MISSION PLAN OF NORTH HILL CHRISTIAN CHURCH
The Steering Committee (Subsequently referred to as the Committee) , which represents North Hill Christian Church, was set up for the purpose of: 1) discerning in an open, honest and deliberate way the issues and concerns of the congregation (past and present) and to help guide the way forward so that North Hill will continue to be a vital and effective congregation, 2) review, confirm, refine (where necessary) the work that has been done in the process of Journey of Discovery including Our Guiding Vision, Our Role and Mission, and Our Focus Areas and Goals, 3) officially bring to a close our Journey of Discovery by recommending to the Board and Congregation a Ministry Plan. This Ministry Plan, which includes a vision statement, a mission statement and our focus and goals for the future will also be shared with the Search Committee.
The Committee was to represent a cross section of the congregation leadership, points of view, and be representative of the different areas of concern of the congregation. It was also important that the members of the committee had the trust and confidence of the congregation. Dan Stewart, Moderator, Jane Burkett, Vice Moderator and Interim Pastor Dick Talley met to discuss the makeup of the committee.
The Committee is made-up of Jane Burkett, Michele Fleck, Bob Hooker, Debbie Jennison, Jerry Klein, Dan Stewart, Janie Selley, Sandy Stone, and Interim Minister Dick Talley. It was agreed that the Committee would last from 6-8 months with regular reporting given to the Board and Congregation. The first meeting of the Steering Committee was held on May 16, 2011 and the last was scheduled for January 24, 2012.
The first item of business for the Committee was to have an understanding (of) what their task was and how it was to be accomplished. It was important that all members of the committee understood their task and work together as one. Pastor Talley led the committee in several community building exercises, and then shared the Life Cycle Theory of a congregation. All members of the Committee recognized that the North Hill Congregation must "do something" to revitalize or the congregation would not be in existence in the future.
The Committee spent a great deal of time discussing the future of North Hill. It was agreed by all members that the congregation must continue on and they are committed to do so. There was also complete agreement that as the North Hill Congregation continues on, there must be development of programs of ministry which will serve the North Hill Community. The Committee understands that this will take a great deal of hard work and commitment by all members of the congregation. They also understand that without this commitment the future of the congregation will be in doubt.
The next major step for the Committee was to review the Journey of Discovery and the Ministry Plan that was presented to the congregation in January of 2011. The goal of the Journey was to seek God's guidance, direction and an understanding of what God was calling the North Hill Congregation to be in the next five to ten years. The Journey of Discovery was disrupted with the change in Pastoral leadership and the Ministry plan was not completed until late in 2010.
The Committee recognized the great deal of hard work along with much prayer, struggle and discernment that went into the Journey. All who worked on the Journey should be commended and thanked. The Committee re-affirms the work of the many different individuals who gave leadership to the Journey.
Growing out of the Journey of Discovery was a Ministry Plan with three major areas: 1) The Guiding Vision Statement of North Hill Christian Church, 2) The Role and Mission Statement of North Hill Christian Church, and 3) The Focus Areas and Goals of North Hill Christian Church. The Committee reviewed and discussed the Vision and the Mission Statement and affirms both of them.
The Committee then moved on to the Focus Areas and Goals. The Journey of Discovery Ministry Plan outlined five areas that the congregation needed to focus on and in which to place their time and effort. These five areas are: 1) Worship; 2) Open/Welcoming; 3) Spiritual Growth; 4) Service; and 5) Witness. As the Committee began to review each of these focus areas and goals it began to wonder if they were relevant to the congregation's current situation. The committee confirmed that the Focus Areas are high priorities for the church. The committee also recommends that these Focus Areas should be confirmed by the Board and Congregation. The committee also recommends that the Search Committee forward these Focus Areas to all prospective candidates for the senior minister position.
The Steering Committee was divided into the five Focus Areas and were given the task of reviewing the goals in the Ministry Plan. Using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) Goal Setting process each small group was to define the Focus Area and create goals that reflect the feeling of the congregation. The committee was divided in the following ways, 1) Worship-Debbie and Janie; 2) Open/Welcoming-Michele, Sandy, and Jane; 3) Spiritual Growth-Debbie, Dan and Jane; 4) Service-Bob and Jerry; 5) Witness-Janie and Sandy.
The Committee submits the following Focus Areas and Goals for the Board and Congregation to consider as we move forward in ministry. These Focus Areas and Goals are to be considered by the Search Committee as they do their work searching for the new senior minister.
Worship: The Chalice Worship Book describes worship as, "Public worship is a gift of God's grace to the church. It is the means by which God's people join together to glorify God through adoration and praise. In return, God pours out the richness of bounteous grace to strengthen and nurture those who worship. Worship is a time of close communion of believers with Christ and is central to all of church life." The Steering Committee defines Worship "as an experience where people can find God through awareness of their spiritual gifts and through opportunities to participate in creative ways." The Committee affirms our current Service of Worship as effective, fulfilling, and meaningful. In order to enhance the worship experience at North Hill Christian Church, the following goals are presented to the congregation for consideration:
1) Beginning on April 29, 2012 and in each successive quarter an alternative worship experience will be offered to the congregation.
2) At least once a month beginning February 26, 2012 two songs from the Chalice Praise Hymnal will be used in worship and accompanied by the piano and other instruments.
3) At least once a year beginning no later than August 26th, 2012, worship will be held at an outdoor location such as the east lawn, Franklin Park, Zephyr Christian Conference Center, or other fitting location, so that people of North Hill can experience God's creation in worship.
4) A Worship Planning Committee is to be established by March 15, 2012 to assist the Pastor in planning worship events as suggested above and for those special seasonal events such as Lent/Easter, Advent/Christmas and other special events. The Worship Planning Committee will have as members a representative of the elders, congregational life department and the diaconate. The Worship Planning Committee will meet at least 4 times per year with the pastor.
Open/Welcoming: You can never take back a first impression, and when a visitor walks through our door for the first time it is essential that each of us makes that first impression a positive one. Going hand in hand with open/welcoming is church growth and evangelism. These are paramount to the life of the church. It is our responsibility as God's people to bring others into our fellowship and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our commitment as a congregation to create a place where people of all ages and backgrounds feel safe (non-threatened), welcomed, and cared for. In order to achieve an open and welcoming church the Steering Committee presents the following goals:
1) We will eliminate as many physical barriers as possible by reviewing the handicap accessibility of our building and improve the interior signage including maps of the building and grounds at all entrances by July 1, 2012
2) The TV Monitor on the chancel will be located in a place which will make it more visible by July 1, 2012
3) A task force will be created to develop, maintain, and implement programs of Hospitality/Greeting by Rally Day, 2012.
4) In order to continue to be supportive and care for each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually, members of the Care Team, Elders, Diaconate, and Prayer Team will review their responsibilities and duties and re-commit to fulfill their designated responsibilities by July 1, 2012.
5) A task force will be created to review development and implement a Church Growth/Evangelism Program of Ministry by Rally Day, 2012.
Spiritual Growth: In the Mission Statement, it is stated that we are a people responding to God's call, building whole community, reflecting Christ through our actions, and living into the reign of God. In our desire to grow closer to God, to live a more Christ-like life and to foster a church environment where all people can develop a closer, more meaningful relationship with God and each other, it is imperative that we understand our own gifts and how these gifts can be developed and used for the ministry of the Church. So that we, as a Christian Community, can grow spiritually and reach out to others the Committee recommends the following goals:
1) So that we can identify the SPIRITUAL GIFTS of our congregation, we will develop an instrument and survey our membership with an Inventory of Spiritual Gifts, to be completed by May 1, 2012.
2) So that we can identify the SPIRITUAL NEEDS of our congregation, we develop an instrument and survey our membership with an Inventory of Spiritual Needs, to be completed by May 1, 2012, and identify three areas of needs for Spiritual Growth.
3) After receiving both the Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Needs surveys we match the gifts of the individuals with areas of needs and develop ministries to meet these needs by Rally Day, 2012.
4) Plan, implement, and evaluate a yearly Spiritual Growth Retreat with the first one to be completed within three months of the arrival of the new pastor.
Service: Throughout the years North Hill Christian Church has been one of the outstanding churches in our denomination in sharing its resources both through Disciples Mission Fund, Special Offerings, and local outreach. Some of the examples of local outreach is participation in Meals on Wheels, Family Promise of Spokane, support of Willard School, Crop Hunger Walk, and the Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets. These plus other outreach activities and the use of our building by the community was supported and encouraged by the Committee. Service is our action that answers God's call to serve human needs within our community and the world. As the North Hill community reaches out in service, these goals are recommended by the Committee:
1) To continue to provide baskets and gifts to needy neighborhood and church families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2) To continue and increase our support of Disciples Mission Fund and Special Offerings and to actively promote the involvement of congregational participants in the life and work of the Northwest Region.
3) To develop an in-house contact person to provide information about neighborhood and city-wide programs that serves the NH neighborhood and congregation by September 1, 2012.
4) To explore the needs and develop, if possible, an after-school program working with Willard Elementary School and other neighborhood elementary students by September 2013.
5) North Hill Christian Church will sponsor a Community Concert (Choirs, Guest Musicians, or other entertainment programs) at least two times a year to be held at North Hill and open to the Community and Neighborhood. Schedule to be established by September 1, 2012.
Witness: Witnessing is relating God's love through our words and actions as we are visible and active in our congregation and greater community. It is our desire as the North Hill Christian Church Congregation to build our community in witness to the community so as to be faithful to the commandment to go into all the world and make disciples. We commit ourselves to witnessing and spiritual and numerical growth. In order that we may be faithful to our call as servants of Christ, the Committee recommends the following Goals:
1) As we become more visible in the community and so that we will be identifiable in the greater community, NHCC will provide identification tags (and possibly matching T-Shirts/Hats) by July 31, 2012 to all participants who volunteer and represent NHCC at such events as VBS, Garland Street Fair, Willard Easter Egg Hunt, in order for the community at large to know we are from NHCC.
2) In order to be a more vital congregation and to share our message of hope in God's reign with those in our congregation our Average Worship Attendance will increase to 60 by July 1, 2012; 65 by December 31, 2012, and 70 by July 1, 2013.
3) In order that we share our message of hope in God's Reign with those outside our congregation and to expand our visibility, we will participate in community service activities and events. (See #1)
4) To assist in making known the community volunteer and participation opportunities, NHCC will establish a display which will contain pamphlets and brochures with information on community activities and actively promote these in worship and in the newsletter by June 1, 2012.
Two other recommendations that the Committee recommended to the Board have already been done. Those are to create a Stewardship/Finance/Budget Committee to review and make recommendations on how our budgeting, bookkeeping, and reporting are done. This committee will also monitor the budget income and expenses. This task is to be completed by the May 2012 Board meeting. The second recommendation is to create a Property and Building Use Committee to review the property and building use and consider how our building can best be used as a tool for mission and ministry. This will be a one-year process with a report to the board by the January 2013 Board meeting.