A Message To The Congregation From The Board of Deacons
and the Strategic Planning Council
Strategic Planning Council: Carol Reid Fricke (Chair), Ben Boswell (Ex-Officio), Mary Conlon, Dick Cornwell,
Charlie Elberson, Gloria Gibson, Joan Hope, Charles Johnson, Debby Love, Barbara Mishoe;
Also Participating: Janet Miller (Board Chair), Jay Rivers (Board Chair-Elect), Bob Thomason (Board Secretary),
Andi Stevenson (Exec. Director, The Lee Institute, facilitating)
A PLAN TO MOVE US FORWARD
Last spring our Board of Deacons through the Strategic Planning Council called out for a 75th Anniversary Jubilee Strategic Plan to move us into the next decade. To examine the heart of this vision, we asked some big questions:
- What is happening in the Christian Church of the 21st century?
- How is the Spirit of God calling MPBC, in our own community and into the greater Charlotte community?
- What are the most significant ways we might live into our Covenant during the next five years?
We as a congregation have been part of this ongoing conversation and have grappled with these questions for years now. We heard the voices of our own ministers and guest preachers. We were invigorated by the words and ideas of Susan Beaumont, Richard Rohr, Brian MacLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor, Amy Butler, and Robin Meyers. When Ben Boswell arrived, the Strategic Planning Council engaged his prophetic voice and vision for our Church’s future and began to dream.
WHAT WE LEARNED
Last fall, Andi Stevenson and her colleagues at The Lee Institute began to collect and examine perspectives about our Church from a variety of voices:
- The extensive Senior Minister Search Survey completed by MPBC members several years ago. It’s rich, recent and thorough data about who we are.
- Fifteen hour-long interviews with a diverse sampling of our congregation, as well as ministers from other local churches.
- A short-answer survey of Active Deacons and Ministry Chairs, our entire Staff, and the Strategic Planning Council.
- A focus group of millennials who visited MPBC incognito as “secret shoppers” and shared their experiences with The Lee Institute.
These findings were reviewed, analyzed and discussed among Senior Staff, the SPC, the Board of Deacons. After this Stakeholder Research was presented to the congregation, the SPC began to hone in on Goals that would eventually serve as pillars of our shared Jubilee plan.
Three hundred Church members – YOU – gave 35 hours in 23 Listening Circles during January and February to reflect on those Goals. You provided thousands of ideas about deepening our faith, enriching our relationships, reaching out into the community, and sustaining our Church into the future. It was magnificent to hear so many of your voices!
From your input, our friends at The Lee Institute partnered with the SPC to pull out the common themes and clearly identify your priorities. Every Strategy in this plan developed from the work you did in Listening Circles and reflects your thinking.
From March until May, the Council has engaged with Church leadership and the Board of Deacons, met with Ministry Chairs, Chair-Elects and Senior Staff. Many hours have been devoted to discerning all of the possibilities, pinpointing the challenges, and incorporating wise feedback. The Board of Deacons endorsed the final proposal of Goals and Strategies for the 75th Anniversary Jubilee Strategic Plan on May 8, 2017.
Goals and Strategies
At a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, June 4 at 11:00 a.m. in Heaton Hall, you will be asked to vote to adopt this plan.
This will include a fun, engaging presentation with time for discussion and your questions.
Strategic Plan Framework for Congregation
PUTTING THE PLAN INTO ACTION (GOALS → STRATEGIES → TACTICS)
All of your tactical ideas from the Listening Circles were compiled and will form the basis for putting the plan into action! The Staff is collaboratively developing Church-wide Tactics, the specific action steps needed to implement each strategy. Pending Congregational approval on June 4, Ministry Chairs will dive in with the Staff to plot out specific actions over the next several years, tied directly to cost estimates and ways to measure progress. In this way, the Plan will be woven directly into the fabric of the 2018 budget.
The Plan and Tactics will be reviewed by the Board of Deacons at their annual Retreat and will be shared at the October Congregational Meeting.
OUR FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS
May we hear what is ours to hear. May we do what is ours to do.
The Strategic Planning Council has prayed for guidance throughout 50 hours of meetings and built this framework on foundations laid by those who came before us. Every single word in this plan has been carefully considered, read by many eyes, and reframed and refined over many hours of consideration and conversation.
From our beloved Covenant, this plan creates a roadmap to turn WHO WE ARE into WHAT WE DO. This is not just a broad framework of priorities, more importantly, it is an invitation to every Ministry, group, and church member to play a vital role in moving us toward a life of greater spirituality and service.
Are our dreams for the future bigger than those of the past? We hope this plan will challenge and broaden our thinking, force us to question assumptions and habits, and welcome innovation that builds on our legacy. Where there’s a dream, there’s a way! We look forward to dreaming the dream with you.
WITH A BIG THANK YOU
We are deeply grateful to all who led, helped, and participated in the Listening Circles! Thanks also to our devoted, dedicated staff for unceasing assistance.
We are indebted to Andi Stevenson, Executive Director of The Lee Institute for her wisdom, extraordinary understanding of our Church, and brilliant ability to take our words and make them sing!