Membership Renewal - Yes, they are hard at work!

As part of the Reach & Renewal Campaign, one of the working groups was titled Membership Renewal.  The original working group members passed their recommendations to a committee made up of members of the boards of the church. The working group, members from Deacons, Community Life and the Adult Ed committee met to review the work already done through surveys and assessing current offerings and procedures. Membership Renewal was created through the boards. 

The Membership group will be comprised of representatives from all interested Boards and the Adult Education Committee. The charge to this group will be to assure that all membership activities are conducted in an intentional, coordinated way. The group will work with the boards to support them as they implement membership recruitment, reception and retention strategies. The group will address two primary strands of membership: new member processes (reception), including a defined process from the time a person visits the church until three years of membership, and current member engagement (retention), including ongoing small-group ministries, retaining and connecting new and existing members. The committee will also do overall monitoring of membership work within the church, to assure consistency across the boards.

The Membership Renewal Committee members include Kevin McAleese (Stewardship), Liz Ringle (Deacons), Sara Beachy (Christian Ed), Chris Schoenwetter, Gloria Green and Joanne Lenburg (Community Life), Anne Karch (Adult Ed), Kathy Wiggins and Sarah Kraus (Outreach) and Eldonna Hazen. The committee meets quarterly. At each meeting the group assesses the activities that have occurred since the last meeting. Upcoming events are reviewed and evaluated for assistance needed. Finally the committee addresses any new ideas or actions. All of the work is being done by the boards, using the committee as a sounding board or think tank.

The committee has been quite productive. Community Life has increased the number of movie nights, with great success. Many families are attending. The last movie night was directed more to adults and had good participation. There have been more Sunday morning Adult Ed offerings and the attendance has been equal to or better than the Gathering sessions. One Gathering session was held during this program year, with good and consistent attendance. The Pew Warmers are signed up for another year. We have seen a consistent increase in numbers of people participating in the events/classes offered. Community Life is also monitoring the use of bulletin boards around the church and evaluating changing the way we present our events.

Four members of the church, Chris Schoenwetter, Liz Ringle, Jeanne Marshall and Eldonna Hazen, attended a weekend workshop titled, Turnaround Church, at the Conference office in February. There was good information shared by the leaders, and some of the suggestions have been adopted by the committee and will be implemented by the boards and other members of the congregation. An interesting statistic shared in the workshop is that on any given Sunday there is only 18% of the population attending worship. That means that 80% of the population is a potential visitor to the church. Two of the main suggestions were: 1) the Pastor should spend 8-10 hours in the community being visible, and 2) the membership should be doing “elbow events.” Over time you will be hearing more about these two suggestions, and you will be invited to do an “elbow event.”

Another idea which the committee is working to implement is a Community Care Team. This is different from the Lay Ministry we currently have in place. The Community Care Team would be responsible for staying connected with people for five years after an important date has occurred in their life. This would include weddings, deaths, baptisms, membership, and graduations, or arranging food or assistance in crisis situations. One or two people would be responsible for sending cards on the anniversary of this significant event, with a hand written note. These people are being recruited now. Please let a member of the committee know if you are willing to help with this great Care Team.

The committee, with input from the boards, is also looking at ways to make the new member classes more exciting and allowing more interaction as people learn about the church.

The final project, in process, is to use the structure of the Reach & Renew Campaign. There were great conversations and great friendships made during the campaign. We don’t want to lose the wonderful relationships that were built. All of the team captains have signed on to resurrecting the groups, and if you were a team member you will be contacted about participating. It will involve ‘touching base’ two or three times a year by mail with the people you visited. We ARE a community. This will allow us to stay in touch.

Membership Renewal has, and continues to be, excited about their charge!

~ Eldonna Hazen

 

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 10:27 am in Featured Content.

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