Got Renewal? A Congregational Assessment

This self-scoring assessment highlights best practices in 7 areas of congregational renewal.  Score yourselves on a scale of 1-5 where 1 is never, 2 is rarely, 3 is sometimes, 4 is frequently, and 5 is always.  Then, look at the scoring key below, and discover next steps on your journey toward renewal.

You may also use the assessment as a conversation starter, or as a basis for prayer.  Let it guide you in the sacred art of congregational renewal.

Download copies to share.

CLEAR MISSION

1.  We know why we exist.
2.  Our vision is a reflection of our mission.
3.  We are excited and committed to our mission.

BOLD VISION

4.  We have a fresh vision that guides and challenges us. It expands assumptions about what we thought was possible.
5.  Our vision is too big for us to fulfill on our own. It requires the presence and power of God to fulfill it.
6.  Everyone knows what our vision is. It’s evocative, inspiring, and easy to remember.
7. Our vision points beyond us, and the survival of the church, to the community and Kingdom around us.

ALIGNED MINISTRIES

8. Our ministries are aligned with our mission and our vision.
9. Our ministries offer both comfort and challenge.
10. We serve people outside of the church, and inside the church.
11. The people who participate in our ministries are growing spiritually.

COURAGEOUS DEMONSTRATIONS OF FAITH

12. We take actions based in our trust of God. Not just personal preferences or budgetary constraints.
13. We sometimes overreach, and push beyond our limits—trusting that God will help us when we fall short.
14. We have seen our collective faith and trust in God grow as we have tried new things.

LIFE-GIVING SPIRITUALITY

15. Our leadership and congregation are grounded in healthy, life-giving spiritual practices.
16. We regularly talk about our spiritual life. And our experiences with the Holy. It’s not relegated to Sunday morning or private time.  We’re honest about the good things and the hard things.
17. We encourage a variety of spiritual practices that address different needs, styles and temperaments.
18. People in our setting have experienced the movement of the Spirit in a personally meaningful way.
19. People are growing as followers of Jesus Christ.

FLEXIBLE CULTURE

20. We care about each other. But we don’t walk on eggshells around each other, or use relationships as an excuse to avoid doing new things.
21. We have fun together. We do things for the sole purpose of getting to know each other better, and to enjoy each other’s company.
22. We are comfortable disagreeing with each other, and debating new ideas.
23. There is variety in the way we worship, study, and serve. We do things in a way that not everyone always agrees with.
24. We freely communicate our wins and our losses, and are comfortable celebrating what’s working.
25. We do not insist on consensus in decision-making. Even so, everyone gets to have their say.
26. It’s not unusual for us to take action before we have all the implications figured out. We act even though we don’t always know how things will turn out.

ENGAGED LEADERSHIP

27. We regularly rotate leadership. No one stays on and on and on in the same position.
28. We allow ministries to go dormant if they don’t have active leadership. We match needs and desires, not just fill spaces.
29. Our leaders participate in training and continuing education.
30. We make decisions in a timely manner and practice high accountability.
31. We have strong leadership. But the leaders don’t do everything. They mentor and disciple others.
32. Our leaders are active in the spiritual life of the church. They demonstrate courageous faith.

 

ASSESSMENT SCORING KEY AND NEXT STEPS

Now that you’ve taken the assessment, find your score below and see what it indicates about your congregation. Do you agree with what’s written?  Does it describe your congregation’s current state?  If so, you have assessed your level of renewal pretty accurately.  If not, go back and see where the discrepancies are.  Continue reading to discover your next steps. Finally, make a plan for action. Then, by golly, do it.

If you scored 1-40 POINTS, your congregation is on LIFE SUPPORT. Your church is gasping for air. It’s in need of a strong infusion of faith, vision, and passion. Or perhaps a funeral. Either way, it’s time to put the old patterns and old ways of doing things on permanent pause.

Your next steps: Consider your options. Is it time to close? Become a legacy congregation? Or a resurrection site from which something new can arise?  Find ways to honor the past, then make way for a very different future.

If you scored 41-80 POINTS: it’s time to ask yourselves, CAN THESE BONES LIVE? Your congregation has likely slipped from serving God and serving others to a fear-based inertia. Sentimentality and longing are frequent topics of conversation while vision and passion are things of the past. Risky faith is but a memory. Spiritual practices and ministries focus only on comfort. Conflict, or the threat of it, is ever-present.

Your next steps: Gather a vision team and begin to pray for God’s next vision for you. Do not let the fear of conflict or time-honored tradition waylay you from sensing God’s new promptings. Pay special attention to cultivating Life-Giving Spirituality, Engaged Leadership and Flexible Culture.

If you scored 81-120 POINTS: discover FRESH WINDS OF THE SPIRIT.  One of two things is happening. Either your congregation is leaning into best practices, and discovering new ways to respond to the Gospel. Or your congregation is slipping away from its former glory days, and just doesn’t know it yet. You likely have a sense of Clear Mission, even if Bold Vision is tenuous. You have some strength in Aligned Ministries and Life-Giving Spirituality.

Your next steps: Cast a Bold Vision. Look beyond yourself and your own survival to the needs and resources of the community. The more you do this, the more fear will fall away and faith will take its place. Partner with God to launch new ministries aligned with your vision, to rotate leadership and practice more courageous demonstrations of faith. Ensure that you are practicing high accountability, and mentoring new leaders to get to the next step.

If you scored 121-160 POINTS: celebrate that you are RENEWED AND REFRESHED. Your congregation is leading the way with inspiring vision, life-giving passion, and fear-defying faith. You know who you are and what you’re about. You are on the leading edge of each of the 7 areas of best practice. Most of all, you are expanding assumptions about what is possible and deeply connected to the Source and Spirit of your faith.

Your next steps: Celebrate and freely communicate your successes! Mentor other churches, grounding them in the best practices you have discovered.   Make sure leadership is revived, and that you do not rest on your laurels for too long. Cast the next life-giving Bold Vision.

No matter what stage your congregation is, once you start on the path of renewal, keep the lines of communication open. Treat each other with respect and patience. As exciting as renewal is, there will be some push-back as things change.

Ready to dig in or have questions? Please contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to map out your next steps. Email rebekah@rebekahsimonpeter.com. Or call 307-320-6779.

Finally, let us empower you to read your congregational culture, grow in leadership smarts and shift the culture of your congregation. Creating a Culture of Renewal Groups are forming for 2018-2019. Join the one that’s closest to you.