44 Questions for Congregational Self-Appraisal by Lyle E. Schaller

By Lyle E. Schaller

Church buildings do not take a seat nonetheless; they're both making plans for the longer term or wishing for the prior. but, even if environment approximately to parent the long run into which the Spirit is prime, how does a congregation map its manner? How does it comprehend its strengths and weaknesses, possibilities and obstacles, presents and graces? In forty four Questions for Congregational Self-Appraisal, Lyle E. Schaller directs the reader to the the most important questions a church needs to ask itself whether it is to appreciate its challenge and the path it needs to chart with the intention to in attaining that project. He is helping pastors, congregational leaders, and strategic making plans teams keep in mind that the questions we ask and the information we assemble are likely to set our priorities, and for that reason it can be crucial to hunt the right kind details from the outset. Schaller exhibits church leaders how to not develop into trapped through "means to an finish" questions (real property, staffing, cash, and schedules) and concentration as a substitute on questions relating to the congregation's targeted project (identity, goal, position, and God's name) and message.

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What Is the Ratio? The key variable in this next question is the definition of membership. The question appears to be relatively simple. What is the ratio of the average worship attendance-to-resident membership, age fourteen and over? In high-expectation churches (see question A in chapter 1) that ratio usually runs above 90 percent. The limitation in this question is in the definition of membership. Some congregations have a high thres-hold for becoming and continuing as a full member while in other churches that is a very low threshold.

Their job training program for the unemployed" or ". . that medical clinic in the church building" or ". . their Saturday evening worship service designed by and for young adults in the eighteen to twenty-five age bracket" or ". . housing an extension center of a theological seminary" or ". . their large number of active and recently retired farmers" or ". . honoring all the educators in this community at their Sunday morning worship service on Labor Day Sunday every year" or ". . being the only predominantly white congregation in town with a black pastor" or ".

The preferences of long-time members? Previous generations? The evangelism committee? An ad hoc task force of worshipers born after 1969? Is the number one goal of the ministry of music to praise and please God? To welcome and assimilate newcomers? To please the current membership? How difficult is it for a first-time visitor to follow and participate in worship at your church? How easy is it for a complete stranger (a) to find the correct door to enter during the week, (b) to discover where we worship, (c) to come to an adult class, and (d) to come to a special weeknight meeting held in this building?

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