Pastor Tim Mitchell

September 1, 2021
 

Greetings in the wonderful name of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

 

Welcoming St. Anne School

            Things are certainly buzzing around the church. St. Anne School has started and I think our building likes hearing all the noise and seeing all that activity that comes with the school. It seems brighter and more alive than I remember. What a wonderful way to move through the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please add St. Anne School and church to your prayers as they continue to work toward repairing their building.

Finalizing Crossroads Survey

I want to thank everyone who participated in any way with the Crossroads Survey. We had good participation and discussion. In a capsule we found out that we are a theologically diverse congregation that leans more toward traditional Methodist theology. We know that because of the COVID-19 pandemic the fate and future of our denomination has been pushed back at least a couple more years. We like each other and hopefully we can find a way to stay together. Not only do we want to stay together we want to be a vital lighthouse for the Good News of Jesus Christ in Dixon and our surrounding area. This means that it is essential for us to continue moving forward with our visioning process.

Introducing CAT Survey

The next step in our visioning process is participating in the Church Assessment Tool (CAT) survey. You may remember the CAT survey. The congregation was just completing the CAT survey when I started my ministry with you in 2015. The CAT survey is an integral part of our visioning process. It is the second step in the process and is a more complete and robust survey than the Crossroads survey.

The first step was implementing Breakthrough Prayer. We have been praying for God’s vision to be birthed in the hearts and souls of our congregation. Now the next step, the CAT will help reveal more clearly how the Holy Spirit has been percolating in our congregation.

The CAT is a customizable assessment instrument that can help our leadership:

  • Measure the level of satisfaction and energy in the congregation.
  • Identify the critical success factors for improving our organizational climate.
  • Pinpoint the strengths of our congregation’s culture.
  • Discover where members would like to go in the future. (This will be influenced through the 202 Breakthrough prayer we have been praying since February 2020.)
  • Gauge readiness for change.
  • Uncover potential resources we may be missing.

 

From the results of the CAT we will develop a much deeper understanding of the DNA of our church. Once we have participated in the new CAT we can compare it to our 2015 CAT to see the influences of the changes we implanted after the 2015 CAT. The results of the CAT will help us to answer two critical questions when we move to the final phase of the vision process where we will find God’s Beyond the Horizon Vison for our congregation for the next 10 years.

To find God’s Beyond the Horizon Vision for our congregation we will be using the visioning tool found in the book God Dreams. The God Dreams visioning process begins with our leadership finding our two basic vision templates from the 12 basic vision templates. To find which of the basic templates that best describe how God is using our church to bring the Good News to Dixon and beyond there are four questions that are answered and scored for each template. The two templates with the highest cumulative scores will be our base templates from which we will then develop our own unique Beyond the Horizon Vision. The four questions are:

  1. How closely does this template match your own vision for your congregation as a gospel-centered, disciple-making church over the next 10 years? Use a scale of 1(low) to 10 (high) to rate this question. (This is where praying our 202 Breakthrough Prayer is so critical. Through the prayer we are asking the Holy Spirit to align our vision with God’s vision for our church.)
  2. How would you rate your key opinion leader’s buy-in at present for this template as the focus of their vision? Use a scale of 1(low) to 10 (high) to rate this question. (Again through our 202 BTP we are allowing the Holy Spirit is help us in our discernment. Also this is where the information provided by the CAT survey will provide critical and useful information.)
  3. How would you rate your entire congregation’s buy-in at present for this vision template? Use a scale of 1(low) to 10 (high) to rate this question. (Again, the CAT survey will be invaluable to helping us answer this question.)
  4. How would you rate the level of momentum and progress to date your church has made on this particular vision template? Use a scale of 1(low) to 10 (high) to rate this question.

We had started the God Dreams process at our 2020 Leadership Summit. At the Summit we struggled answering questions 2 and 3 because we did not know the leadership’s or the congregation’s buy-in for a particular template. From the results of the CAT survey we will be better equipped to answer these questions when we start the God Dreams visioning process over at our 2022 Leadership Summit in later January. 

You will be hearing a lot about the CAT survey in September. I will talk about it during our weekly announcements during worship. We will be sending out email blasts inviting you to participate in the survey. On September 19th the Survey will open so that you can participate. So, mark your calendar and look for the email that will provide you with the link. If you want to do a paper version of the CAT they will be made available Sunday, September 19th.

Relaunching Powerhouse Kids and Youth ministries on September 12

            I was hoping to make it through this letter without talking about COVID-19. Unfortunately, one of the biggest casualties of the pandemic has been our Youth Ministries programs. We have been without any in-person youth ministry programs for well over a year. Hopefully that is about to change! Our plan is to re-launch Powerhouse Kids on Sunday September 12th. This is all contingent of course with the decision the parents, Pastor Young, and myself make at our Parents meeting Sunday August 29th. But here is the plan for the general format of Powerhouse Kids. The format will be a lot like VBS rotation models we have used in the past.

  1. We will begin at 9:00 am in the Sanctuary for our opening time. Our hope is to livestream this part to children and families not able to attend so they will be able to either watch live or watch later when it is more convenient. This will help you keep current with what is happening at Powerhouse Kids.
  2. After our opening time we will break up in our small groups based on age and then move to our classrooms on the third floor. (We will have to work with the setup of the classrooms that St. Anne School is using. But, we will be able to make it work!) Our hope is to have a couple of different activities for the children to do each week that will reinforce the biblical lesson they heard during the opening.

Pleas surround our Youth Ministry programs with your prayers. Our hope and dream is to re-launch all of our Youth Ministry in a way that will create an exciting and vibrant experiences for our children. We want them to know the love of God found in a relationship with Jesus! If you can be an adult helper please contact Pastor Young Sun and let her know. Your help will be vital to the success of our Youth Ministries.

Charge Conference 2021

As I bring this letter to a close I want to inform you that the date for our 2021 Charge Conference has been set. It will be Thursday, December 2nd. The SPRC committee will meet at 6:30 pm. And the Charge Conference will start at 7:00 pm. It will be held in person in the sanctuary so we can spread out. Melissa has put the Committee forms in your mailboxes. They are due back to Melissa by November 1st.  

As you move throughout you day make sure you ask God through the indwelling Holy Spirit to walk with you keeping your eyes open and your heart alert for the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with someone. I hope to see you around the church and in the community.

God’s blessings and love to you all!

 

Pastor Tim

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