By Lyle E. Schaller
Church buildings do not take a seat nonetheless; they're both making plans for the longer term or wishing for the previous. but, even if atmosphere approximately to figure the long run into which the Spirit is top, how does a congregation map its means? How does it comprehend its strengths and weaknesses, possibilities and boundaries, presents and graces? In forty four Questions for Congregational Self-Appraisal, Lyle E. Schaller directs the reader to the the most important questions a church needs to ask itself whether it is to appreciate its challenge and the direction it needs to chart so that it will in achieving that challenge. He is helping pastors, congregational leaders, and strategic making plans teams keep in mind that the questions we ask and the information we assemble are likely to set our priorities, and as a result it is important to hunt the proper details from the outset. Schaller exhibits church leaders how to not turn into trapped via "means to an finish" questions (real property, staffing, cash, and schedules) and concentration as an alternative on questions relating to the congregation's unique undertaking (identity, objective, position, and God's name) and message.
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Additional resources for 44 Questions for Congregational Self-Appraisal
The third records the number of new members joining during the past two years from each of several zip code areas. These tables can be compared with a similar set of tables prepared ten years earlier. How has the distribution pattern changed? I. What Is the Age Distribution of Our Members? Does the age mix of our membership reflect the age distribution of the population? A common pattern is that in congregations founded within the past two decades, the median age for the members will be lower than for the general population in that community.
Third, and most important, does it suggest this congregation has lost its capability to attract, welcome, and assimilate new members? D. What Is the Frequency of Worship Attendance? "Our church attendance has dropped by nearly a third in the past two years," commented a member of First Church, "and I don't understand it. " "We've had just the opposite experience," replied a member from Trinity Church. "We've enjoyed a 10 percent increase in our worship attendance every year since our new minister came four years ago, but our confirmed membership total is down about 200.
Openly and unreservedly welcoming gays and lesbians into full membership" or ". . relying entirely on lay volunteers, rather than paid ministers, to preach and lead worship every Sunday" or ". . specializing in ministry with couples in interfaith marriages" or ". . its off-campus ministries" or ". . being the number one choice for students in the local college or university" or ". . having ten to fifteen worshipers in wheelchairs every Sunday" or ". . operating a soup kitchen seven days a week" or ".