Regional Cohort Gatherings March 14 & 15, 2012


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Topic: "Member Care & Church Governance" From the "Big Picture" Regional Cohort Gatherings for church planters on the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Regional Cohort Gatherings March 14 & 15, 2012

  1. 1. Regional Cohort Gatherings | Big Picture (+ Open Discussion) • Wed March 14: NY/NJ Metro Cohort • Thu March 15: Greater Boston/New England CohortBig Picture Topic: Member Care & Church GovernanceOpening Questions • How do you created the culture (values, systems, policies, etc.) for vibrant congregational membership? • Where are you currently in this process in your church plant?Relevant FactorsFrom “Church Planter Covenant Agreement” • “The Responsibilities of the Congregation” • 4. Polity. The congregation shall incorporate and operate under church governance patterned after a Covenant model of articles of incorporation, constitution, and by-laws. The initial governance documents must be approved by the East Coast Conference Superintendent and the Executive Minister of Church Growth & Evangelism of the ECC prior to their adoption by the congregation in order to become a full member congregation of the Evangelical Covenant Church. • 11. Membership. The congregation shall begin the administrative process for becoming a full member congregation in the ECC and the East Coast Conference one year after the conclusion of the appropriations period. During this time the missional viability of the church shall be determined as a prerequisite for membership. • “Addendum 2: Benchmarks” • H. Years 1-3 • Attendance: Average 225 in worship attendance by the end of year three • Finances: Financially self-sufficient by the time the church goes off appropriations • I. Years 4-5 • Church Planting: Parent or Partner with other churches in the planting of your first church plant • Membership. Upon meeting the necessary criteria and missional viability requirements, complete the process for becoming a full member congregation in the Evangelical Covenant ChurchOther Issues • “Vision leaks” - you need to always be refilling the vision reserves • “People are down on what they are not up on” - John Wenrich (borrowing it from Zig Ziglar) • “Opportunity Cost” - from miscommunication, misunderstanding, dissipated ministry effortsKey RequirementsConstitution and By-Laws • Every Covenant Church Plant must have this in place before being received into full membership in the Covenant • - The approved “Leadership Team Form” with (an approved) adaptation to allow for additional pastoral staff as a minority of the Leadership Team (recommend using wholesale, use “find & replace” :) • • Transitional Leadership Teams First and Second Years in a Church Plant • Policies and Procedures: Sample of Categories • (plus several more documents)Regional Cohort Gatherings | Big Idea: Member Care & Church Governance March 14 & 15, 2012 | page 1 of 4
  2. 2. Church Membership • Questions • What are ways “membership” can best serve the mission, vision, and values of a church? Ways it may hinder? • Where are you currently in this process in your church plant? • Components • Culture - the most important thing you create • Membership policies and expectations - what does “membership” mean here? • Membership Course - what is the literal process people go through to become a member • Example: (handouts, videos, and related materials) • Strong Recommendation: • set the bar high (example: • require annual renewal (default to each person’s membership ending each year unless they opt back in)Leadership: Pastoral Staff, Leadership Team, and other Key Leaders • “tasks not titles” + “hire slow, fire fast” • • Best: develop leaders and hire from within • Suggestion: Annual Staff & Leadership Prayer & Planning Retreat • schedule for soon after any new Leadership Team members are voted in and before the new ministry season • Artisan Church scheduled these late-May/early-June, after our April Congregational Annual Meeting, and before July 1 start of the new “ministry calendar” (which gave plenty of lead time for huge fall outreach push) • Sample Outline from Artisan Church “Prayer & Planning Retreat”: Care & Feeding of Members • Questions • How will you consistently communicate and cast vision well? • How will you elicit invaluable feedback and input? • How will you create buy-in and ownership? • Example: “The Gallery” quarterly members gathering • Members expected, everyone welcome (seriously, members were not to consider this “optional”) • Simple format: potluck dinner, celebrate and honor particular servants and volunteers, debrief recent ministry efforts, share & discuss future plans. Most importantly: cast vision • Tools (Provided in “Church Planter Covenant Agreement”) • 1-year Church Management System with Online Giving, examples: • The City: (the Highrock church plants use this, comes highly recommended) • (Covenant Technologies preferred service provider, can’t yet recommend) • 1-year QuickBooks Online with Payroll • 6-months of Bookkeeping Services with training for hand-off • Sandy Norris, The Counting House • Currently Using: Sanctuary Providence, Hope Church NYC • Getting Set up: Elements Church, New Season ChurchRegional Cohort Gatherings | Big Idea: Member Care & Church Governance March 14 & 15, 2012 | page 2 of 4
  3. 3. Open Discussion: Recent happenings & What’s on your mind?Brief Reports from Launch Team Training (with application for everyone) • Launch Teams that Attended Sat March 4: New Rochelle (70-80 in attendance) • Hope Church NYC, Astoria NY (Drew Hyun) • Elements, Bronx NY (Efrain Alicea) • Promised Land: Willis Campus, Bronx NY (Michael Carrion) • New York Covenant Church: Manhattan Campus, New Rochelle (David Holder) Sat March 11: East Bridgewater (60-70 in attendance) • Sanctuary, Providence RI (Andrew Mook) • Highrock Northshore, Salem MA (Aaron Engler) • Highrock Quincy, Quincy MA (Stephen Sharkey) • Quick Debrief • What worked well? What was most helpful to the church planter and Launch Team members? • What should be changed, removed, and/or improved? • Others: How would your church plant and congregation benefit from specific training? (on any topic or area) • • •“How can we plant more churches?” • Question raised by Josh at the Thu Feb 23 Greater Boston/New England Cohort, started a great discussion • Retreat Content: what should we discuss and decide today so this can go even deeper at our Retreat in Orlando? • • • • •Anything Else? • • • •Housekeeping:Exponential Conference & Church Planter Retreat • confirm final count for housing • discuss retreat content • ECConf Party to invite prospects? • topics & party & final count (housing)Calendar ReviewRegional Cohort Gatherings | Big Idea: Member Care & Church Governance March 14 & 15, 2012 | page 3 of 4
  4. 4. Coming Events | Mark Your Calendar (subscribe at June • Easter Next Month, April 8 • NO Cohort Gatherings • Hope your plans are well underway! • Church Planting Training Center • Feel free to review past Cohort gathering Wed June 6, 9pm - Sat June 9, 11:30am handouts where we discussed the “Fall Outreach (somewhere mid-country, for small teams of 3-4) Season” if you still need ideas [available at • Covenant Annual Meeting Thu June 21 - Sat June 23 churchplanting ] Irvine CA, • NO Cohort Gatherings • Tentative: ECConf Assessment Center • East Coast Conference Annual Meeting for church planting candidates • April 19-April 21 (Thu-Sat) Thu June 28, 11am - Fri June 29, 2pm • Covenant Church, Easton CT (another possibility: sometime July 9-13) • July • Jason leading workshop: “Understanding Church Planting on the ECConf” (interested in helping?) • NO Cohort Gatherings, but here’s a crazy idea… • Exponential + Church Planters Retreat! • Special Get-Together for all the church planters and spouses at Jason & Lisa’s in Columbia CT! • April 24-26 (Tue-Thu): Exponential Conference: • Paintball, BBQ, Bonfire (Backyard Camping?!) • Date: Wed July 18, 12noon ‘til Late Night • April 26-27 (Thu Afternoon – Fri Night): ECConf • Rain Date: Wed July 25 Church Planters Retreat. Debrief, Dream, and Play! (*book flights home for either Sat or Sun) August • Optional Bonus Days: Mon April 25 Exponential • Jason’s family at Pilgrim Pines Family Camp Pre-Conference; Stay at resort through Sun April Sat Aug 4 - Sat Aug 11 - Feel free to visit! 29 check-out (I am :) • NY/NJ Metro Cohort • Very Affordable: automatic $200 scholarship, Wed Aug 22, 11:00am-2:30pm crazy-cheap resort housing, plus other funding • Greater Boston/New England Cohort built into many of your Agreements. Housing and Thu Aug 23, 11:00am-2:30pm house groceries: $200. You might still get a $29 discount using the code "expo2012" September • NY/NJ Metro CohortMay Wed Sept 26, 11:00am-2:30pm • NY/NJ Metro Cohort • Greater Boston/New England Cohort Wed May 16, 11:00am-2:30pm Thu Sept 27, 11:00am-2:30pm Decide Location: • Greater Boston/New England Cohort October Thu May 17, 11:00am-2:30pm • NY/NJ Metro Cohort Decide Location: Wed Oct 24, 11:00am-2:30pm • Greater Boston/New England Cohort Thu Oct 25, 11:00am-2:30pmFull Calendar for East Coast Conference • Visit to subscribe to our East Coast Conference Google calendar (subscribe through Google Calendar, iCal, or any calendar app that reads ical feeds) • Entries labeled “Church Planting” are specifically for church planters, the rest will relate to Covenant pastors in general, so note those as wellRegional Cohort Gatherings | Big Idea: Member Care & Church Governance March 14 & 15, 2012 | page 4 of 4