Update on Healthy Church Initiative Action Plan Progress

Action Step 1: Mission and Vision – COMPLETED December,2018 Hearts and hands to the World, Open to all, Pathways for finding God, Empowering change

Action step 2: Leadership Structure-COMPLETED January,2020. Following the Leadership Workshop in February, 2018, the focus group talked with churches from Bloomfield, Des Moines and Ottumwa and began developing a simplified accountable leadership model for Hope. The focus group wrote a draft Leadership Document from May through mid September, 2019. Town hall gatherings were held to discuss the new model during late September, 2019. A church conference was held on October 3, 2019 when the congregation voted to approve the new leadership structure. A committee was formed to nominate 10 members to the new board. The new Hope Leadership Team (HLT) was filled by mid January, 2020 and the initial meeting was held on January 25, 2020.

Action Step 3: Discipleship Pathway – COMPLETED August, 2019. Following the Pathway Workshop in March, 2019 a focus group met to develop a Discipleship Pathway. The pathway is an intentional process for growing followers of Jesus Christ. Hope’s process outlines levels of involvement and growth and encourages people to Connect (build relationships with God and others), to Grow (learn more about God, faith and the Christian journey) and to Serve (participate in ministries that help others). The Leadership Council gave their blessing to the Pathway Document in August, 2019. The Pathway Document was shared with the congregation in September 2019 and implemented immediately.

Action Step 4: Worship Evaluation – TARGETED COMPLETION IS September 2020. This focus group met for the first time in June, 2019 and began the process of evaluating our current worship experiences in light of our mission, vision and future. Progress was disrupted when the facilitator was facing health issues, surgery and then moved out of state. A Worship Workshop was held on March 8, 2020. The HCI Team discussed how to proceed without a facilitator with the goal of looking at creating varied worship experiences that might differ in stye, purpose and/or the day or time they are offered. Using input gathered at the workshop, the HCI team developed a short term plan to implement a few new worship experiences over the next several months. Anyone interested in helping to facilitate the future work of this focus group, please contact Janine Campbell, Kathy Baker or Pastor Nan.

Action Step 5: Faithful Stewardship – Finances-COMPLETED prior to the Fall 2018 Stewardship campaign and will be done annually. Hope implemented a stewardship campaign in the Fall 2018 that aligned with the mission and vision. A task team was appointed by the Finance Chair and overseen by the Pastor. This process will be done each year.

Building/property space assessment-TARGETED COMPLETION April, 2020. A focus group was formed including members, staff and non-members. They surveyed Hope’s building and grounds. Each person completed a questionnaire about their observations, and impressions. The information was collated and the group plans to meet one more time in the near future. The group will develop a list of recommendations for the Hope Leadership Team based on their combined impressions. The HLT will review the recommendations and determine how to respond.

Staffing-NOT INITIATED. The Leadership Team will work to align the church’s wants and needs in the area of Staffing. It is felt that this should take place after the Worship Evaluation is implemented further or completed. 


Update on Healthy Church Initiative process 6-29-19

Action Step 1:  Mission and Vision – completed.       Hearts and hands to the World

                          December, 2018                                    Open to all

                                                                                           Pathways for finding God

                                                                                           Empowering change

Action Step 2: Leadership Structure – develop and implement more effective and   simpler accountable leadership structure; all church workshop held February 2;         team is meeting monthly to develop a simplified accountable leadership model for Hope;  town hall gatherings to discuss new model tentatively planned for   August, or September 2019; model reviewed by District Superintendent and approved at a church conference on October 3, 2019. Team facilitator: Kathy Baker.

Action Step 3: Discipleship Pathway – team working to develop an intentional process for growing followers of Jesus Christ; a team of leaders attended Conference’s           Discipleship Pathway Day Retreat on March 2; design to be approved by Leadership Board early fall, 2019.  Team facilitators: Kirstan Condit, Michelle Irwin, Sigourney Odor

Action Step 4: Worship Evaluation – evaluate current worship experiences in light of mission, vision and future; team has had initial meeting; workshop for congregation in January or February 2020; develop proposal regarding worship by April 2020. Team facilitators: Jenny Van Gundy and Janine Campbell

Action Step 5: Faithful Stewardship – Finances-the church implemented a stewardship campaign in the Fall 2018 that aligned with the mission and vision. A task team was appointed by the Finance Chair and overseen by th pastor.  This will be done annually.  

 Building/property space assessment to be conducted during summer, 2019.  Team is being formed.  Team facilitators:Steve and Joyce Salasek.  

 A Team will be established at later date to determine wants/needs in areas of Staffing.

 The original (4-28-18) Consultation Report that was approved by the Hope congregation on June 3, 2018, is available in the church office upon request.

Hope United Methodist Church, Marshalltown, IA CONSULTATION REPORT Updated 6/4//2019

Jesus replied, . . . “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
We have been privileged to work with Pastor Nan Smith, the leaders, and congregation of Hope United Methodist Church. We greatly appreciate the work you did to gather the information necessary prior to the consultation and the incredible hospitality you provided to the consultation team throughout the weekend. Our prayer is that God will use this report and this process to enable the congregation to continue to partner with the Holy Spirit for the sake of Christ’s mission in this community and beyond.
1. Missions. We heard a deep passion and commitment to local and global missions throughout this community of faith. Your outreach to those on the margins and overlooked populations is evident through your giving of time, talents, and treasures. This includes ministries such as restorative justice, Justice for Our Neighbors, House of Compassion, and outreach with Hoglan school and Wonderful Wednesdays.
2. Open and Welcoming. You have tremendous strength in being an open community to people of all theological, political, and social perspectives. You are also welcoming and affirming to diverse cultural communities. You share your space with the entire community of Marshalltown through providing a welcoming center for groups such as Head Start, Boy Scouts, the Karen congregation, and the Baptist Spanish-speaking congregation. There are no strangers in this space.
3. Leadership of Laity and Pastor. You have a committed core group of leaders that includes the HCI leadership team, leadership council, and other program volunteers. We heard many appreciate Pastor Nan’s leadership around worship, excellent sermons, and deep listening.
4. Music and Worship. We heard many people, including Mystery Guests, celebrate the meaningful worship, which includes outstanding music, excellent musicians, and powerful messages.
5. Relationships—Caring and Connected. Over and over people shared how they were warmly welcomed into this congregation. They told us how members came together across differences to form deep and lasting relationships. If someone is in need, people willingly step in to help, whether that is for a programming need or personal support.
6. Inviting Facility. You have a welcoming building and well-maintained grounds, which you willingly share with the community. Artistic members create an inspiring environment for worship and hospitality.
1. Mission and Vision. While you have worked on mission and vision in the past and have invested time in shaping statements (2005, 2012, 2016), we found that most people could not articulate a clear, concise vision that is widely shared throughout the congregation. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel because you have an excellent foundation. Vision is a powerful way to inspire people to grow in ministry. A clear mission and vision will allow you to prioritize for excellence and alignment.
2. Leadership Structure. We heard that clear communication is sometimes lacking among committees and leaders. We also heard that many people wear multiple hats, so that they feel empowered but also overwhelmed. They expressed desire for a simpler and more effective leadership structure. We also heard that some may lack the training and support needed to grow into new leadership roles.
3. Discipleship Pathway. We heard people name the need for a more intentional way to help people connect with God and this church and to grow in their faith as followers of Jesus Christ who transform the world.
4. Worship Evaluation. When you initially made the decision to add a second worship service similar to the first, that was a wise decision. You now have the unique opportunity to offer multiple worship experiences that connect with different groups of people. We heard that people were open to exploring different days, times, and worship styles.
5. Faithful Stewardship. We heard three areas related to stewardship. First, people expressed a desire to better use the building and outdoor spaces to strengthen the ministries of the church. Second, while this is clearly a generous church, we heard people identify the need to use financial resources wisely and in alignment with the mission and vision. Third, you should feel proud of your ability to maintain the current staffing capacities and meet financial responsibilities. However, it was not clear to the consultation team how well staffing was aligned with the mission and vision of the church.
1. Mission and Vision. The coach, or someone designated by the coach, will lead an allchurch workshop on mission and vision, building on the statements of mission, vision, and welcome that you have already developed. Following the workshop, a team of 2-3 people, as well as the pastor, will revise and finalize a mission and vision. The workshop will be held on October 30, 2018, and the mission and vision will be adopted by the Leadership Board by December 18, 2018 and presented to the full congregation on Jan. 18, 2019. The mission and vision will then be communicated widely and consistently in all church bulletins, newsletters, agendas, and more.

2. Leadership Structure. The congregation will develop and implement a more effective and simpler accountable leadership structure to facilitate communication and better identify and equip leaders. The coach, or someone designated by the coach, (Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, Director of Congregational Excellence for the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church) will conduct an all church workshop on accountable leadership (workshop was held on Feb. 2, 2019 from 10:00-2:00 p.m.). Following the workshop, a small team will develop a simplified leadership model tailored to Hope UMC. There will be town hall gatherings to discuss the new leadership model in July, August, and September 2019. This model will be reviewed by the coach and District Superintendent and will be voted and approved at a church conference on October 3, 2019. Implementation will begin immediately upon adoption.

3. Discipleship Pathway. This church will develop an intentional process for growing followers of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This process will build on visioning you did in 2005 and 2012. A part of the pathway will be the development of small groups for all ages. A team of leaders will attend the Conference’s Discipleship Pathway Day Retreat on March 2, 2019 at Ankeny First UMC Uptown Campus to learn more information and begin the dialogue about the discipleship pathway process. A team organized by the pastor will design a discipleship pathway for approval by the Leadership Board by early fall 2019 in time for the Sunday School kickoff. The coach can provide resources.

4. Worship Evaluation. To continue the tradition of inspiring worship, this congregation will evaluate the current worship experiences in light of their mission, vision, and future. You have a unique opportunity to create multiple worship services to reach new groups of people. These differences could be in style, purpose, and/or the day and time they are offered. A workshop for the congregation will be provided by someone appointed by the coach. The workshop will be held in January or February 2020. Following the workshop, the pastor, in consultation with the coach, will appoint a task group to evaluate the worship opportunities and develop a proposal for the Leadership Board by April 2020. Implementation will begin as soon as feasible after board approval. A possible resource is Taking Flight with Creativity by Len Wilson and Jason Moore.

5. Faithful Stewardship. We heard a number of comments about being more intentional about the use of the church’s resources, whether that be building space, finances, or staffing.
      a. Building space. While the church has great indoor and outdoor space, the way it is currently used allows little room for growth of ministries. A task group, in consultation with the pastor and coach, will conduct an assessment of building use during summer 2019. The results of this assessment will be presented to the Leadership Board by February 2020. The Leadership Board will develop a plan for facility use and best use of available space.

      b. Finances. The church will implement a stewardship campaign that aligns with the mission and vision. This will be done by a task team that is appointed and overseen by the Finance Chair, in consultation with the pastor and coach. This will be done annually.

       c. Staffing. Following the adoption of the mission and vision and the establishment of the simplified Leadership Board, the pastor, the Board, and the coach will align the staffing needs of the congregation by June/July 2020.

In the event the church votes to accept this report, a defined time-off for re-creation and spiritual renewal will be set aside for the pastor of the church during the summer of 2018. This time may include but not be limited to a specific “Renewal Leave,” as defined by ¶351 of the Discipline of the United Methodist Church, as well as continuing education related to Healthy Church Initiative Action Plan and/or apart from them. These arrangements will be made in consultation with the coach, Leadership Board, and District Superintendent.

We want to thank Pastor Nan, the HCI team, leaders and members of Hope United Methodist Church for inviting us into your congregation. We pray that God might use this report to make God’s dream for Marshalltown, Iowa, and this church a reality.
Team Members Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, Lead Naomi Sea Young Wittstruck, Coach Incoming Director of Congregational Excellence Central District Field Outreach Minister Linda Van Roekel, Team Member Rev. Jaymee Glenn-Burns, Team Member Laity, Windsor UMC NE District Field Outreach Minister
Town Hall Meetings: Sunday, May 6th at 6:30 p.m. (Sundaes on Sunday) Sunday, May 13th at 9:30 a.m. (Donuts and Dialogue) Saturday, May 19th at 9:30 a.m. (Scrambles on Saturday) Wednesday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. (Fellowship and Floats)
Church Conference Vote on HCI Report: Sunday, June 3rd (Brunch at 9:15 a.m immediately following first worship service and AllChurch Conference Ballot Vote at 9:45 a.m.) All-Church vote will be facilitated by Central District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon