On Sunday, April 3, 2016, six of us gathered to discuss our ministry Dream Team at Whatcoat. The week after Easter caught many of us by surprise, and several of our members were out of town on retreats or vacations. Those who did show up to meet with Pastor Bo were Tom and Margaret Cahall, Jane Griesa, Becky Caswell-Wade, and Doyle Tiller. Our smaller numbers allowed us more time to talk individually about the ways in which each of us had moved from being an observer to an active participant in church.
We centered our conversation around this important issue because of Malphurs’ invitation to consider the congregation members – all of them – as a vital part of the dream team, in addition to staff and lay leaders. Each of us shared the story of how we had moved from passive observer to active participant. As we shared these stories, we identified the following general ideas:
- an invitation (personal and practical)
- gradual progression from less to more authority
- adequate training
- encouragement to pursue a journey – like our faith journey (part of change)
- removing barriers to participation (recognize that not everyone is an extrovert)
We also reviewed the matrix that Malphurs had introduced to evaluate ministry in the church – based on whether each ministry accomplishes the five overall functions of ministry: Evangelism, Discipleship, Fellowship, Worship, and Service. At the end of the meeting, we discussed the possibility of shifting the 8:30 worship service to 9:30 (and offering children’s Sunday School at 9:30, following a children’s time at the beginning of the service).
This was a shorter meeting, because of our attendance. We also reviewed the Congregational Budget Self Test completed by our Finance Committee on March 16, 2016. According to that report, the recommendations were:
- Increase our budget for ministry to the surrounding community (our neighbors – outside the church)
- Align our budget for full clergy support (presently, we do not pay health care, $14,000 annually)
The following week, Pastor Bo completed a tour of Camden, listing the 13 Camden Area Churches in addition to Whatcoat.