Assessing a Congregation’s Strengths
When he arrived at Reformation Lutheran Church in Media in 2013, Pastor Wayne Matthias-Long saw that the congregation had “a lot of energy, a commitment to outreach, to service, to mission.” Watch video, below.
The feasibility study for a capital appeal, however, indicated that the congregation was not ready to move forward. So leaders accepted the Synod’s offer to take a congregational mission assessment through the Forward Together in Faith Campaign.
“The data said that we are a vibrant, active and progressive congregation,” said Reformation council member John Pritchard. In the survey hundreds of members said that they are prepared to go out and do things for their neighbors and companions in Tanzania. “This reaffirmed again that the congregation is driven by mission and gave us the confidence to go ahead with what we’ve now called a mission campaign, “Pritchard said.
“In the assessment we really learned where our strengths were and where the energy of the congregation was,” agreed Pastor Alina Gayeuski.
The Synod’s partnership with Kairos and Associates to provide the mission assessment to a pilot group of congregations as part of the launch of Forward Together in Faith came at the perfect time for Reformation, Pritchard said.
“If we hadn’t gone through the assessment tool, and gotten the feedback that we got, I think our confidence level wouldn’t have been high enough to generate the kind of energy we are getting now,” he said.
“I think this congregation is ready to go from strength to even greater strength, and the assessment has helped us realize: Yes, we can!” Matthias-Long said.
Twenty-three congregations in the Synod participated in the initial rollout of the mission assessment process. The assessment tool has equipped these congregations’ leaders with a good picture of their energy, passion and readiness for change.
A second group of congregations will begin the assessment process in the near future. Funds raised by the Forward Together in Faith campaign will allow all congregations to participate in this process.