsible for accomplishing them. What I am presenting here is just an outline – just an appetizer to get you interested in hearing more.
In choosing these goals, our focus was to build upon what we do well, and also to strengthen our weaknesses so that St. Stephen’s becomes the best that it can be. The proposed goals can be divided into three categories: work that has already begun, primary goals (need to accomplish sooner rather than later) and secondary goals.
Work that is already in process
* Schedule a presentation of the strategy work and resulting proposed goals to congregation AND LISTEN TO THEIR INPUT
* Property improvements – most visible by the congregation at this point in time
* Structure and organize an Outreach Team
* Create a financial sustainability plan
* Increase ASA (Average Sunday Attendance) by 20% from May of 2017 to May of 2018. Our average attendance in May of 2017 was 83, so that means we are reaching for an average of 100 people in church (sum of attendance at both services) every Sunday by May of 2018.
* Have in place a complete Christian formation program for all ages for fall of 2017
* Establish a process of welcome, assimilation and involvement of new people
* Define and communicate membership and membership process for St. Stephen’s
* Deepen the integration of the Nursery School as a ministry of the church
* Examine the staffing structure for our church. The old model of full time rector with support staff is not financially possible at this point in time, so what combination of people and responsibilities will enable us to be successful?
* Improve communication, particularly our web presence
* Examine and communicate the characteristics of a healthy church
This is not an exhaustive list. We certainly named many other worthy goals as we held our discussions. This list is our attempt to be realistic in what we can accomplish, needing to hold some other items for future work.
If you have any questions or comments about these proposed goals, our process in establishing them, or any other aspect of life at St. Stephen’s, please do not hesitate to talk to any member of the Bishop’s Committee. We welcome your feedback and your questions.
Cindy Willis, Bishop’s Warden