Across the Pastor’s Desk

UPDATE:  The survey is now closed!  Here is a link to preview the results: FINAL Worship Survey Results

A PDF of the survey results is available HERE.

 


 

 

We are using an online tabulator to compile the results of the Worship Survey.  We have entered well over 300 surveys.  Of course, as stated, we are keeping the survey open until Pentecost Sunday, May 24th.  If you have not turned in a survey, you can pick one up at Church or complete the survey online (preferable) at NPMC Worship Survey 2015.

When we have compiled all the results, we will still need to interpret them.  Br. Lacy Bellomy, a member here at New Philadelphia, and the founder of Bellomy Research has agreed to cast his practiced eye over them.  The Joint Boards will go to work, too.  Many eyes will be needed.

Of course, the whole process is an open one, and if you would like to view a PDF of the results to date, you may find it online at “Survey Results to Date”  or obtain a copy in the church office.

In my view, the survey is a gold mine of information, albeit some bits are more valuable than others.

For me, the most valuable takeaway thus far is that 87.6% of the people who took the survey were willing to worship at a different time, provided that it was deemed essential to our future, and worked through proper channels, i.e., the Joint Board and Congregational Council.  Sunday, I discussed this particular statistic with a member, and he viewed it with similar enthusiasm.  He said,  “To me, it helps to define the spiritual health of our congregation. We need more of us, but those that we have are serious about discipleship, and following Jesus Christ.”

Our conversation puts me in mind of our mission statement:

New Philadelphia seeks to be a caring congregation, worshiping God, and encouraging one another to seek a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, as we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in service and in mission.

Last week Clyde and I met with a young woman who expressed the desire to join New Philly.  She asked, “Pastor Green, what do you think is the most important dimension of congregational life at New Philadelphia?”  I responded, “The way we make decisions. “  I elaborated.   We discussed a couple of points, and then she brought up our Mission Statement.  She saw our decision making process as an extension of that.  She said that few things spoke more eloquently of our life together as a congregation.   This was tremendously affirming.

Several weeks ago, in a sermon, I said that, as pastor of New Philadelphia, it was my desire to be “a Bystander Manager,” as I was taught in the Parish Revitalization Curriculum of McCormick Theological Seminary.  As taught by McCormick this method of pastoral leadership assumes three important facts: 1) The goals of a church, and the results of those goals, are in the hands of a living Christ, the One Whom the New Testament calls, “the head of his body, the church,”  and He still seeks to guide us.  2) All the members of the body of Christ, which is the church, are responsible to the Head for the process by which we discover his goals, and implement them.  The ends are in God’s hands; the means that is the method by which we accomplish those ends are in ours.  How we do a thing is more often more important than what we do.  3) When the whole body of Christ in one place is engaged in the process of discernment and decision-making, there is a surplus of knowledge, which is power.  Power like love is an expansive force.  The more we give away, the more we have, especially when we give the personal power and influence we have to God, to serve God’s purpose, not our own.  The result is a strong and healthy congregation.

In summary, let me simply say that this survey, adds to my conviction of confidence in the future of New Philadelphia Moravian Church.  Pray for our Boards as we seek to incorporate what we have learned from it.  More importantly, please come and help us make God’s dream for us a reality.   We need you.

Blessings,

Pastor Green

About the author:

Mrs. Rachel Moody Weavil is the Administrative Assistant at New Philadelphia Moravian Church. Follow him on Twitter / Facebook.