SUMMARY OF ISSUES
How do we increase the number of first time visitors?
- Create a culture of evangelism through the congregation.
- Educate congregation on how to "reach out" with programs like Evangelism 101 and a church-wide program called "Invite One."
- Make evangelism a part of every service and program.
- Recognize members for their evangelism efforts.
- Use technology more as an evangelism tool.
- Add a stronger focus to the website for prospects visiting our site.
- Leverage social media better with an increase in the use of opportunities including Twitter and Facebook.
- Promote the variety of programs, services and activities through an enhanced local marketing effort.
- Put more financial resources toward attracting first time visitors.
- Leverage more effectively the evangelism opportunities in the Preschool, Children's, Youth and Leisure programs.
- Develop visitor programs like community open houses at specific times of the year.
- Add new church programs that offer ongoing opportunities for prospects in our local community to be introduced to DUMC, like a Mother's Morning Out program, afternoon childcare or Dunwoody Date Night.
How do we become a welcoming culture that moves our visitors to membership?
- Survey our newest members to develop a profile of who they are and what motivated them to join DUMC. Use that information when trying to interest and convert prospects.
- Clearly define the role of ushers and greeters in moving our visitors to membership.
- Develop programs in addition to DUMC 101 to help visitors know when they are ready to join.
- Educate the church membership on how to be a better "witness."
- Create new programs to pair members and non-members like finding members in the same neighborhood as a first time visitor.
What needs to change in the culture of our congregation to lead our members to volunteer? (Also see Committee Effectiveness ideas. There is a great deal of crossover.)
- Promote the impact of volunteerism and what it means to the life of DUMC.
- Create a campaign to promote "service." Help members develop a need in their heart to volunteer.
- Teach a church-wide study on "If You Know Who You Are, You'll Know What to Do."
- Determine the current status of volunteerism at DUMC (involvement points) and communicate that to the congregation.
- Simplify the entire volunteer process.
- Create an umbrella "Volunteer Ministry."
- Ask every member of the church to do something.
How do we help members be truly "present" and find their place?
- If you get people to their place, then they will begin to truly feel present.
- Help members identify their spiritual gifts.
- Create a spiritual gift inventory of every member for a more complete and usable database.
- Find effective ways to quickly identify a new member's talents and interests.
- When we have identified a new member's and interests, match them up with an established member who shares those same interests.
- Utilize technology more effectively to identify places members can go to get more involved in all that is offered at DUMC.
- Simplify and streamline communications to church members.
How do we make our councils and committees more effective?
1. Why do some councils/committees work and some don't?
Ones that work have:
- Effective, energetic leadership
- Well thought out agendas for each meeting
- Clear objectives for the committee and for each meeting
- Understanding of what role each committee plays and their responsibilities
- Meeting starts and stops on time and committee members arrive on time
- Committee members have a passion and enthusiasm for the committee topic
- Committee members make their committee work a priority in their life
- Committee is open to change
- Committee make up is intergenerational
- Committee members fell empowered to make a difference. They take ownership of actions.
- Leader is prepared for the meeting
- On-line communications are utilized
- Leader doesn't try to do it all – they delegate
- Optimum meeting time is determined based on availability of committee members not just what is convenient for chair
- Leader constantly solicits feedback from committee members
- Chairman has support of church clergy and staff
- There is availability of user friendly database
- There is clear communication to the congregation on what the committee does and how to get involved
- Leaders have training opportunities
- Committee understands how they fit in to the overall organization of the church
- Meeting discussions are focused with no fluff, tangents or repetition
- Extend Church Council meeting from one to two hours and change it from an informational meeting to an ideation meeting where new ideas are discussed and there is a question and answer period.
- Limit number of members on a committee. Get it to the right size.
2. How do we get the right people on the right committee/council?
- Put Leaders, Leaders, Leaders on the website
- Match people with their passions. Need a spiritual gifts survey of the entire congregation.
- Conduct a "drive" once a year for new committee members in an information table environment
- Through prayer
- Immediately give each committee member a clear role
- Make congregation aware that all meetings (except Staff Parish) are open so interested members can understand what each committee does.
- Give leader opportunity to offer input on new committee member selection
- Find ways to make it easier to get on a committee
- Be transparent
- Avoid committees being "cliquish" and run by the "same people"
- Find ways to make it clear what each committee does
3. How do we get council/committee members to fully participate and bring fresh ideas to the table?
- Determine and enforce clear term limits
- Train leaders
- Require every committee to one time a year devote the majority of their meeting time to brainstorming new ideas.
- Exchange ideas with same committees at other churches
- Give newly selected committee members enough time before they begin to serve to prepare for their participation. Provide an orientation including expectations, objectives and an understanding of their role and responsibilities.
- Eliminate ineffective committees
- Provide co-leadership for continuity and a clear chair succession plan
- Don't overload members
- Give some form of recognition
- Make it fun and interesting to be on the committee
- Have a "social" kickoff meeting
- When people are asked to serve make it clear they can say no
- Communicate a clear exit plan for each committee member
Top attributes of a great Children's Ministry in order as ranked by the 2012 Committee of 100 Members
- Biblically based
- Teaches service
- Expects significant parent involvement
- Highly participatory
- Promotes prayer
- Uses a variety of technology
- Encourages friendships
- Utilizes diverse media
- Teaches worship readiness
- Utilizes well organized lesson plans
- Encourages attending Sunday school and church
- Offers diverse programming
- Teaches values and discipline
- Has continuity in its teachers
- Has a children's message in church
- Communicates a positive, hopeful attitude
- Inclusive of special needs children
- Creates family opportunities
- Develops measurable goals
Other attributes mentioned
- Involves entire congregation
- Offers child mentoring