- For what are you GRATEFUL?
NOTICE- (After hearing what the small groups shared, what did you hear? What do you notice?)
– building, history, friends, music, children, staff, welcoming, volunteers, outreach
WONDER- (After hearing what the small groups shared, what do you wonder?)
– How do we tie it all together?
– Why our membership is declining if so much good stuff?
– Wondering why more people are not here that are leaders of the church? If it’s in decline now, who are engaged in leadership (most people here are long term members)?
– How would the conversation be different with different folks in room?
– What would those who visit say?
(Bishop Erickson: Wonder how these things compare to other congregations of your size and context? Sometimes we think that we are so unique.)
– Wonder if there is something that stood out to you (Bishop Erickson) that we said?
(Bishop Erickson: I noticed lots of involvement, busyness and activity. Not as much family language. Some places are places of ‘being’, and some are places of ‘doing’.)
- Of what are you AFRAID?
– Membership named several times, too long of a process, finances, transparency, communication, attracting new members, losing members, keeping members, staffing, losing staff, staff burn out, concern for the staff, sermons, faith
– How keep the faith nurtured and outreach going when in a time of transition?
– Why does the transition need to take so long?
– How church leadership will help us with the communication?
– Where will we be a year from now?
– How we compare to other churches that have gone through transition time wise, does it go faster or slower for them, how do we compare to them?
(Bishop Erickson – There is no perfect congregation.)
– If anyone will want to be our pastor? Are we attractive to pastors?
– Wonder why we are so impatient? Seems like I feel it taking long, and why am I so impatient, and I feel a lot of us are impatient?
- What gives you HOPE?
– Core members
– Turn out at these meetings
– Young families and success of various programs
– Are those people going to burn out… the core members?
– What our youth and young people want from our church?
– How to accentuate the positives more than the negatives?
(Bishop Erickson – I notice that the list of what you are afraid is much longer than the list of things that give you hope.)
– Do we need to spend more time in prayer about the transition process?
– Are we being as faithful as we should be?
– Is there a healthy balance between having hope and balancing that with the fears that we have? Where do we meet that in the middle?
- What is God inviting us to PAY ATTENTION TO?
– Personal faith
– Internal stuff
– How worship feeds faith
– Community, outside the walls, outside selves
– Diversity of the membership, different groups within the community
– If we focus outside the four walls does it help or hurt during the transition?
– Are we really listening to God’s call for us?
- How can we WORK TOGETHER?
– How to get new people involved?
– How do we get everyone to live all these things?
– How compromise and still get along?