We Listened, and Here’s What We Heard
We extend our thanks to the over 100 members of our congregation who attended one of twelve church dinners in February. What a great start to our Vision Campaign, giving us an opportunity to listen to what many of you believe is instrumental to our vision and our success in the years ahead! These dinners provided a chance for members of our congregation to participate in discussions about both our spiritual mission and physical structure. We have had similar discussions over the years, but this was a time to openly consider again how we view our future, based on the impact of our recent growth and the expanding needs of our community.
Our facilitators asked three questions at each dinner:
What excites you about the church right now?
How do you see us as we move forward?
How does the community see the church?
Participation at each dinner was excellent (along with the food)! Your comments were shared with the church staff and the Campaign Leadership Team, and now with you.
The first question—what excites you about the church today—sparked the most discussion and the greatest variety of responses. The most frequent answers sounded like this:
- The consistent welcoming, open nature of the church—everyone
- Very welcoming personality — genuine and naturally warm
- People invest in each other–for example, sponsoring artists, taking kids fishing, mentoring, helping with meals, taking care of each other
- Children’s ministry growth—so much growth in the nursery they’ve split into two classes, plus the infants
- Kids playing up and down the halls…and how many people know those children’s names
- There is a great emphasis on celebration of tradition, yet without sacrificing the desire to embrace change.
- Comfortable acceptance; open to ideas; no “cliques”
- Multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-national
- Music and sharing of talents and individual gifts freely
- We are a church, not just an organization; we have a passion for a God-led ministry; our basic mission—serving God, and so many people “get it”
- For our size, we have great programs; our clothes closet, food pantry and serving our community’s various needs
- Good energy—mainly due to growth and the energy of the staff
- Wide spectrum of musical offerings
- Sermons stimulate, communicate and connect
Your outlook for Tabernacle is a very positive one! The consistent message is that we strive to open our doors and genuinely welcome anyone who wants to join us. Our church family and its spiritual mission are core to our continued growth and ability to expand what we offer to the world. We are truly an accepting and sending congregation that believes that what we do does make a difference. We are truly blessed with a sense of service and talent to help make that desire to serve a reality.
We are very grateful to all of our of our dinner sponsors—your time and efforts are sincerely appreciated!
In the next article about our “discovery dinners” we will focus on the second question—how do you see us as we move forward?