Thank you to everyone who participated in the Church Health Assessment Tool survey. I know that it was a lot of questions (70!) plus an open-ended question at the end. I am very grateful you took the time and made the effort to provide the leaders at Trinity with your thoughts and feedback. We will use this information to plan for Trinity’s future.

The Council and several other leaders will meet with Steve Macchia from Leadership Transformations to discuss the results of the survey and begin to plan next steps. I will share more after that meeting which will happen on June 13. However, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the highlights from the survey now.

We had forty-one people fill out the survey which is a reasonable number for a congregation of our size. The sample is large enough to provide helpful information. People identified these three characteristics as the strengths of the congregation:

God’s Empowering Presence: 57% of the Congregation chose this trait as one of their “top three strengths of our church.” Typically, when your congregation affirms “God’s Empowering Presence” as one of your greatest strengths, they are sensing that the church actively seeks the direction and empowerment of the Holy Spirit for its daily life and ministry.

Stewardship & Generosity: 56% of the Congregation chose this trait as one of their “top three strengths of our church.” Typically, when your congregation affirms “Stewardship and Generosity” as one of your greatest strengths, they are happy with the ways in which the budget is raised, the resources are stewarded, and the generosity of the church is expanded.

God-Exalting Worship: 50% of the Congregation chose this trait as one of their “top three strengths of our church.” Typically, when your congregation affirms “God Exalting Worship” as one of your greatest strengths, they are celebrating the fact that the experience of gathering together for worship as the people of God is refreshing and renewing, uplifting and meaningful.

I found these results to be encouraging, and they make sense to me based on my conversations with people and my own observations. People express appreciation of the worship services on a regular basis, and visitors often comment that our worship services are uplifting. The question that received the highest rating was “When we gather to worship together, how well are we as a church invited to engage in singing songs and/or hymns that praise God and encourage us as believers?” The score was 4.89 out of 5. We love to sing, and our musicians and song leaders do a very good job helping us raise our voices to praise God.

On the other end of the spectrum, we do have opportunities to improve. These areas were identified as most in need of improvement:

Networking with the Body of Christ: 59% of the Congregation chose this trait as one of their “top three areas in need of improvement.” Generally, when your congregation identifies “Networking with the Body of Christ” as a trait in need of improvement, they are voicing their fears about becoming exclusive and distant from the wider community of believers. They are desirous of connecting with others of like mind and heart in places where Christ-centered worship, community service opportunities, church facilities and training events can all be shared in a spirit of cooperation and collective witness.

Learning & Growing in Community: 48% of the Congregation chose this trait as one of their “top three areas in need of improvement.” Generally, when your congregation identifies “Learning and Growing in Community” as a trait in need of improvement, the people are sharing their collective concern about the lack of community-building opportunities within the church.

Servant-Leadership Development: 43% of the Congregation chose this trait as one of their “top three areas in need of improvement.” Generally, when your congregation identifies “Servant Leadership Development” as a trait in need of improvement, the concern being voiced is focused on the lack of identifying, training and empowering members for service within and outside the local church.

Again, these responses do not surprise me. Although we do a fair number of activities with First Lutheran Church, we do not do much with other congregations. We have not done a great job of providing and promoting a variety of learning opportunities, and leadership development has not been a big focus for us. The challenge for us will be to pick a few things to do and do them well. As the leaders at Trinity consult with Steve Macchia and discuss the information we have from the survey, we will be looking for ways to build on our strengths and address some of our weaknesses. If you have ideas, you are welcome to share them with me or with any council member. (The council members are listed on another page in this newsletter.) May the Holy Spirit guide and empower us as we strive to be faithful to God’s call.

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