Archive for June, 2007

Just Treading Water, part 4

June 7, 2007

Leaders who aren’t satisfied with “maintenance only” frequently ask, “What next? What more?” Once a project has been finished, leaders take time to celebrate what has been accomplished. Then they begin to ask themselves what else needs to be tackled.

Here are some examples. A church’s Membership Committee had been offering a one-session introduction for newcomers. After asking themselves what else might be helpful to newcomers, they expanded their introduction to three sessions, which provided time for the new people to tell the group about the paths that had led them to the church; invited some of the committee chairs to give short overviews of the work they were involved in; and explained the finances of the church, letting the new people know that as new members, they would be invited to pledge.

Another congregation strengthened their religious education program for middle school children. After some time in discernment about “what next,” the Director of Religious Growth and Learning proposed a Coming of Age program for fourteen year olds, which engaged a new group of volunteer teachers, mentors, and parents.

A third congregation had grown their culture of stewardship, and the annual canvass succeeded in raising more money each year. Not content to be concerned only with the short run, the Finance Committee decided to explore creating an endowment fund, to encourage planned gifts to add stability and strength for the congregation into the future.

If you have examples of how your congregation has move forward on something new as a result of asking, “What else? What next?” please add to this list of ideas by commenting below.