Readiness Initiative

05.24.24 | Congregational Development

    Every so often a congregation needs to step back and ask themselves, “Who are we, what are we here for, who is our neighbor, what particular mission has God given us, and what are we going to do about it?” We come to a fork in the road where we need to determine what we are able, willing and committed to do in order to move forward in fulfilling God’s call for our Church. This is the first step in missional action planning: assess a congregation’s readiness.

    This is at the heart of the Readiness Initiative, a process designed to explore the important questions facing us; “Who are we, what are we here for, who is our neighbor, what particular mission has God given us, and what are we going to do about it?”

    The goal of the Readiness Initiative is to help your congregation discern and begin implementing God’s next faithful step for you. Our hope is that this entire process is grounded in spiritual disciplines because this journey will require you to seek God’s will, not your own.

    The initiative starts with an Orientation Retreat and then leadership will undertake a bible study using Choosing the Faithful Path (copies of the material will be provided).

    Throughout the process you will be employ 3D thinking:  

    • Hindsight:  Studying times past to chart a path for the future.
    • Insight: Paying attention in the now, being in time and present.
    • Foresight: Accessing the future through imagination and scenario thinking.

    Once your congregation is very clear about your current reality, action steps will be developed to guide you during the next phase of your journey.

    March 2024: Complete the Unstuck Church Life Cycle Assessment 

    April 2024: Orientation (Location TBD)

    May 2024: On-site Visit by Guide

    June to October 2024: Book Study on Choosing the Faithful Path

    • Part 1: Assessing Ourselves (As leaders, our ministries, our disciple making, serving our neighbors in need)
    • Part 2: Assessing Our Neighbors (Who are our neighbors? Other faith communities -- both UMC and non-UMC)
    • Part 3: Assessing Our Ability, Willingness and Commitment (Making an honest assessment)
    • Part 4: Choosing the Faithful Path--Will We:
      • Reimagine: Prepare ourselves to engage in the Catalyst Initiative
      • Realign: Develop Strategic Partnerships with Other Churches, undertake the Readiness 360 survey, receive additional specialized training, engage in a process of healing
      • Retire: Exit the pathway or transition to leave a legacy

    October 2024: Conversationally-Informed Customized Prescriptions Developed

    November 2024: Season of Prayer

    December 2024: Advent and Christmas

    January-April 2025: Implement Customized Prescriptions

    Learn more about the Readiness 360 Survey Readiness Initiative Registration