Strategic Plan 2002


TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH

 

Strategic Plan

2002

REPORT OF THE LONG-RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Vision Statementand Mission Statement

Demographics

Membership Graph

Church Income Graph

Worship Attendance Graph

Sunday School Attendance Graph

Combined Growth Graph

Summary Overview

Leadership / Administration

Worship

Christian Education

Fellowship

Missions

Facilities

Recommendation Summary, Immediate (0-1 years)

Recommendation Summary, Short-Term (2-3 years)

Recommendation Summary, Long-Term (4-5 years)

Conclusion

Introduction

We have endeavored to create a report that is relevant and comprehensive, with substance that is actionable.

Establishment and Purpose

At the Quarterly Business Meeting in October 2000, the Congregation voted to establish an ad-hoc Long Range Planning Committee to develop a proposal to address issues involving the congregation’s growth and needs over the coming years. A long-range plan helps the congregation clarify its preferred future and determine the steps it needs to take to get there.

The Long Range Planning Committee consisted of dedicated servants Dick Neumann, Roberta Rivers, Steve MacKim, Wilma Nicholson, Jennifer Metheney, and Pastor Dave Wright, with Jay Probst and Steve Cope serving as co-chairs.

Procedure

The committee’s first meeting took place in February, 2001, and has met regularly at least once each month since then. The Long-Range Planning Committee has remained focused on the mission of “Leading People to a Moment of Truth with Christ”. The committee initially decided to determine the missions, ministry and programming needs over both the short-term and long-term, and then to develop a proposal for the building, staff and organization required to fulfill those programming needs for our future ministry to the community

The committee is examining the needs on three levels: Immediate (one year); Mid-Term (2-3 years); and Future (4-5+ years). We have chosen the following review format: 1. Contribution to church ministry / mission; 2. Strengths / Resources; 3. Opportunities / Challenges; 4. Potential for Growth; 5. Needs / Problems; 6. Issues; and 7. Recommendations.

A strategy was developed to accomplish our task: 1. Seek and analyze information from the standing committees; 2. Prepare, distribute and analyze a congregational survey; 3. Prepare, distribute, and analyze a community survey; 4. Address issues; 5. Evaluate current facilities; 6. Develop recommendations; and, 7. Present a comprehensive plan to the congregation.

Method

Over the past year and a half, the LRPC has gathered information from the standing committees regarding their needs to accomplish their mission and vision for the future; has analyzed and categorized those needs; has solicited congregational resources; has distributed a congregational survey as well as a community survey; has distributed concerns identified by the surveys to the standing committees for their input, has identified areas requiring action and developed recommendations for programs and the facilities necessary to support and implement them.

The congregational survey was distributed beginning June 20, 2001. The surveys concentrated on the areas of Fellowship, Leadership / Administration, Worship, Education, Mission Life, Church Facilities, and Church Future. (Surveys Distributed: 144 [all members or regular visitors ages 12 and up]. Surveys returned: 63. Response rate: 43.8%.) Each survey consisted of 150 questions, which resulted in 9450 responses to tally and analyze. Using this information, we developed a database of the responses that allowed examination of the results based on different criteria. A Community Survey was distributed in August, 2001.

VISION

We will be a relevant, caring, growing community, bringing Christ to the local setting. We will become a destination for the community - our friends and neighbors, believers and all others - by spreading Christ’s joy, and providing special events and services that demonstrate God’s love in practical ways to our community. We will be outwardly-focused, demonstrating a quality of life that leads people to desire Jesus and inspires Christians to greater levels of fruitfulness in preparing for Christ’s return. We will develop our church property into a mission center, where people can enjoy an epic experience and encounter God, whether inside or outside.

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MISSION

Leading people to a moment of truth with Christ.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Average age of survey respondent: approximately 46 years.
  • 60% female, 40% male (community profile 53% F, 47% M).
  • 65% married; 35% single, widowed or divorced.
  • 29% managerial or professional occupations, 25% retired.
  • Highly educated congregation: 44% high school graduates, 31% college graduates, 13% post-graduate studies (community profile: 33% h.s., 28% c., 9% p.g.).
  • 71% of respondents are TBC members.
  • Average distance from home to church: 6.1 miles.
  • Largest percentage of members come from a Baptist background (31%); 16% from Methodist, 10% Lutheran, 10% Presbyterian, 8% Brethren, 8% Roman Catholic, 8% United Church of Christ, and several other denominational backgrounds.
  • Top three reasons for joining / attending TBC are: 1. Worship style; 2. Beliefs; 3. Personality of the Pastor.
  • Average number of years attended TBC is 6.1 years; however, a strong 49% have attended for 10 years or more, relatively evenly split between the two services. The Praise service is composed of somewhat newer members in only the 0-3 years range.
  • Fairly dedicated - more than 2/3 attend worship service every week.
  • The amount of time per month spent participating in church activities is highest among the 51-65 age bracket and the 12-25 age bracket; the least amount of time spent occurs in the 26-35 age bracket.

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Summary Overview

Trinity Baptist Church is a church with a lot of energy, a real sense of warmth and purpose. One of our key strengths is our friendliness, and our willingness to recognize and greet visitors.

We need to build public awareness of our church, through events and advertising, to position our church in the community in light of our Vision and strategy for growth, and provide a base for reaching people in the community who are spiritually unattached or without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Effective communications within the church membership also need improvement and enhancement, to build community and participation in opportunities for ministry or fellowship.

The majority of the congregation envisions the future of TBC as a mission center to reach out to the local community. To accomplish our mission of guiding others to “experience” God, we must learn to trust God for our future. A motivated laity working hand in hand with the pastor is an absolute necessity. A ministry that is conducted solely by the pastor is not a church. Intentional outreach will fail to have significant impact unless the ministry is undertaken by the congregation; therefore, we must address the need for equipping the entire membership for effective, targeted ministry. We need to increase our ability to introduce new people to our ministry, by inviting these people to visit our church, and spreading it effectively by word-of-mouth, from friend to friend and neighbor to neighbor.

The congregation has almost overwhelming support for anything to do with the Youth of the church, one generation building for the future of the next generation. The highest priorities are continued development of the Christian Education programs, and hiring a Full-Time Youth Director to develop and implement activities that will nurture our Youth, maintain their interest and keep them actively involved, and reach out to the youth of the community, drawing them in toward a moment of truth with Jesus Christ.

Growing churches absolutely require strong, visionary leadership. “Without vision, there is no reason to change. Without leadership, there is no path upon which change can be managed intelligently. Without a determination to remain relevant (without compromising one’s essential values, beliefs and principles), there is no need to reorient behavior to address the needs and desires of a target audience.” (George Barna, Turn-Around Churches, p. 37.) We have a visionary Pastor, and dedicated lay leaders to implement vision. However, one of the key components that has been missing at Trinity Baptist Church has been an articulated Vision to guide the church, and to use as a benchmark for all decision-making, programs and undertakings. The Pastor and Deacons have developed the Vision Statement presented earlier in this report to use as a guide for implementing programs and developing resources that support the Vision. All of the following recommendations should be viewed in light of their contribution to the Vision and Mission of Trinity Baptist Church.

Leadership / Administration

Strengths

The members recognize the Pastor, and the congregation’s confidence in the Pastor, as a major strength in the leadership of the church. The members also support the Lay Leaders and Staff of the church, and feel that they have adequate opportunities for their voice to be heard. There is very strong support for anything to do with the involving the Youth of the church.

Opportunities / Challenges / Issues

  1. There is a need for improved communication within the church and among the members.
  2. A program of consistent lay leader recruitment and supporting training needs to be established to integrate members more effectively and provide a consistent flow of talent. The church that either ignores its failure to integrate new people into the mainstream of the ministry, or proves incapable of attracting young people, usually suffers serious consequences.
  3. Church meetings are perceived as somewhat inefficient.
  4. A small group of dedicated servants tends to be carrying the majority of the effort in maintaining programs and staffing events.
  5. The current role of the Deacons is too broad. However, prior to transitioning to a Biblical church administration model, additional information and education needs to be provided for the congregation.
  6. A single Pastor can only effectively minister to about 120 members; however, the church currently lacks the financial resources to hire additional staff.

Strategies for Growth

  1. Additional channels of communication to the membership need to be utilized.
  2. Establish a committee responsible for identifying and training potential leaders (pastors, deacons, teachers, committee chairs, special events coordinators, etc.) that can be a resource for all of the committees and programs of TBC. Create and utilize a member’s “Time and Talent” survey and database to facilitate identification when needs arise and placement of individuals in appropriate positions.
  3. Focus the committees’ efforts toward contributing to TBC’s Vision and Mission. Each committee should develop its own Mission Statement that supports the overall Vision of TBC, and then utilize that statement of purpose as “gatekeeper criteria” to evaluate their efforts. Explore a common meeting night for all committees. Provide regular leadership training. Develop a manual of duties, responsibilities, policies and procedures for each committee that will guide members and provide continuity of programs as committee membership changes.
  4. Create excitement. Stress the Vision and Mission. Re-state and reinforce the “dedicated servant” concept often. Create and utilize a member’s “Time and Talent” survey and database. Fill some positions with hired staff.
  5. Provide scripture-based education regarding the church structure established by Paul in both the adult Sunday School classes and in the worship service. Identify and differentiate the leadership types and responsibilities.
  6. Create excitement. Increase attendance, with a resulting increase in giving.

Requirements and Recommendations

  1. Create an e-mail directory of the congregation, to complement the telephone and address directory. Establish the position of Communications Coordinator, either under the Membership Committee or a Publicity Committee. Acquire additional publicity in the local media to let the community know that this is an active church dedicated to service. Utilize an “announcements clerk” at all worship services (this could also be the Communications Coordinator). Require regular committee reports in the Trends newsletter. Provide budgeted funding for additional office equipment – a second computer, a second telephone line, an upgraded copier, a letter folding machine, etc., along with necessary maintenance and replacement of current equipment. Provide additional space.
  2. Establish a Leadership Development Committee, which would also serve as the Nominating Committee, to identify and equip potential leaders within the congregation. This will require a Constitutional change. Implement a regular Leadership Class. Investigate adding a “Youth Representative” to the Deacon’s Board, to nurture future leaders. Prepare a booklet outlining the duties and responsibilities of Elders and Deacons.
  3. Require each committee to develop its own Mission Statement and committee manual for review and approval by the Deacon’s Council. Create a master handbook of all committee operating information. The Deacon’s Council or an appointed ad-hoc committee should explore the feasibility of a common meeting night for all committees. Provide a regular leadership training class.
  4. Develop a plan to hire additional staff and a funding plan to implement in a timely manner. Establish a Personnel Committee to handle the personnel administrative tasks. This will require a Constitutional change.
  5. Establish an ad-hoc committee to complete a comprehensive review and recommend appropriate revisions of TBC’s constitution. Specifically establish the offices of Elder and Deacon, and their respective duties and responsibilities, within the Constitution and By-Laws.
  6. Develop a timetable for adding paid staff, and target budget growth to meet that timetable. Intensify Stewardship education. Consider additional special collections.

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Worship

Strengths

Our Sunday morning worship services serve as the cornerstone for gathering to praise, honor, and glorify God. The two distinct services satisfy our desire for different styles of corporate worship. Diversity in worship services helps to meet the members’ different needs. The willingness to try new ideas allows our church to grow in spirituality and membership. However, we are sensitive to the desire not to become two separate congregations.

Almost unanimously, the congregation was content with the service length and times. The Pastor’s message is a key positive factor in the worship experience. The variety of worship approaches and appropriate music were also important. We recognize the need for creating a worshipful atmosphere.

Opportunities / Challenges / Issues

  1. Additional congregational participation in the worship services is desired.
  2. There is a continual struggle to adequately staff the child care facilities during the services (a lack of dedicated servants).
  3. There is a desire for additional combined worship services.
  4. There is a desire for personal testimonies and witnessing by members as part of the service.
  5. Some parents are interested in a Junior Church program for their children.
  6. There is an expressed need for a tape ministry.
  7. The Greeters and Ushers program has dissolved.
  8. The sanctuary capacity is approaching its facility limit in the Praise Service (80% of maximum).
  9. The church choir receives minimal support and participation.

Strategies for Growth

  1. Enhance the coordination and team planning between the Pastor and the Public Worship Committee.
  2. Address the lack of adequate space and facilities for child care. Establish a Children’s Ministries program to oversee the child care function. Recruit additional dedicated servants. Provide child care training and certification of all child care staffers.
  3. Schedule additional combined services throughout the year.
  4. Reinstate the “Layman’s Sunday” format occasionally. Coordinate with Public Worship Committee for identification of testimony candidates. Utilize an interview format to guide the testimony and to help the speaker.
  5. Investigate the level of interest in a Junior Church program. If significant, recruit a coordinator and dedicated servants. Public Worship Committee should investigate and recommend curriculum / program. Address the lack of space.
  6. Assess the need for a tape ministry. Utilize a Communications Coordinator for distribution. Include an adequate amount of resources in the budget to support.
  7. Establish an Ushering Team program for all worship services under the Public Worship Committee. Re-establish a weekly Greeters program for all services and special events under the Membership Committee.
  8. Consider establishing another worship service or increasing the size of the facility.
  9. Increase worship attendance and recruitment efforts. Select appealing music.

Requirements and Recommendations

  1. Establish regular meeting time and agenda for planning between the Pastor and Public Worship Committee. Develop plans to establish a Drama Team for participation several times per month.
  2. Include in the building program an increase in the size of the facility dedicated to child care. Establish a Child Care Coordinator under Children’s Ministries. Provide and require completion of a training program for all child care workers. Consider a regular paid part-time staff. Increase the budgeted resources to support the program.
  3. The Public Worship Committee and the Pastor should schedule combined worship services throughout the year, possibly whenever there is a “fifth Sunday” in a month (four times a year), and plan special events around those services (baptisms and dedications, etc.).
  4. Reinstate the “Layman’s Sunday” format occasionally. Coordinate with Public Worship Committee for identification of testimony candidates. Utilize an interview format to guide the testimony and to help the speaker.
  5. The Public Worship Committee should investigate the level of interest in a Junior Church program. If significant, they should recruit a coordinator and dedicated servants, evaluate and recommend curriculum / program. Address the lack of space within any new building program.
  6. The Public Worship Committee should assess the need for a tape ministry. Utilize a Communications Coordinator under Membership Committee or Publicity Committee for distribution. Include an adequate amount of resources in the budget to support.
  7. Immediately establish an Ushering Team program for all worship services under the Public Worship Committee. Immediately re-establish a weekly Greeters program for all services and special events under the Membership Committee.
  8. When attendance at any worship service reaches 80% of the Sanctuary occupancy capacity (approximately 175 people), establish a new worship time to accommodate additional growth in attendance (exceeding 80%, people have a tendency not to attend or participate). Short-term will require additional lay leaders, additional music, and additional planning; long-term will require the hiring of an associate minister. All would require the budgeting of the required resources to support.
  9. Hire a professional choir director on a part-time basis. Increase choir member recruitment efforts at all worship services. “Cross-pollinate” with performances at each worship time occasionally.

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Christian Education

Strengths

The congregation has almost overwhelming support for anything to do with the Youth of the church. There is strong support for the continuance of the Youth Director position, as well as very strong support for making it a full-time paid staff position. The core of the mid-week activities is a well-attended Wednesday Night Program, including a Family Dinner, Bible Study, and Youth Group meeting. We have a small core of dedicated Sunday School teachers, and an active Youth Camp program through our American Baptist Church-affiliated camps. We have had a very successful Vacation Bible School program that reaches out to the youth of the community.

Opportunities / Challenges / Issues

  1. One of the top areas that the congregation is willing to commit additional resources is the hiring of a full-time Youth Director.
  2. There is a recognized need for a formal Teacher training program, and certification of our teachers in CPR, as well as protecting our children through police fingerprinting of all teachers, youth workers and assistants.
  3. Consistent difficulty in teacher recruitment.
  4. Need for new members to learn the history, resources, organization, administration, and opportunities for involvement within TBC.
  5. Interest in new non-Sunday youth programs.
  6. Lack of staffing for an Awana-type community youth program.
  7. Keeping young adults (college and career age) involved.
  8. Lack of church transportation.
  9. Lack of publicity for educational seminars and programs to the community outside of our church.
  10. An organizational structure that is not suited to a growing program.
  11. Lack of an adequate nursery, in structure, age-differentiation, and care guidelines.
  12. Lack of classroom space.

Strategies for Growth

  1. Develop a plan / timetable for changing the Youth Director position from part-time to full-time, and consider a process for hiring.
  2. Create and publicize a certified children’s ministry and nursery staff.
  3. Hold regular Teacher meetings for planning and support.
  4. Establish a regularly-held New Members Class.
  5. Christian Education Committee should poll the interest of new non-Sunday Youth activities and develop a program for staffing, curriculum, and other support, including budgetary requirements.
  6. Christian Education should develop plans for establishing a future program.
  7. Christian Education should investigate programs to interest and attract college and career age members.
  8. Invest in a bus or van.
  9. Establish a Publicity Committee.
  10. Change the structure of our Christian Education efforts.
  11. Revise the nursery administration structure.
  12. Create more classroom space.

Requirements and Recommendations

  1. Christian Education should develop a plan / timetable / budget for changing the Youth Director position from part-time to full-time, and consider a process for hiring.
  2. Require regular teacher training and re-certification, and budgeting of the associated funding necessary. Require police fingerprinting of all teachers, youth director, and assistants.
  3. Immediately initiate regular Teacher meetings (bi-monthly or quarterly), for planning and support. Formally establish a “Teacher Representative” position on the Christian Education Committee.
  4. Immediately establish a regular New Members Class, coordinated and facilitated by the Pastor, with representatives of all committees participating. Possibly held for three weeks during the Sunday School period.
  5. Christian Education Committee should poll the interest of new non-Sunday Youth activities and develop a program for staffing, curriculum, and other support, including budgetary requirements.
  6. Christian Education should develop plans for establishing a future program, after the congregation reaches enough “critical mass” to support the staffing requirements with dedicated volunteers. Gather information for other churches with established programs to streamline the process.
  7. Christian Education should investigate programs to interest and attract college and career age members.
  8. The Property Committee should develop a proposal for acquiring a church bus or van, acquiring insurance, and training CDL drivers to assure driver availability for transportation to events.
  9. Establish a Publicity Committee, to handle internal and external publicity for all committees and events. Provide an advertising budget. This will require a Constitutional change.
  10. To stress the congregation’s belief in the importance of the Christian Education effort at TBC, establish Christian Education as a “Department”, with the head of the department holding an ex-officio membership position on the Board of Deacons. Initially establish the position of Superintendent to oversee the effort, eventually creating a part-time staff position of Director of Christian Education, to whom the Youth Director would also report. This will require a Constitutional change.
  11. Establish a Child Care Coordinator under Children’s Ministries, separate from basic Christian Education, but reporting to the Director of C.E. Investigate how other churches are structured. Differentiate between infants and toddlers in staffing, and care. Implement guidelines, paralleling state child care guidelines. Consider a regular paid part-time staff. Increase the budgeted resources to support the program.
  12. Include in any facility planning adequate classroom space, including anticipated growth and storage. The number one facility concern expressed by the membership is the need for additional classrooms. In the mid-term, consider converting the Parsonage to either classroom space, or offices to free up the Church Office and Pastor’s Study for classes.

Fellowship

Strengths

One major attribute of the congregation of TBC is its friendliness. Recognizing visitors and making them feel welcome is something that we are good at. The congregation is very supportive of one another - spiritually, emotionally, and financially. We are an inviting group of people, especially good at inviting friends and neighbors to activities and events outside of regular worship. We have planted the seeds of a sports ministry that we hope to nurture into a community outreach program for youth.

Opportunities / Challenges / Issues

  1. There is a need for improved communication.
  2. There is some resistance to change.
  3. Members are reluctant to invite people to worship services and some activities.
  4. Integration of new members is not always effective.
  5. Desire for reaching out to the youth of the community.
  6. The current Shepherding program by the Deacons is not as effective as the program could be, as the Deacons’ role is too broad.
  7. A “managing calendar” does not exist.

Strategies for Growth

  1. Additional channels of communication need to be utilized.
  2. Change is necessary for a church to survive, and not stagnate and die. Work on ways to ease into change.
  3. Stress personal evangelism, inviting people every Sunday, and incenting children to participate. Create additional activities for all age ranges.
  4. Create a New Members Class, and re-establish the Sponsorship program.
  5. Have a people, not programs, focus. Emphasize quality, not quantity; phase in programs at a manageable pace. Establish a Sports Ministry.
  6. Develop a Shepherding program utilizing people with a talent for the task.
  7. Create an annual managing calendar.

Requirements and Recommendations

  1. Establish a Publicity Committee, to handle internal and external publicity for all committees and events. Provide an advertising budget. This will require a Constitutional change. Create an e-mail directory of the congregation, to complement the telephone and address directory. Establish the position of Communications Coordinator, either under the Membership Committee or a Publicity Committee. Utilize an “announcements clerk” at all worship services (this could also be the Communications Coordinator). Provide budgeted funding for additional office equipment – a second computer, a second telephone line, an upgraded copier, a letter folding machine, etc., along with necessary maintenance and replacement of current equipment. Provide additional space.
  2. Employ the Vision of TBC at all levels. Help the congregation internalize the Vision statement. Stress the core value of remaining culturally current, bringing Christ to the local setting, with relevant, contemporary approaches appealing to both the believer and the unbeliever. Developing an atmosphere of trust and comfort to which our culture can respond positively. The church must alter its non-essentials to remain relevant and attractive to a doubting world.
  3. Public Worship should utilize the “Invite a Friend Sunday” format more than once during the year. Cultivate the mindset that every Sunday is for inviting a friend. Investigate a program of children’s incentives for inviting friends.
  4. Immediately establish a regular New Members Class, coordinated and facilitated by the Pastor, with representatives of all committees participating. Possibly held for three weeks during the Sunday School period. Immediately re-establish the Sponsorship Program administered by the Membership Committee, to mentor potential and new members and promote friendship and involvement. Profile all new members in the Trends newsletter. Establish a Leadership Development Committee, which would also serve as the Nominating Committee, to identify and equip potential leaders within the congregation. This will require a Constitutional change. Implement a regular Leadership Class. Investigate adding a “Youth Representative” to the Deacon’s Board, to nurture future leaders.
  5. Create excitement. Embrace the Vision. Establish a Sports Ministry, Event Planner or Activities Director under the responsibility of the Membership Committee or a sub-committee (Fellowship) of Membership to coordinate.
  6. Develop a new Shepherding program under the Membership Committee that would draw upon members with an affinity for keeping in contact with others, supporting them, and communicating their needs to the Deacons when appropriate for corporate concern or action.
  7. Initiate an annual planning retreat in the Fall for all Committee Chairpersons, Staff, and the Deacons. Plan major events and themes for the entire coming year, to coordinate and streamline efforts, making them more powerful and with greater impact. Board of Deacons should coordinate.

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Missions

Strengths

The attitude of giving within the congregation and support for the concept of missions is very strong within TBC. This is evidenced by a higher-than-average budgeted percentage of giving dedicated to missions, as well as the growth of non-budgeted missions giving each year. The opportunities for involvement in mission activities have been numerous.

Opportunities / Challenges / Issues

  1. Members want to participate in / support “hands-on” projects.
  2. Interest in social-problem-focused opportunities.
  3. Coordination of a Youth Mission Trip.
  4. Identifying Mission interests.

Strategies for Growth

  1. Host Mission speakers, presentations; publicize opportunities better.
  2. Host Mission speakers, presentations; develop workshops; publicize to the community.
  3. Combine a Youth Mission Trip with another church to start.
  4. Commit to opportunities that are part of the Vision.

Requirements and Recommendations

  1. Public Worship Committee and Missions Committee should coordinate and commit to several dedicated Sunday services per year for Mission speakers and presentations to reach the congregation more effectively. Speaker resources are available. Develop a program to be actively involved in sending people from our own church to the mission field.
  2. Establish a Publicity Committee, to handle internal and external publicity for all committees and events. Provide an advertising budget. This will require a Constitutional change.
  3. Missions Committee should investigate combining a Youth Mission Trip with another church that has an established program. The resources necessary will need to be budgeted. The Property Committee should develop a proposal for acquiring a church bus or van, acquiring insurance, and training CDL drivers to assure driver availability for transportation.
  4. Benchmark Mission opportunities against the Vision, and commit to those opportunities that fit within the criteria of what TBC is trying to accomplish.

Facilities

Strengths

TBC is blessed with a good location, enough property (five acres) for expansion of facilities to support programs, and no long term debt. The congregation has also expressed a desire to acquire additional property adjacent to the church property as it becomes available for a reasonable price. Our Property Committee has continued a maintenance program that has preserved the present facilities in good shape, without any need for any major structural repairs. The Sanctuary is presently large enough to handle the current worship service attendance, and with the addition of another service, can handle the anticipated attendance growth in the short- and mid-term future. We have acquired, and are in the process of finishing installing, currently up-to-date audio/visual equipment in the Sanctuary. The congregation has recognized the urgent need for better access to all parts of the building.

Opportunities / Challenges / Issues

  1. Inadequate Nursery space.
  2. Inaccessible Fellowship Hall.
  3. Desire for a Multi-Purpose Room (Family Life Center, Recreation and Community Resource Center, etc.), including a first-floor kitchen.
  4. Inadequate classroom space.
  5. Need for a dedicated Youth Room.
  6. Need for working, pleasant, and adequate restrooms.
  7. Inadequate Kitchen facilities.
  8. Inadequate storage space.
  9. Inadequate sewer capacity.

Strategies for Growth

  1. Develop plans for an enlarged / updated facility, incorporating all of the needs listed above.

Requirements and Recommendations

  1. Immediately establish a Facility / Building Ad Hoc Committee.
  2. Immediately establish a Building Fund Committee to develop a capital funds campaign.
  3. Stewardship Committee should inform members about, and emphasize the use of, charitable trusts, endowments, etc.
  4. Develop facility plans that support the Vision.
  5. Investigate other churches that have recently completed building projects for ideas: First Baptist of Canton, Faith United Methodist, First Friends, Rivertree, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Church of the Brethren.
  6. Build the facility to implement the Vision!

Recommendation Summary

Immediate (0-1 years)

  1. Create an e-mail directory of the congregation, to complement the telephone and address directory. Establish the position of Communications Coordinator, either under the Membership Committee or a Publicity Committee.
  2. Utilize an “announcements clerk” at all worship services (this could also be the Communications Coordinator).
  3. Require regular committee reports in the Trends newsletter.
  4. Deacons should implement a regular Leadership training class. Create and utilize a member’s “Time and Talent” survey and database to facilitate identification when needs arise and placement of individuals in appropriate positions.
  5. Investigate adding a “Youth Representative” to the Deacon’s Board, to nurture future leaders.
  6. Require each committee to develop its own Mission Statement and committee manual for review and approval by the Deacon’s Council. Create a master handbook of all committee operating information.
  7. The Deacon’s Council or an appointed ad-hoc committee should explore the feasibility of a common meeting night for all committees.
  8. Deacons should establish an ad-hoc committee to complete a comprehensive review and recommend appropriate revisions of TBC’s constitution. Specifically establish the offices of Elder and Deacon, and their respective duties and responsibilities, within the Constitution and By-Laws.
  9. Prepare a booklet outlining the duties and responsibilities of Elders and Deacons.
  10. Establish regular meeting time and agenda for planning between the Pastor and Public Worship Committee.
  11. The Public Worship Committee and the Pastor should schedule combined worship services throughout the year, possibly whenever there is a “fifth Sunday” in a month (four times a year), and plan special events around those services (baptisms and dedications, etc.).
  12. Public Worship Committee should immediately establish an Ushering Team program for all worship services.
  13. Membership Committee should immediately re-establish a weekly Greeters program for all services and special events.
  14. Christian Education Committee should immediately initiate regular Teacher meetings (bi-monthly or quarterly), for planning and support.
  15. Christian Education Committee should formally establish a “Teacher Representative” position on the committee.
  16. Immediately establish a regular New Members Class, coordinated and facilitated by the Pastor, with representatives of all committees participating. Possibly held for three weeks during the Sunday School period.
  17. Establish a Publicity Committee, to handle internal and external publicity for all committees and events. Provide an advertising budget. This will require a Constitutional change. Acquire additional publicity in the local media to let the community know that this is an active church dedicated to service.
  18. To stress the congregation’s belief in the importance of the Christian Education effort at TBC, establish Christian Education as a “Department”, with the head of the department holding an ex-officio membership position on the Board of Deacons. Initially establish the position of Superintendent to oversee the effort, eventually creating a part-time staff position of Director of Christian Education, to whom the Youth Director would also report. This will require a Constitutional change.
  19. Employ the Vision of TBC at all levels. Help the congregation internalize the Vision statement. Stress the core value of remaining culturally current, bringing Christ to the local setting, with relevant, contemporary approaches appealing to both the believer and the unbeliever. Developing an atmosphere of trust and comfort to which our culture can respond positively.
  20. Public Worship should utilize the “Invite a Friend Sunday” format more than once during the year. Cultivate the mindset that every Sunday is for inviting a friend. Investigate a program of children’s incentives for inviting friends.
  21. Membership Committee should immediately re-establish the New Member’s Sponsorship Program, to mentor potential and new members and promote friendship and involvement. Profile all new members in the Trends newsletter.
  22. Create excitement. Embrace the Vision.
  23. Initiate an annual planning retreat in the Fall for all Committee Chairpersons, Staff, and the Deacons. Plan major events and themes for the entire coming year, to coordinate and streamline efforts, making them more powerful and with greater impact. Board of Deacons should coordinate.
  24. Public Worship Committee and Missions Committee should coordinate and commit to several dedicated Sunday services per year for Mission speakers and presentations to reach the congregation more effectively. Speaker resources are available.
  25. Benchmark Mission opportunities against the Vision, and commit to those opportunities that fit within the criteria of what TBC is trying to accomplish.
  26. Immediately establish a Facility / Building Ad Hoc Committee.
  27. Immediately establish a Building Fund Committee to develop a capital funds campaign.

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Recommendation Summary

Short-Term (1-3 years)

  1. Deacons to develop a timetable for adding paid staff, and target budget growth to meet that timetable.
  2. Stewardship Committee to intensify stewardship education. Consider additional special collections.
  3. Establish a Leadership Development Committee, which would also serve as the Nominating Committee, to identify and equip potential leaders within the congregation. This will require a Constitutional change. Create and utilize a member’s “Time and Talent” survey and database.
  4. Provide budgeted funding for additional office equipment – a second computer, a second telephone line, an upgraded copier, a letter folding machine, etc., along with necessary maintenance and replacement of current equipment. Provide additional space.
  5. Include in the building program an increase in the size of the facility dedicated to child care. Establish a Child Care Coordinator under Children’s Ministries. Provide and require completion of a training program for all child care workers. Consider a regular paid part-time staff. Increase the budgeted resources to support the program.
  6. Public Worship Committee should investigate the level of interest in a Junior Church program. If significant, they should recruit a coordinator and dedicated servants, evaluate and recommend curriculum / program. Address the lack of space within any new building program.
  7. Public Worship should reinstate the “Layman’s Sunday” format occasionally. Coordinate with Pastor for identification of testimony candidates. Utilize an interview format to guide the testimony and to help the speaker.
  8. Public Worship Committee should assess the need for a tape ministry. Utilize a Communications Coordinator under Membership Committee or Publicity Committee for distribution. Include an adequate amount of resources in the budget to support.
  9. Public Worship should establish a new worship time to accommodate additional growth in attendance when attendance at any worship service reaches 80% of the Sanctuary capacity (approximately 175 people). Short-term will require additional lay leaders, additional music, and additional planning; long-term will require the hiring of an associate minister. All would require the budgeting of the required resources to support.
  10. Christian Education should develop a plan / timetable / budget for changing the Youth Director position from part-time to full-time, and consider a process for hiring.
  11. Christian Education should require regular teacher training and re-certification, and budgeting of the associated funding necessary. Require police fingerprinting of all teachers, youth director, and assistants.
  12. Music Committee should hire a professional choir director on a part-time basis. Increase choir member recruitment efforts at all worship services. “Cross-pollinate” with performances at each worship time occasionally.
  13. Property Committee should develop a proposal for acquiring a church bus or van, acquiring insurance, and training CDL drivers to assure driver availability for transportation to events.
  14. Establish a Child Care Coordinator under Children’s Ministries, separate from basic Christian Education, but reporting to the Director of C.E. Investigate how other churches are structured. Differentiate between infants and toddlers in staffing, and care. Implement guidelines, paralleling state child care guidelines. Consider a regular paid part-time staff. Increase the budgeted resources to support the program.
  15. Establish a Sports Ministry, Event Planner or Activities Director under the responsibility of the Membership Committee or a sub-committee (Fellowship) of Membership to coordinate.
  16. Membership Committee to develop a new Shepherding program that would draw upon members with an affinity for keeping in contact with others, supporting them, and communicating their needs to the Deacons when appropriate for corporate concern or action.
  17. Include in any facility planning adequate classroom space, including anticipated growth and storage. The number one facility concern expressed by the membership is the need for additional classrooms. In the mid-term, consider converting the Parsonage to either classroom space, or offices to free up the Church Office and Pastor’s Study for classes.
  18. Missions Committee should investigate combining a Youth Mission Trip with another church that has an established program. The resources necessary will need to be budgeted.
  19. Develop facility plans that support the Vision.
  20. Investigate other churches that have recently completed building projects for ideas: First Baptist of Canton, Faith United Methodist, First Friends, Rivertree, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Church of the Brethren.
  21. Secure funding commitments for the building fund.
  22. Build the facility to implement the Vision!

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Recommendation Summary

Long-Term (4-5 years)

  1. Establish a Personnel Committee to handle the personnel administrative tasks. This will require a Constitutional change.

  2. Public Worship should develop plans to establish a Drama Team for participation in worship several times per month.

  3. Christian Education Committee should poll the interest of new non-Sunday Youth activities and develop a program for staffing, curriculum, and other support, including budgetary requirements.

  4. Christian Education should investigate programs to interest and attract college and career age members.

  5. Christian Education should develop plans for establishing a future Awana-type program, after the congregation reaches enough “critical mass” to support the staffing requirements with dedicated servants. Gather information for other churches with established programs to streamline the process.

  6. Missions Committee should develop a program to be actively involved in sending people from our own church to the mission field.

  7. Continue to build the facility to implement the Vision!

  8. Dedicate the new facility!

Conclusion

It is our prayer that the preceding Strategic Plan has captured a significant portion of what God desires to accomplish through His people here at Trinity Baptist Church. Being in partnership with Christ to build His Church requires a commitment and perseverance which the Bible compares to running a life-long marathon. For many of us at TBC, the challenge is to “stay in the race”. For some of us, the challenge is simply to “get in the race”. Either way, we do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.

Expanding the programs requires member dedication and participation as well as facilities. Most of the recommendations will increase the responsibility and, most significantly, the importance of the work of the committees. Many of the recommendations will require additional funding. Stewardship is an important and ever-present part of our Christian life. For the church to carry out the work of our Lord, we must provide the means by sharing our worldly possessions, our time, and our talents. The challenge is to develop and sustain stewardship programs that provide the financial support that will enable the church to meet our Mission and implement our Vision.

In most business endeavors, it is prudent to set objective goals, and then measure progress against them. Unlike a secular business plan, a strategic plan for the church is more of a statement of where we believe the Lord is leading us, rather than where we think we might be able to go through our own strength, ambition, and resources. We gratefully acknowledge that God has an infinitely better picture of the future than we do, and we realize that any objective goals are short-sighted at best. The Lord may either have so much more for us than we initially realized, or desire that we journey in a different direction. Therefore, we request that this Strategic Plan be reviewed regularly by the Deacons and Pastor, updating and benchmarking the progress quarterly; and that this remain an active, living document, subject to evaluation as to the effectiveness and current relevance of the recommendations.

Submitted in Christ’s Service,

The Long-Range Planning Committee

Steve Cope, co-chair

Jay Probst, co-chair

Wilma Nicholson, secretary

Dick Neumann

Roberta Rivers

Steve MacKim

Jennifer Metheney

David Wright, Pastor