We had a church member vote on Sunday, June 14 and decided to proceed to the consultation phase of The Healthy Church Initiative. For that vote, we mailed out a Frequently Asked Questions document and a Healthy Church Initiative Overview.
Check out the following information and view the short videos to find out how St. Stephen can go from a good church to a great church.
(Thanks to FUMC, The Colony TX for the following text and video)
What is The Healthy Church Initiative (HCI)?
Many of our church members and friends are aware by now that our church is engaged in the process called HCI. We want everyone to fully understand what this process is all about, and what to expect in the future as we move forward. The Healthy Church Initiative is implemented across all of the Texas conferences of the UMC, and in some 30 plus UMC conferences cross the U.S. It is helping churches to more effectively connect with God’s mission through self- examination and renewed commitment to making disciples of Jesus Christ to change the world.
Phase One: Shared Learning for Leadership Development: HCI promotes strong leadership development as the basis for transformation. Selected lay leadership persons and the pastor develop their leadership skills by participating in this eight month phase. They learn best practices of ministry through a curriculum of current ministry books, and by discussing their experiences and learnings with peers. Pastors also receive some one-on-one coaching during this phase.
Churches can benefit greatly from this phase whether or not they choose to continue with phase two.
Phase Two: Consultation/Intervention Process: This phase is approximately six months, and involves a comprehensive self-evaluation of the church to determine where it is currently and where it has been historically. This data then becomes key to the main event of this phase, the consultation week-end. EVERYONE will have the opportunity to participate in various aspects of the consultation week-end, Saturday being the big event. There are a series of interviews and group workshops to explore various strengths, opportunities, questions and issues. The consultation team, made up of trained lay persons and pastors from our own conference will lead these activities and prepare a summative report, to be presented to the church on Sunday following the last worship service. The report will contain five prescriptions for change that could lead to fruitfulness and growth. Through a series of “town hall” type meetings, these prescriptions will be discussed, and the church will decide whether to proceed with phase three.
Phase Three: Implementation of Prescriptions: Churches who accept the recommendations (prescriptions) will formulate implementation teams and will have about two years to complete the plans. A coach will be assigned to spend time at the church and provide directive coaching for the pastor, staff, and laity to insure completion of the prescriptions and assist with tracking progress and identifying barriers and obstacles.
Promotional Video from the Missouri Conference
Our Bishop Lowry explains HCI Consultations: