Monday, November 20, 2006

cession|cwot - uj

Well, here's my effort. Not conclusive by any stretch and pretty light on the OT end, but an effort nonetheless:

Ctrengths
- Great bunch of talented/gifted people in relation to community size.
- Strong, servant hearted leadership, not afraid or dismissive of their humanity. Also, well educated.
- Great culture of community: people looking out for each other, openness is expected and (mostly) given
- Fairly non-authoritarian structure/culture
- High level of involvement from community members
- High level of creativity
- Provide an accessible environment for the 'dechurched'
- Teaching that doesn't insult community's intelligence combined with a culture that encourages questioning, discussion and active engagement.
- Active blogger community that provides another forum for engagement, discussion and discipleship. - Good mentoring/discipleship network base

Weaknesses
- Temptation to focus too much on difference of presentation/style as an end rather than as a tool
- Too much resource (primarily thinking of people/time, but funds too) committed to Sunday night service, which makes it our primary community connection point even if our philosophy/strategy seeks to have as an equal 'one of several'.
- Relatively small community size means that a lot of our people are perhaps (or at least feel) over extended in cession related service, therefore loss of passion & energy.
- Slow growth in overall numbers over the past year- Some measure of community inwardness (which naturally develops if you don't keep consciously engaging outwardly)

Opportunities
- Wider 'depot community' involvement
- Proximity to Pakuranga college and Highland Park
- Development of online social/discipleship networking opportunities

Threats
- The various ministries could become fragmented if we do not see our individual contributions in the light of the bigger picture/overall vision.

Cheers,
Uncle Jakey.

32 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting comment on resources being applied to worship service - is that too much is being applied to that entry point or is it actually that not enough is being applied to the others? Is it wise to weaken a strength or should we instead identify the weakness as:

Insufficient resource being applied to other entry points

Then one fixes that weakness - preferably by not damaging an existing strength! That may mean shuffling resources but not necessarily cutting back in any one area...

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Jakey said...

I would say that the Sunday service consumes too much resource at current levels of overall capacity. We do not currently have the people to invest nearly as much effort into multiple community connection points/initiatives.

Think about the amount of energy/effort/time (staff as well as voluntary) that goes into making Sunday happen (not an exhaustive list):

- Service planning (not actioning)
- Setup/packdown
- Chow
- Teaching
- Creative content
- Kids encounter

The amount of people resource (and person hours) it takes to do all these things is quite large. We cannot expect volunteers to do this kind of things several times over in a week and it is not realistic to expect 100% involvement from the community all the time.

Anyway. My point is not that the Sunday service is unimportant but that it is currently apportioned the bulk of our community resources when our strategy/philosophy is for this to be one connection point of several.

An example of the resource stretch is the running of the Marriage course. We have had to adjust our regular connect chow commitment to make it viable to run the Marriage course as well, and it is still a strain (albeit for a worthy reason) on a number of people - myself included. The fact is that we could not do this all the time without more people or we would quickly run our current community into the ground.

If it means sacrificing some of the "strength" of the Sunday service then I personally think it is worth it, otherwise our community may fail to grasp the opportunities around us (the depot community and wider community involvement) as well as it might because we work out of a limited well of resources and have to choose, strategically where we apportion those.

As the community grows this could change, but what's the old saying: "Start as you intend to go on". There will always be more taks than we have people. We have to choose to prioritise the things we think have the most value or they will not happen.

Cheers,
Uncle Jakey.

2:01 PM  
Blogger BJ said...

Hey Uncle Jakey,

Appreciate the time put into these thoughts. Taking it one step at a time (ie not jumping straight to the strategic choices) do you agree that the weakness is:

"Insufficient resource being applied to other entry points"

The options to address this might include examining resourcing to the service but there are other options as well. The resourcing applied to the service is not a "weakness". Its a fact that creates a strength. How we then weigh the relative strengths/weaknesses against the opportunities and constraints is what determines allocation of resources AND need for identification of fresh resources.

Just as an example and not in an attempt to refute what you have said (cos it is an option), other strategic options include:

> Transition key leadership out of service responsibilities, with appropriate succession planning (ie you don't compromise the strength of the service, you replace the resource)

> Recruit additional volunteers to roles in either sphere (expand the volunteer resource)

> Identify community funding streams that move volunteer time to paid employment (increase the labour resource)

> Do community-focused events on Sunday nights (transfer the resource for one-offs)

Some or all of these options, join your option, as ways to increase the flow of resource to the other entry points. Am I making any sense?!

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Blogger BJ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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