Improve the ways we connect and relate
a. Make relationships an organizing principle of our church’s ministry.
b. Examine our current approach to creating and building community and take steps to develop new initiatives that will result in a greater culture of invitation, hospitality, and congregational care at our church across all generations, from youngest to oldest.
c. Strive to help every member understand their unique role in the missional call of God and to live into it.
d. Improve the way we care for those who are lonely, ill or aging.
June 2019 Update
The diaconate was restructured to free deacons to provide leadership in areas of hospitality and neighborhood groups.
Michelle Collins is leading one of our new Deacon Teams as they interview new covenant partners of First Pres. They hope to celebrate God’s work in our church and also learn how we can improve in connecting newer people into the community and mission of First Pres.
The Neighborhood Group team has been meeting once a month. While their overarching goal is to encourage connecting, relating, and community, they are first focusing on Neighborhood Groups. Each deacon on this team has recently been assigned to encourage and equip 3-4 NG’s. We have also been at work recruiting captains and hosts for NG’s that are not currently up and running. We are still eager to see if NG is something that will help our church increase relational connections.
August 2018 Update
First Pres has developed a Congregation Care Plan to:
- Make relationships an organizing principle of our church’s ministry.
- Examine our current approach to creating and building community and take steps to develop new initiatives that will result in a greater culture of invitation, hospitality, and congregational care at our church across all generations, from youngest to oldest.
- Strive to help every member understand their unique role in the missional call of God and to live into it.
- Improve the ways we care for those who are lonely, ill or aging.
The Congregational Care Plan is a living document that will evolve to meet the needs of the congregation.
Eighteen of 26 neighborhood groups are active throughout the city with a focus on developing community
The church website is regularly updated identify community resources available to care for the congregation and our neighbors.
- The Congregational Care page lists several support resources at First Pres.
- The Faith-based Support Directory currently provides information about 22 organizations providing a variety of resources in our community.
More than 90 seniors responded to a survey provided to our members aged 75 and older. First Pres has adopted several of the recommendations to emerge from the survey.
To renew our congregational focus on hospitality and eliminate barriers to entry, hospitality will now be a function under the new role of the deacon. Additionally, we’re working to add and enhance signage and visual aesthetic throughout the buildings, which will be helpful for visitors and covenant partners alike.
In 2017, eight small groups with approximately 70 people not already in a group met during Lent. Some of those people ended up in regular year-round groups. In 2018, five groups with approximately 50 people met during Lent. All of the short-term small group leaders participated in training and group members enjoyed a new Lent Devotional developed to support the practice of generosity (see Strategic Priority #1).
January 2018 Update
- Youth Ministry Architects were engaged and helped develop a strategy for Sustainable Youth Ministry
- We have partnered with InterVarsity at local colleges and universities the last 2 years, but that partnership is under review
- Youth ministry internships have been redesigned and are promoted during the summer
- Three new “fellows” of the Winston-Salem Fellows program have become engaged in the church and in youth ministry as volunteers