A Strategic Discernment Process
Purpose: To answer the question, “What is the difference God is calling us to make in the coming season of the church’s life?” and a plan for how to get there.
How do we know it’s time for our church to do this?
- There is a clear recognition the congregation’s ministry lacks focus.
- It has become hard to name the difference the congregation is making.
- A building project is envisioned and the leaders realize they must answer the question, “Why are we building this?’
- The goals from a previous long range plan were either accomplished or abandoned.
What questions does the process seek to answer?
- What is the true capacity of our congregation to make a difference?
- How do we define our mission field?
- What is the intersection between the congregation’s capacity to make a difference and the mission field’s most urgent need?
- What are the obstacles to focusing our ministry?
What happens in the process?
- For six months, a team of 7-9 (including the pastor) are set apart to ask the guiding questions (above).
- The team reports the substance of their conversations to the congregation after each session together.
- A smaller group is then set aside to name the calling which the team experienced.
- This smaller group writes specific recommendations about how to be faithful to the calling (this lasts 3 months).
- The recommendations are then implemented by the church’s leadership group.
Who should be on the team?
- People who aren’t scared of big ideas, are open-minded and spiritually mature.
- People who are able to tell people what they’re doing and aren’t afraid of risks.
- People who can be playful, imaginative, and who have the trust of the congregation.
- At least one liaison to the leadership group and 2-3 people who have joined the church recently and bring fresh eyes.
What does it cost?
Who do we call if we’re interested?
- John Thornburg (214) 802-0788
- Carol Montgomery (214) 535-8227
For a fuller description of the process, go to Holy Conversations Process.