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S.M.A.R.T. Goal Worksheet

This is an excellent worksheet that we are using to refine goals in our Outreach programs.  Parts of it come from other examples available on the internet, but it has been revised, and will probably continue to be revised as we learn from the process.  Please feel free to use it.  I would love to have any comments and suggestions as you edit it to make it work better for you.

SMART GOALS WORKSHEET

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“Closing the Back Door Extract

Here is a short extract of my paper “Closing the Back Door” Looking at a recent trend of worship attendance decline in the General Church with suggestions of the areas of focus that can help mitigate that decline: closing the back door extract

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Closing the Back Door of Your Church

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Congregations in the New Church, as with many denominations, are currently experiencing significant decline in worship attendance.  There are specific things a pastor and congregation can do to reverse that trend.  Closing the Back Door is a paper (click on the colored text to download) that I offered to the General Church Clergy in June, 2017 that looks at key factors that cause many of our most talented participants and younger members to drop out and walk away from organized church.

The paper notes that people in today’s world engage in church looking for rich community, meaningful participation, service opportunities, and rich dialogue exploring faith and life.  when a church fails in any of these 4 sectors, the congregation experiences decline.  Churches that currently experience decline can take a serious look at which of these 4 areas it is weak in.  Strengthening any of these areas will strengthen the organization.

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Simple Strategic Planning for Small Congregations

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Simple Strategic Planning Here is a slide deck outlining simple steps for how to come up with a strategic plan for a small congregation.   I am using the method I learned while studying not-for-profit organizations at Columbia University’s School of Business.  I wanted to boil the process down to simplest terms to try to keep the process from becoming overbearing when a congregation is really pretty simple.  My personal belief is that this process is an illustration of how to use the strength human beings have in their rational minds to plot out and achieve goals not otherwise possible.  Also, leaning to think backwards from a stated goal makes everything easier.

My note of caution, is that small congregations often really need to consider doing less rather than more.  Trying to do too much waters down a congregations efforts and leads to burnout and feelings of failure.simple strategic planning.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

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Short video on Baptism

Here is a 5 minute video where I attempt to clarify in simple terms why Baptism is both relevant and important.   I hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to comment with any thoughts!

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Recognizing Ego

I’m excited to share this video of a friend sharing his confrontation with the ego, and how that dramatically improved the quality of his life.  I hope you enjoy!

Glenn Shares about the Ego

 

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Peter Rhodes Speaks about the Ego and its Power

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This video, though a little raw, is one of my all time favorite videos offering advice for how to grow spiritually. Peter speaks powerfully about what happens when we step away from our insane egos. I hope you enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdfmTFnR_w

 

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Outreach Staff speak to why Small Groups Work

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCgtvrou4N8

 

This video highlights some reflections my staff had at a recent meeting on how small groups have helped them in their spiritual lives.

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Use Google+ to increase your reach at meetings!

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Vision: Working your Way Back

Vision: Working your Way Back

As part of the opening session for Impact 365, Rev. David Lindrooth spoke about how we can become a church that makes a profound difference in the world.

He discussed the process in three parts: clarifying our vision, combining it with prudence (our ability to think, strategize, and gain the necessary information) and then working in partnership with providence. He explained that this process “prepares the way of the Lord.” By this kind of partnership we achieve amazing results that would not be otherwise attainable, causing “miracles to happen in our own lives and in the life of the church.”

First, David explained, we need vision. As an example of the importance of vision, David recollected a time when he and some other New Church leaders felt their time and energy were taken up with troubleshooting issues, leaving little time for forward positive action.  After talking to a business expert who repeatedly asked them, “But what do you DO?” these church leaders realized that lack of clarity in the church vision was yielding chaos and poor results. They more acutely saw the need for a clear vision, purpose and goal.

As important as vision is, David explained, we also need prudence, and we need to gain the necessary information. To illustrate this point, David gave an example of a time he’d had a vision for how to change a small, old, historical church in Stockholm Sweden.  As a young, newly ordained American minister, David thought he’d come in and “get the place hopping.” He wanted to rip up the hard old pews, do a billboard campaign, and modernize the music. The long-time church members, however, had been worshiping that way for years.  Although their response was kind and forgiving, David realized he had tried to implement his vision without first gathering the necessary information. He hadn’t spent time listening to or paying attention to the dreams of the others in the congregation.

David added that when a church unites vision and prudence with a willingness to hear the Lord’s call, great blessings occur. He referred to the story of Jacob in Genesis, quoting the Lord’s promise to Jacob: “In you and in your seed, all the families of the earth will be blessed.” David used this quote to remind us that the goal is to create a church that seeks to serve and bless all the families of the earth. David concluded with the message that “the Lord has put us in a place of challenge, but He has also given us tools to move forward and bring blessings to all the nations.”

Written by Sasha Silverman

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