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The Process

A participating church will be coached through six general phases, a process that normally takes 6-9 months. These months involve listening sessions and other information gathering methods.

The data from the months of activities provides a basis for a conversation with the entire congregation. In turn, the results of this interactive process provide a basis for leadership to develop ministry initiatives and/or a ministry plan for the future.

After a Ministry Plan is in place leadership may opt for continued coaching or to continue the discernment process in a more focused way, aimed at particular areas of the church’s life.

Phase I: Preparation

  • Healthy Church staff introduces the Healthy Church Discernment Process (HCDP)
  • Church commits to use the HCDP
  • Formation of HCDP Planning and Prayer teams
  • Orientate church leadership, planning team, and prayer support people regarding the process
  • Describe the HCDP to the congregation

Phase II: Information Gathering

  • Online Healthy Church Comprehensive Survey (sample) administered to congregation
  • Gather additional information about congregation and community

Phase III: Conversations

  • Conversation about the information that has been gathered: Planning Team and leadership
  • Conversation about the information that has been gathered: Planning Team/leadership with congregation
  • Planning Team prepares summary of conversations
  • Leadership retreat (or additional congregational conversations) to name a new ministry focus and create ministry priorities
  • Leadership invites congregational commitment

Phase IV: Implementation

  • Leadership appoints a small team to coordinate with existing ministry leaders for implementation of new focus and priorities
  • Leadership and congregation live out Ministry Plan shepherded by leadership-appointed small team
  • Evaluate progress at six-month intervals

Phase V: Celebration

  • Dedication, celebration and healthy living (as Plan/Priorities lived out)

Phase VI: Follow Up

  • Conversation with church leadership about their experience of the process and their progress toward goals
  • Continued coaching (if needed)
  • Evaluate progress to date in 2-3 years, using a brief re-survey