man_journaling.jpg[dc]T[/dc]he work has “officially” begun. This past Sunday (27 January 2013) the church held a quick, informative and productive business meeting, during which I presented a brief overview¬† of the transition process. I touched on the seven stages of a transition and fielded a couple of questions.

I re-learned an important lesson: keep your PowerPoint slides simple! One person asked me about a few details and an acronyms on a slide, things I did not talk about. I should have known better!

But it was an easy recovery. I simply apologized for including those details. I also indicated that I would be bringing briefly monthly reports to the congregation; those details would emerge over the course of time.

I am noticing an interesting trend already. This past Sunday we had three new visiting couples and several who visited the Sunday before returned. In fact, one of the return visitors brought a new couple with them.

The location, the attractive facilities, the musical excellence and the warmth of this congregation tell me it is set to increase rapidly through transfer growth. This poses some immediate challenges to address:

  • The Children’s ministry will be a major focus for the church’s leaders and the congregation. As Bill Easum notes in Ministry in Hard Times, the children’s ministry is crucial to growth.
  • This means that resources and people – particularly people! – will be directed to help the valiant crew that already staffs the Children’s ministry. They are doing a fine job but it’s time to scale up now, before the flood sweeps them away.
  • An assimilation system needs to be designed and implemented immediately. The church needs a process to shepherd folks from their first visit through to full engagement in the life and ministry of the church.
  • We will be creative! The budget is stretched, so it’s not likely the church will be able to afford a software solution for the assimilation needs.

I’ve started a review of the church records. They only go back about five years; the first five years are either undocumented or they’ve been lost in the shuffle. I’ve also scheduled one-on-one interviews to begin that part of the assessment. Give the number of interviews that I’ll need to do – close to 100 – it’ll be interesting to see what solutions to transcription come up. I’m going to record the interviews (with promise of anonymity) and find someone to transcribe them so I can compile them.

Next up: sermon prep for this coming Sunday!

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