In November the Congregational Board appointed a Discernment Committee to discern and report to the Board the qualities the congregation desires in a Senior Minister. The Discernment Committee (the “Committee”) adopted a goal of seeking the opinion of every member of the church. The Committee used the following methods to seek member opinions:
- A congregational meeting was held on Jan. 22, 2017.
- Committee representatives met with the Deacons and Elders on Feb. 7, 2017.
- The Committee created an email address so that any member would be able to provide an opinion of the qualities that he or she desires in a Senior Minister.
- An online survey (“Survey Monkey”) was sent to every member for whom Country Club Christian Church has an email address. In addition, paper copies were made available to those members who did not desire to respond online.
- Church members were advised that any member of the Committee was available to meet individually.
The Committee is pleased to report that we received 400 responses from Survey Monkey, approximately 85 members or regular attendees attended the congregational meeting, and approximately 50 members attended the joint Deacons and Elders meeting. In addition, several members sent emails or letters. Thus, a significant percentage of our members provided their opinion of the qualities they desire in a Senior Minister. Opinions given in the congregational meeting and opinions given at the joint Deacons and Elders meeting were similar to the responses in the questionnaire.
As indicated above, there were 400 responses to Survey Monkey. Responses to our questionnaire, as shown in the exhibit (below) which ranks the top three choices in each category, indicate that the members of our congregation want a Senior Minister who is a strong speaker in Sunday morning sermons, with inspiring and challenging sermons which apply to everyday life and provide spiritual nourishment. The survey results indicate our Senior Minister should spend his or her time preparing and delivering sermons, coordinating Sunday services and communicating with members. Respondents believe the areas in which our church could use the most improvement are attracting new members, retention of existing members and strengthening fellowship.
In addition to the objective survey results, 184 respondents provided written comments. The comments are diverse and it is impossible to summarize them, but the following is representative of the responses.
The respondents love our church and its rich history, however they believe we must attract new members. The younger members requested greater presence online and through social media. The younger members indicate that when they are cannot attend in person they want services available on the internet which will allow members to benefit when they are unable to be in the pews. They want to watch and listen when they have available time.
Our Committee endorses one comment, “Realize the value of all members of all ages, new members bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm and longtime members who have given years of service.” One person said, “I am hoping for a Senior Minister who inspires.” One respondent desires a new Senior Minister who “connects with people, is energetic, can dream big and make it happen.”
Respectfully Submitted, H. Elvin Knight, Jr., Chairman; Mary Dibble, Dan Jensen, Amy Rose, Matt Moeder, Amy Holmes and Betsy Wilson