Following the January 12 congregational conversation, I spent some time with the comments captured on the easel pad. Below is what I heard from you regarding potential means of moving forward in unity.
- Define role of deacons.
- Develop clarity around deacon selection/terms.
- Empower committees.
- Communicate decisions out from deacons/committees.
- Invite more people into decision-making.
Support of ministers
- Define role of personnel committee.
- Identify/educate about what it means to welcome and embrace a minister.
- Acknowledge challenges ministers have faced at FBC and that all ministers everywhere face.
- Create constructive feedback loops.
- Establish helpful expectations of ministers.
- Increase frequency of church conferences/business meetings.
- Make information about ministry opportunities/events/leaders more accessible.
- Capitalize on energy when it bubbles up.
- Develop identity of FBC in the larger community.
- Answer building and budget questions.
- Honor history without lingering in nostalgia.
- Encourage engagement in processes/showing up.
- Listen intentionally to younger members.
- Celebrate who is here.
Relationship-building across groups
- Focus on common ground.
- Create more opportunities for interaction and dialogue.
- Develop means for noticing when someone is absent/struggling.
Leading with love
- Examine power structures.
- Ensure safety for those with less power.
- Embrace healthy conflict over avoidant comfort.
- Build the atmosphere that makes people want to invite others to church.
- Continue to deepen trust.
- Live in the tension between seeing the gospel as political and wanting to keep politics out of church.
In our congregational conversation on February 23, we’ll be talking about what keeps FBC members coming to church and what the areas of common ground are. I believe that conversation will make it possible to begin talking about the “how” of the some of the bullet points above.
Thank you for your continued engagement in the transition facilitation process. I am grateful and hopeful.