Narratives Of Change And Hope

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This is a presentation to the Presbytery of Whitewater Valley on September 12, 2009 to intruduce them to the power of stories in understanding how change and identity work in congregations, both to help utilize conflict and to enhance mission and growth.

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Narratives Of Change And Hope

  1. 1. THE PLOT THICKENS Flourishing Church Consultations Whitewater Valley Presbytery
  2. 2. <ul><li>Luke 9:10: On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately… </li></ul><ul><li>Doing the work of the church </li></ul><ul><li>Telling the stories </li></ul><ul><li>Reflecting </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>The Bible is full of stories that express God’s Word </li></ul><ul><li>Stories capture our imagination. </li></ul><ul><li>We always want to know “what happened then?” </li></ul><ul><li>Plots thicken and twist and turn. </li></ul><ul><li>There’s always the next chapter—hope. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Four unhappy pastorates </li></ul><ul><li>A new location, and three building projects </li></ul><ul><li>Yo-yo membership </li></ul><ul><li>A growing county </li></ul><ul><li>Playing victim: Blaming pastors, blaming the Presbytery, </li></ul><ul><li>Designated pastor with a heart for stories. </li></ul>The family life center …
  5. 5. <ul><li>Pastor is working on structures </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing a Personnel Committee with written policies </li></ul><ul><li>Training the Session in Book of Order procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening the Session as leaders </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Lumpy rug </li></ul><ul><li>More lay leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Better structures </li></ul><ul><li>Need to know who we are (Identity) </li></ul><ul><li>Need to focus (a clear compelling vision of mission) </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>“ The Titanic” </li></ul><ul><li>(USS JPC) </li></ul><ul><li>“ A ‘Wolfe’ in Sheep’s Clothing” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sliding Down the Mountain” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Dynamic Church ” </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>When were you most alive, most excited about your church? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you value most about the church? </li></ul><ul><li>What three wishes would you m ake for the future of the church? </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Children and Youth (critical to future, lack of adult interaction) </li></ul><ul><li>Unity (lack of loving relationships, moving from “I” to “We”) </li></ul><ul><li>Fellowship (We do this well, improve communication, “think next size.”) </li></ul><ul><li>Worship (previously source of conflict, now enthusiastic and participative, moving from “me” to “God”) </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>How can we become: </li></ul><ul><li>Like minded, </li></ul><ul><li>Have the same love, </li></ul><ul><li>And be one in purpose? </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Entrenched leaders relinquish control </li></ul><ul><li>Community soccer league on property </li></ul><ul><li>Envisioning senior housing project </li></ul><ul><li>50 adults help with VBS </li></ul><ul><li>New worship leader </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance is UP </li></ul>

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