Following the Strategic Planning informational session held on June 1, 2016, the Strategic Planning Committee (the “Committee”) put into motion a plan to increase communication regarding details over the Summer. This handout is the first of several informational pieces and is primarily focused on the background and the “why” to begin the strategic planning process.
In the fall of 2014, the Committee began to undertake initial steps to develop a new strategic plan initiative. The timing for this initiative was based on following three factors that were in motion at that time.
- The existing strategic plan/vision of “50 in 5” which looked to grow the church by 50% over a five-year period from 2012 to 2016 was coming up on the end of its timeframe and had lost steam.
- The church staff was relatively new and the Committee members felt it was a good time to explore undertaking a new strategic plan with this group.
- The Committee and staff realized there were significant demographic changes starting to occur within the church and surrounding community. We needed to take action to address these dynamics.
Initially, the Committee was focused on revising the mission statement and coming up with a new vision statement to guide the church. But the Committee soon realized that this was not enough, and we needed to do more to make a real impact on the future of the church. It was decided that the work that needed to be done couldn’t be accomplished solely with the resources we had on hand so we researched a number of consulting groups that were qualified for this undertaking. We ultimately chose The Unstuck Group out of Atlanta, GA. The Unstuck Group had a strong resume of working with hundreds of churches across the country including ones similar to Trinity and came highly recommended. Their consultation was funded by the Trinity Foundation and by personal donations from members of the church – no money was taken out of the church budget.
The Unstuck Group’s work involved numerous steps that helped get us to a place of better direction and concrete action initiatives. The initial step was for us to hold information gathering sessions with various members of the church to generate three lists at the church: “What is Right? What is Wrong? What is Missing?” The next step had a representative from The Unstuck Group visit the church during services as a “silent shopper” and make observations. Those observations were shared with the Committee and staff, and along with the feedback from members, formed a basis for our strategic planning retreats.
In the fall of 2015, there were numerous all-day retreats led by The Unstuck Group and attended by staff and representatives of the Committee. The goal of the retreats was to come out with a mission statement to guide us and strategic action initiatives to put in place. By the beginning of 2016, a mission statement of “Bringing hope through the transforming love of Jesus Christ” had been developed and the following six strategic action initiatives had been pinned down:
- Welcoming/Greeting: Hospitality is a Biblical core value. This initiative helps us extend hospitality and welcome to all who come to Trinity to experience the Good News of the Gospel.
- Transformation (Spiritual) Track: As United Methodists, we believe that we spend a lifetime growing in our relationship with Christ. This initiative seeks to look at ways to build a system for us to grow deeper in all seasons of our Christian journey.
- Strengthening Our Message (Communications): Jesus has entrusted us with sharing the Gospel. This initiative looks at the many ways we can do this with a wide audience ranging from those already engaged in our church to those who have not yet connected.
- Children’s Ministries/ Kids Drag Parents to Church: Ministry with children and families is the heartbeat of any community of faith. Our call by God to spread the Gospel certainly includes the capacity to pass the Gospel to the generations that follow. We remember Jesus’ words, “Allow the children to come to me.”
- Enhance the Worship Experience: Worship of God is a fundamental part of our spiritual lives. This initiative builds on the strong heritage of excellent worship at Trinity and ensures its relevance and capacity to grow followers of Jesus.
- Simplify Governance: How we best organize and streamline the ministry to faithfully lead the congregation and involve as many as possible in the meaningful mission and ministry.
To develop the ideas and action steps needed to implement these six initiatives, teams were pulled together and comprised of a diverse group of church members. Each team is chaired by an individual(s) who were a part of the training retreats and spent considerable time with The Unstruck Group. Bob Parsons and Tracy Peters are chairs of the Simplify Governance team, Chris Scott and Tracy Peters are chairs of the Enhance Worship Experience team, Keri Willard chairs the Welcoming/Greeting team, Katy Wheat chairs the Transformation Track team, Mandy Markoff chairs the Communications team, and Barb Orr, Bob Field and Carla Fox Chiles chair the Kids Drag Parents to Church/Children’s Ministries.
This summer is a very exciting time as we find ourselves in the active stages of idea formulation and implementation. Each team is working diligently to move processes forward that will take our church to great new heights. As this process continues to unfold, we want to assure you that we will continue to be timely and transparent in our communication about the process. Status updates will be shared throughout the coming months in bulletin inserts like this one, so keep a lookout for future issues and know we are always available to answer any questions. Thank you for your continued support.