Visioning Report 2021

I. Introduction

A. History

  1. In October 2019, the Church Board approved the creation of a Visioning Task Force and the hiring of Mike Bonem to facilitate the process. The purpose of the committee would be to identify areas for the church to focus efforts in the years ahead in order to more fully meet the needs of our community and call.
  2. An agreement was entered into with Mike Bonem.
  3. A committee was chosen by the pastor, with advice from staff and key church leadership with an attempt at having a broad spectrum of persons who represented many aspects of church membership.

B. Task Force Work

  1. The Visioning Task Force met in February 6 and March 12, with its last meeting just before things began to shut down with the COVID outbreak.
  2. Each meeting was from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The work of the Task Force included identifying the process, initial discussions about perceived needs and desires of the congregation, creating and reviewing an insite report with demographics of the surrounding area of the church, studying church statistics over a several year period, and reading “The Present Future” which dealt with realities the church would need to deal with in the coming years:
    a. Replacing “church growth” models with kingdom growth;
    b. Developing disciples instead of church members;
    c. Fostering the rise of a new apostolic leadership; d. Focusing on spiritual formation rather than church programs; e. Shift to preparation for the challenges in an uncertain world.
  3.  COVID then struck and we were unable to meet for some months. As time progressed, it became unmanageable for Mike Bonem and for the church to maintain a working relationship, and his facilitation was cordially and mutually ended. The pastor asked Marc Tate for input and help in leadership. In discussions, it was decided to inquire with Richard Stewart for him to facilitate our process, as he is a former staff member, and has led and taught systems management. He graciously agreed and we began our meetings again.
  4. Three more meetings were held on October 1, October 15, and November 5. Each meeting was from 5:30-8:00 p.m. We continued to identify perceived needs and desires of the congregation.
  5. The process included:
    a. Developing a SWOT analysis (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats)
    b. Identifying gaps between our current state and our desired state
    c. Suggested focus items within the gaps
    d. Setting of priorities
    e. Developing a Vision statement in addition to our Mission Statement
  6. It was reiterated throughout the process that the purpose of this task force was not to offer solutions, but to identify concrete areas of immediate attention on which the church needs to focus as we seek to live into the ideas of the Present Future discussed in B. 2. above. If we wish to have kingdom growth, development of disciples, upcoming newer leadership, spiritual formation, and prepare for challenges ahead, the following groundwork needs to occur:
  7. The Task Force identified five priorities to recommend to the Church Board:
    a. Technology Roadmap for the future, which would allow us to have the latest and best tools of communication of the gospel and ministry of GUMC;
    b. Commitment to clearly defined worship services and an intersection of attenders of different worship services for the promoting of fellowship and for building unity; and
    c. Commitment to a church-wide space utilization study in order that we meet the current and potential ministry needs of our community; and
    d. Generational Focused Ministries, for example:
    1) Accessibility issues addressed for older adults, as Germantown has a large population of older adults
    2) Increased activity opportunities for older adults
    3) Identification, recruitment, training up of younger adults, as the Germantown School system is attracting younger families to our community.
    4) Increased opportunities for family activities
    e. Improved Church-wide communication and connection to promote unity, opportunities for service, mission information, leadership, and volunteerism in a large congregation with different worship services, classes and interests.
  8. The Task Force also looked at developing a Vision Statement but decided that living out our current mission statement is our vision. The Task Force does recommend a slight change in the Mission Statement, adding a word to remind us of our need for hospitality. The proposed statement would now say:
    “We are a welcoming community of faith
    Committed to
    Loving God and Loving Others
    Serving Christ and Sharing Him
    Transforming Lives and Making Disciples”

C. Therefore, the Task Force submits the following recommendations:

  1.  That the Church Board of Germantown United Methodist Church unites in the commitment to address these ministry challenges and opportunities; and
  2. The Church Board enables the Pastor’s Council to set up appropriate sub- groups, to possibly include some members of the task force, to work specifically on each of the priorities and to bring back smart goal recommendations in a timely manner to the Pastor’s Council, which would take its recommendation to the Church Board; and
  3. That the Visioning Task Force meet at least three times in the coming year to guide and oversee that progress is being made until such time as the goals are met; and
  4. That the Mission Statement reflects the recommended addition; and
  5. That a report is given by Task Force Leader or Pastor at each Church Board meeting on how these priorities are being met.

This report reflects many hours of work, discussion, sharing, emotion, and dedication both in meeting and outside meetings.

The report is submitted by the Task Force on behalf of all that have served at one point or another during the year in all or part of the work:

Jim Allison
Rev. Dr. Erin Beasley
Mike Bonem, Consultant
Gretchen Blair
Karen Edwards
Amanda Horrell
Jay McKinney
Emily Moore
Anna Nichol
Daniel Oppenheim
Beverly Rhoads
Richard Stewart, Facilitator
John Sullivan
Marc Tate, Task Force Leadership
Al Walton
Peggy Warner
Debbie Wiles
Cindi Younker

Respectfully Revised and Submitted,
Rev. Tim Carpenter