Listening Session with Bishop Paul Erickson

  1. 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’.)


  1. 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?


  1. What gives you HOPE?


–          Core members

–          Staff

–          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?


  1. What is God inviting us to PAY ATTENTION TO?


–          Personal faith

–          Internal stuff

–          Worship

–          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?


  1. How can we WORK TOGETHER?


–          Respectful

–          Communication

–          Dialogue

–          Honesty



–          How to get new people involved?

–          How do we get everyone to live all these things?

–          How compromise and still get along?