Living Churches Initiative

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a five-phase comprehensive assessment, planning, and implementation process lasting 12-18 months

Phase 1: Congregational Health Assessment

Initially, this assessment will focus on:

  • organizational integrity (systems/processes/governance)
  • passion (level of commitment and engagement)
  • servanthood (outward focus)
  • and imagination (creativity and change capacity)

This health assessment will expose preliminary obstacles to the development and implementation of effective plans.

Phase 2: Mission and Vision Clarification

This review will include the identification of core theological values and guiding priorities.

Some churches may wish to consider revisions of other guiding documents, such as policy manuals, during this phase as well.

Phase 3: Defining Focus

Participating congregations will analyze their surrounding communities with a view to identifying a “target audience” or/and a focused area of impact.

The Center for Learning will provide the data needed to assist individual churches in defining their goals, including information on what other churches are doing and what has worked for them.

Phase 4: Planning

Having renewed their missions and defined their focus, congregations will develop action plans.

These plans will be tied to realistic resource allocations and will also address, as needed, obstacles to success identified in the context of the congregational health assessment.

The planning phase will also include consideration of current programs and strategies that may need to be realigned or eliminated to free up resources.

Phase 5: Implementation and Review

The implementation phase will include significant interaction with the Center to track progress, celebrate/report on success, and share learnings with other congregations.

Participating congregations will implement plans and assess the success of their initiatives, noting barriers and attempting to overcome these in revised iterations of their plans.