Last night at our monthly Session meeting, one of the key pieces of business on the agenda was the data gained from the recent parish review which has been sent to us by the coordinator of the process. Overall, the data that we’ve just begun to look at shows a very healthy church which meets the needs of the vast majority in our work together to see the Kingdom of God promoted within us as the Body of Christ worshipping here at First Church and beyond. There are of course some areas that need more focus and forward thinking, but that is to be expected. There were some who gave some very helpful input and there were a few who felt that certain areas of mission weren’t being met at the moment as they saw things. Again, we are a diverse group of folks from all sorts of backgrounds so a diversity of opinions is to be expected.
Nevertheless, it is encouraging news from a totally objective review devised and run by specialist people from outside our fellowship. That should give us confidence in the results so far, although, what the elders were able to consider last night was still very much of a surface look; more will need to be done.
To that end, the Reviewers will be meeting with the leadership of First Church and Waiau Pa as together we are one parish, and with their guidance, we will be able to consider the data we have even more thoroughly and specifically. After that, there is another meeting of delegates from the Parish District Council elders (i.e. those from both First Church and Waiau Pa) along with others from various parishes who have gone through this process too. We will be meeting on a Saturday morning next year and will be comparing results somehow or other. It won’t be a ‘look how good we are and you aren’t’ kind of thing but will be designed to encourage one another in this great big thing called the Great Commission.
So at the end of all of this, after a great number of hours put in on all our behalf by the church leaders, hopefully we’ll be able to report back to the fellowship with some solid information. At the moment I’m assuming this will be the case as this whole process is brand new to all and we’re part of the first efforts at using this approach of review, so we will see. I’ll keep everyone as informed as I can. 🙂