For the last year or so we have been ruthlessly evaluating the ministries of PCC and their effectiveness. Last summer we started pulling the trigger on fixing a few things around here. We experimented a lot and found out some of our ideas didn’t work too well. So we went back to the drawing board and tried again. It is still a work in process.
To make a long story short, we have been methodically working our way through a list of ministries according to a deliberate plan. We’ve made some significant improvements, but there is still much more to do. To give you’re an idea, this is the list we are working our way through:
--The Weekend Services
--Growth Tract (Seminar system, 101 & 201)
--Groups (small groups, ministry teams, classes, etc.)
Up to this point most of our attention has been dedicated to improving and upgrading the weekend services, the first item on the list. We've had countless meetings and discussions. We have made visible changes & improvements in the worship band, as well as the tech booth (sound and projection), the way we receive the offering, as well as several other areas directly related to the weekend service. This has been very, very challenging for us.
Some pretty big changes have taken place in the teen ministry too; including changes in leadership, a paradigm shift in the way we do teen ministry, a few new ideas and initiatives, as well as restructuring the program.
Along the way I have rewritten Seminar 101 which was much needed, long overdue, and the end result was a great improvement. Seminar 201 needs to be rewritten too, so it is on the anvil right now with a new content being hammered out. I'm really looking forward to the revised version, because it will be much stronger in its content.
The biggest project we are currently working on is the age-level ministries. The entire program is being restructured (from top to bottom) and the changes are so significant that it represents a paradigm shift for PCC. We haven’t pulled the trigger on this new initiative yet, but will be doing so soon. Once the new program is off and running we are confident that it was bring a new freshness to our church and really invigorate things around here.
Regarding outreach, we are going to renew our efforts for this most critical ministry. It’s at the very core of our DNA here at Pace Community Church. We are still very deliberate about reaching those who are far from God and turning them into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. In our thirteen year history we have never had an organized visitation program or sent out visitations teams. Know why? We simply do not need to. Our members have always done such a good job of inviting their friends to church with them, that we’ve never needed to make outreach a “program” of the church. It happens organically. I believe a renewed emphasis on this matter will result in seeing hundreds of new people coming to PCC and to the faith.
Our smalls groups ministry will be last on the list of our strategic plan to address and is still a few months out. It’s quite likely we will see a complete paradigm shift in this ministry area too. In fact, I know that's exactly what is needed. Instead of focusing on “small groups” as a program, pe se, we are probably going to change the emphasis to “Connection Ministires” (by having multiple connection options for people to choose from) with home-based small groups being one aspect of a much broader ministry. I’ll write more about this later.
We have not made many changes thus far, only a few, but each and everyone was a difficult one to make requiring a lot of planning, emotional energy, and grace by everyone affected.
Although the changes have been few so far, they have resulted in noticeable improvements at PCC. For instance:
- We are already experiencing a slight increase in attendance on Sunday mornings
- We have better consistency in the attendance numbers with fewer swings in the numbers
- Giving has improved and remains consistently strong each week
- Last Sunday we had a record breaking membership class
- Morale and enthusiasm is at an all-time high with our key players and ministry workers because they believe this strategic plan is working! They are highly motivated.
- All of this adds up to improved church health
Here’s the point: If we are experiencing these results from the few changes we’ve already made, then it means the best is yet to come. This information confirms that we are headed in the right direction. It's God's way of telling us to keep moving forward.