“Who are we called to be at this time and place?” This is the question congregations wrestle with as they engage with the mission strategy process of the Saint Paul Area Synod. Knowing that every congregation is unique in who they are and where they serve, this process is designed to be flexible and contextual. The mission strategy process helps congregations reclaim their own identity while listening deeply to the community around them. The knowledge gained from intentional listening helps shape a plan for the future. It also provides a foundation for continued discernment about where God is leading them.
To assist congregations in the renewal process, the Synod’s Mission Strategy Table has developed several opportunities.
Renewal Opportunities for Your Congregation
Congregation Vitality Survey
The Congregation Vitality Survey is an assessment tool for your congregation. It provides valuable feedback about how your congregation is doing in key areas that have been proven indicators of overall health. After administration, the surveys are scored by an independent firm and then interpreted with your congregation by the Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) or a member of the Renewal Team. From this, you decide how best to move forward. The DEM and members of the Renewal Team will walk with you through this process. This process can be as simple as a one-day retreat or a more strategic plan that gets at who you are and where God is calling you to go.
Vision, Mission, Goal Setting Retreat
This is a full day or two day retreat that provides structure and opportunity to listen to God, to one another, and to the community around you. Listening activities provide a clearer sense of what God is already up to in your part of the world and how God is calling you forward. This can lead to conversation and the drafting of a vision and mission statement or can produce a Ministry Plan for Action focusing on attainable goals that line up with your stated vision and mission. God has gifted us with everything we need - this retreat will help your congregation connect the dots and move forward with boldness and confidence.
A Year of Renewal
Every year, eight to ten congregations wanting to commit to a full year of renewal are invited to engage in the synod's Year of Renewal. Monthly gatherings with your leaders and members of the Renewal Team, as well as three cohort gatherings a year, will lead to a renewed sense of vision, mission, and action. The Year of Renewal will provide ample opportunity for your congregation to look honestly at who you are, what your strengths are, what your growing edges are, and where God is calling you to go now as a ministry. The Year of Renewal is filled with fun, excitement, and a bit of hard work but the end result will be a congregation poised to move to the next level of life together.
If you are interested in any of the above options, contact: the Rev. Justin Grimm, director for evangelical mission at firstname.lastname@example.org.