I want to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to attend one of the three Family Gatherings we held last weekend. It was good to interact together and some very good questions were asked. We intend to hold these Family Gatherings on a regular basis — probably every 6-8 weeks. My intention is that we will be very clear, forthright, and transparent through our grace disguised revitalization season.
As you may remember there were cards passed out at each Family Gathering where you could ask questions that did not get addressed during the get-together. I have three cards with four questions that I will respond to here. (If you turned in a question that is not responded to here it means it was accidentally misplaced. Please contact Annie Chase if that is the case.)
Q-1 Is there any shepherding happening, a coming alongside, with Chris Canon?
A-1 Yes, there has been. One member of the Pastoral Council has met with Chris quite regularly and other members of the Council have met with him as well. Chris has also been meeting with a long-time mentor and friend on a fairly regular basis. And just an FYI, Chris and I have connected electronically and we are working on a time to visit in person.
Q-2 Would a chart, to show the Chain of Command, be helpful?
A-2 Yes. Typically that is called an Organizational (or Org) Chart. (But since the phrase “Chain of Command” was used, I will tell you that I prefer “Chain of Care.”) With the George Family moving to Iowa the responsibilities of several staff members will be adjusted so we are working on updated role descriptions that will affect an Org Chart. And things are a bit fluid right now with the active involvement of the Pastoral Council. As I mentioned at (at least two of) the Family Gatherings I am meeting regularly with the Pastoral Council, the Staff, and the Elders (who remain the legal board of KHC) for prayer, communication, and input.
Q-3 We have the greatest staff but I feel they have more than they can handle. Can we ask the congregation to come alongside to volunteer?
A-3 YES!! If you have an hour or more a week to volunteer we would love to put you to work at our campus. We are still setting-up our office space, so we can use organizers, receptionists, construction types (including carpenters, plumbers, painters, and electricians) food-prep people, set-up and tear-down people, interior design, etc. Please contact the office if you have some time (email@example.com). Also, one of the MOST important things you can do is get involved in one of our many Life Groups or Bible Studies. We are on this journey together and we need a place where we can talk, pray, serve, and do life together.
Q-4 I also would like the congregation to know the needs for finances more.
A-4 Thanks for asking. We will be presenting a clear financial update at our weekend services in the next few weeks. We are also determining the best way to keep the KHC Family consistently updated. My preference is have a financial update in the bulletin weekly. I haven’t wanted to come in and impose that, but we are talking about it. I can tell you that our finances have stabilized since the beginning of the year and that we have a strong reserve account. More to come…
Finally, we had a chance to talk a bit about our diagnostic options at each of the Family Gatherings so I wanted to publish an overview of the options here.
Intro — Conducting a diagnostic survey can be a major intervention into the life of a congregation. It endeavors to provide an accurate understanding of the current situation. It is a reality check for the leadership and members. If done well, it removes the misconceptions and denial that prevents a clear understanding of the present ministry situation and issues that hinder ministry effectiveness. Thus, for the congregation, it requires courage and a willingness to see and embrace the revealed reality.
A diagnostic survey also serves church leaders by providing information by which they can make better-informed decisions. The survey provides a framework for inquiry so that ongoing organizational learning can take place that will lead to true pro-activeness in ministry. It reveals blind spots in the perception of the current situation. It helps leaders to understand that the source of many problems and hindrances to effective ministry do not originate “out there” somewhere beyond their control, but rather are often the result of their own decisions, or the lack thereof.
Finally, the first step in thinking strategically about the future is a clear understanding of the present. Without an accurate picture of the current situation, plans to move toward a future vision will be hindered. Confidence in leadership decisions about the future increases when supported by relevant data.
Three Tiers Of Survey Options
Currently three tiers of congregational diagnostics are offered. The objective of each tier is to provide a list of current strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). A list of 2-5 core issues are generated and each core issue will be addressed with 2-5 specific recommendations for implementation.
Tiers 2 and 3 can be tailored to fit the unique needs and culture of a local congregation, and Tier 3’s include verbatims in the form of a PAA Analysis (asking congregants what they want to Preserve, Avoid, & Achieve?) plus onsite interviews. Churches often supplement a diagnostic a community demographic report like The Percept Group, which is offered at various mileage points from the church’s location.
- Tier 1 is a basic internal demographic and ethnographic collection of data. This tier measures the basics, including, but not limited to: gender, age, ethnicity, relationship status, children, education levels, household incomes, occupations, financial stewardship, years Christian, church mobilization, commitment to mission and evangelism, conversion rate, basic doctrines, emotional health, feelings of acceptance and belonging, leadership trust and training, tenure analysis, etc.
- Tier 2 measures of the basics (see above), plus congregants rating of current ministries, and includes a set of questions intended to gather congregational input for a specific area (e.g., recent Tier 2’s have included questions related to preferences for a pastoral search, to identify areas of conflict, to measure a church’s missional capacity and preparedness, and to measure the quality of congregants personal devotional lives) There are value added packages available with the Tier 2 diagnostic which may include on-site consultation from a CRM staff person, which are negotiated individually.
- Tier 3 is what has been labeled a full ministry audit and includes all of the above plus an onsite weekend and initial oral report followed by the written report within 4-6 weeks. The cost is sliding scale – depending on church size, budget, and assets.
The reports utilize appreciative inquiry in the diagnoses and reports, encouraging churches to understand and mobilize their strengths and opportunities to address their weaknesses and threats. The reports are quite thorough with executive summaries between 15-30 pages in length, followed by graphs and charts with detailed analysis.
If you have further questions or input regarding our diagnostic options please feel free to use a connection card in anyone of our four weekend services. Or, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.