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Emsworth U.P. Church, New Beginnings/Unglued Church


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Emsworth U.P. Church, New Beginnings/Unglued Church

  1. 1. & The Unglued Church project
  2. 2. Why New Beginnings/ Unglued Church? • We are called to make disciples and demonstrate God’s love in a rapidly changing world. • While God’s Word and God’s love remain constant, the context in which we do ministry looks very different than it did even a decade ago. • We need help discerning God’s call again, to regain our vitality, and to use remaining assets in mission that matters.
  3. 3. Why New Beginnings/ Unglued Church? • We need help looking objectively and realistically at our situation. • We need help in making decisions based on fact, not fear. • We need help to move beyond technical “fixes” to adaptive change. • Not doing/changing anything is still a choice, but it must be an informed choice.
  4. 4. The Plan • Review information from the New Beginnings Assessment. • House Meetings – six (6) weekly small group conversations. • We (YOU!) will work with our adaptive change consultant, Reverend Deborah Wright, and our adaptive change apprentice, Reverend Sarah Robbins to formulate a vision for future ministry. • We will be in partnership with seven other churches in Pittsburgh Presbytery.
  5. 5. Within The Next 12-18 Months We are committed to make one of four possible decisions: 1. Do nothing. 2. Redefine our mission. 3. Redevelop. 4. Healthy closure.
  6. 6. Technical vs. Adaptive A technical problem is easy to identify (a broken boiler) An adaptive problem is difficult to identify A technical problem is easy to solve (fix the boiler) An adaptive problem is difficult to solve without deep and significant change.
  7. 7. Technical vs. Adaptive A technical problem can be solved, usually, by calling an expert (plumber) An adaptive problem is solved by the people with the problem. A technical problem requires change in just one area. An adaptive problem requires change throughout an organization.
  8. 8. Technical vs. Adaptive People are generally receptive to fixing a technical problem (“It’s cold in here!”) People are generally resistant to admitting there is an adaptive problem (“But, we’ve always done it this way!”) Solutions to technical problems can be quickly delivered by edict (“Call the plumber!”) Solutions to adaptive challenges require experiments and new discoveries which can take a long time to implement and cannot be done by edict.
  9. 9. Adaptive challenges require an entirely new way of doing mission and ministry.
  10. 10. A Whole New Ballgame In a world of overwhelming obligations, where work knows no bounds and the culture no longer values going to church, people need to connect their faith to their daily lives, not just “go to church.” We need to make disciples, not “new members.” We need to rethink the entire model of how we do church in our context if we are to become communities that, “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 3:12-13)
  11. 11. Who We Are Today at Emsworth U.P. • Small, family-sized church • Resemble an extended family • Focused on relationships, fellowship • More led by laypeople than pastor • Pastor’s job is to love the people
  12. 12. Emsworth U.P By The Numbers: Ten Year Trends 2003 - 2012
  13. 13. Worship Attendance 28% Decline Represents a 28% decline in worship attendance. Population in community also in decline during same time period (-6.1%)
  14. 14. Congregational Giving Holding steady but not keeping pace with inflation.
  15. 15. What Do We Look Like Compared To Our Neighbors? Age Group Emsworth Community 0-13 5.0% 15% 14-29 1.7% 19% 30-49 11.7% 28% 50-64 31.7% 22% 65-74 16.7% 8% 75+ 33.3% 8% 50+ Total 81.7% 38%
  16. 16. More About Us • 80% of members have been in the church more than 5 years • Most members live within a 7 minute drive of the church • Limited presence on-line, mainly utilized by the pastor • Poor signage and lighting • Location on lightly traveled street
  17. 17. More About Us • Building is well maintained, but underutilized by congregation and outside groups. • A congregation our size needs approximately 3,000 square feet for average activities. Our building is 10,000 square feet – more than 3x more space than needed. • Our sanctuary can comfortably seat 187. In order to not feel “empty,” need 94 people in worship. We currently average between 35 – 40 people in worship.
  18. 18. Financial Review
  19. 19. Financial Review
  20. 20. Financial Review
  21. 21. Financial Review • Adequate financial capacity for ministry – capable of meeting basic ministry for congregation. • As giving units have declined, the church has reduced pastoral position from full time to ¾ time to ½ time to reduce expenses. This trend will likely continue given the age of the membership.
  22. 22. Finances -- Summary • In past 10 years, membership has fallen by 35% and average worship attendance has fallen below 40. • Financial contributions have remained steady, but haven’t kept pace with inflation. • The church participants are generally older than the community.
  23. 23. Our Community
  24. 24. The Ohio River to the southwest and I-279 to northeast form natural psychological barriers. The northern boundary was drawn to include all of Emsworth and then to follow along Camp Horne Road. N. Balph Road through Bellevue to the river.
  25. 25. Nearby Presbyterian (USA) Churches
  26. 26. Mosaic Groups
  27. 27. A Closer Look
  28. 28. Two largest numeric groups are: K40 – “Significant Singles – Bohemian Groove” and L42 – “Blue Sky Boomers – Rooted Flower Power”
  29. 29. Significant Singles – Bohemian Groove Middle-aged singles and some couples earning mid-scale incomes supporting active city styles of living.
  30. 30. Significant Singles – Bohemian Groove Religious perspective: “An eccentric habit with only occasional advantages.” Key behaviors: Unattached, body conscious, fashion-forward, active and urbane. Inclination and attitudes: Progressive, carefree, self. Mood and values: High entertainment activities, low devotion to families.
  31. 31. Significant Singles – Bohemian Groove A difficult group for the church to reach. Their ages range from 36-65, so they don’t fit the stereotype most churches have about young adult “singles.” They don’t connect to the church through typical lifecycle transitions such as marriage, baptism, etc. The significance of most worship services and church programs misses them entirely. Those who want to bless people in this group will do it best through personal contact. You might connect with them at clubs, high end bars, cigar stores, and bookstores. They are also in and out of educational programs in community colleges. Their lifestyles make them vulnerable to addictions and chronic health issues, and churches may connect through intervention or recovery programs.
  32. 32. Significant Singles – Bohemian Groove In general, people in this group consider organized religion something to be avoided. A high proportion may have had negative experiences with religious groups in their personal history. Even talking about God may carry connotations that are too patriarchal, dogmatic, and constraining. However, they may have a broad interest in spirituality.
  33. 33. Blue Sky Boomers – Rooted Flower Power Religious perspective: “Always take time to smell the roses and appreciate what you have” Key behaviors: Thrifty, outdoorsy, slower-paced. Inclination and attitudes: Traditional, simple and carefree. Mood and values: High commitment to environment, low commitment to career.
  34. 34. Blue Sky Boomers – Rooted Flower Power Less disciplined about church involvement than they were. They enjoy traditional worship, but less likely to volunteer for committees and pledge the same amount of income to support budget. Feel they have “done their bit” for the church. Generally conservative in their social, political, and religious attitudes. However, they are willing to experiment with new technologies, read about different theological perspectives, or start a new outreach ministry.
  35. 35. Blue Sky Boomers – Rooted Flower Power Faith in God and appreciation of nature often go hand in hand. Spirituality is often contemplative of natural beauty. Sporadic in church attendance, but since they are usually outdoors hiking, boating, biking, etc., they still feel close to God. They enjoy a slower pace of life and love small town atmosphere. They are grateful for what they have and want to protect their privileges. Apt to stay brand loyal to denomination.
  36. 36. Blue Sky Boomers – Rooted Flower Power Spirituality is important to most people in this segment and for many, it will be expressed through a strong emotional attachment to a particular church. Gratitude is a strong element of their faith. They don’t want the church to grow too big or to make too many changes, and risk losing the intimacy and harmony they enjoy now.
  37. 37. Next Steps House meetings beginning week of July 13th Six weeks – 2 hours of conversation each week Three groups: Sundays after worship – begin July 13 Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. – begin July 15 Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. – begin July 16
  38. 38. House Meeting Topics Session One: Vitality and Discipleship Section Two: Interpreting the Report Session Three: Examining Our Community Session Four: Our Church in God’s Mission Session Five: Discovering Our Options Session Six: Navigating Change
  39. 39. We Believe: • Every voice needs to be heard in the process. • The process will only be as successful as our willingness and commitment to prayerfully work through it. • The Holy Spirit will surprise us. • Change has two partners: pain and possibilities. We need to recognize and understand that this process will not be pain-free. One way to ease pain is to imagine the possibilities that await us.
  40. 40. Let’s Conclude With A Story
  41. 41. A certain flock of geese lived together in a barnyard with high walls around it. Because the corn was good and the barnyard was secure, the geese would never take a risk.
  42. 42. One day, a philosopher came among them. Every week, they listened attentively to him. “My fellow travelers,” he would say, ‘can you seriously imagine that his barnyard is all there is to existence? Don’t you know there is another and greater world outside of which we are only dimly aware?”
  43. 43. The philosopher spoke of the advantage of flight, calling on the geese to be what they were. After all, they had wings, he pointed out: “What are wings for but to fly with?” And every week, the geese were uplifted by the philosopher’s message. The hung on every word. They devoted hours, weeks, months, years to the study of his doctrines.
  44. 44. All this they did. But one thing they never did. They did not fly. For the corn was good, and the barnyard was secure.