CBFNC General Assembly Breakout Session
“An Experience With Congregational Coaching: Neill’s Creek Baptist Church Angier, NC”
I. Welcome & Opening Prayer
“Community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, their unknown and undiscovered brothers.” Howard Thurman
II. Introductions (myself last)
*Where you’re from
*A little bit about the church you are affiliated with (general information)
*Why you are interested in congregational coaching? What brought you to this workshop?
III. Transformation is a strong word. At NCBC we experienced significant “shifts” in the culture of our church.
Context: Who is Neill’s Creek Baptist Church
*Founded in 1780
*Burned Twice (most recently 1984)
*Traditional Baptist Congregation, Fairly Rural but in an evolving area
*Lots of turnover in pastoral leadership
*Founding families, gate keepers, and power brokers
*Decent mix of ages and a thriving children & youth ministry
*Not much that sets us apart from other mainline churches in our area
*Community highly saturated with church
*Located just off a major artery (Hwy 210) and adjacent to consolidated high school & middle school.
IV. What made us curious about congregational coaching? How did we know that we needed help?
*Life cycle of the Church—we felt platued, stagnated, & stuck
*Saw that we were in a season where we were experiencing the early stages of some growth and wanted to capitalize on it.
*Wanted to avoid past mistakes, while having a plan to move forward.
*Many directions to go in
*Where do we even start?
*The possibility of a building project
V. What is a church coach and what does he/she do?
1) Asking the Difficult, Probing Questions?
2) Identifying Our Areas of Defensiveness (Blind Spots)
3) Highlighting the Disconnects (The gaps in what we said we were doing vs. what we were actually doing)
4) Giving permission to consider possibilities that we have either never considered before or never thought possible
5) Helping us listen/discern what the spirit is saying and translating that into practical “next steps”
*Our Interview Questions
-What trends does the church need to pay attention to?
-How would you describe the families in our community?
-What do you see happening in our community in the next 5 years?
-What would you want to say to the church?
*What we discovered from these interviews
-Not everyone had nice things to say about “The Church” & about NCBC
-Didn’t see area church “doing anything” in the community; the church has lost connection and relevance within the community.
-Lots of people had no idea who we were or where we were located
-Lots of people were hurting and struggling but didn’t feel they would be received well at a local church.
-People just trying to make it one paycheck at a time, one day at a time.
-People very disconnected from any hope & very distrustful of others
-Concerned about their children and immediate family members
-People searching for a community to love them, support them, and help them deal with real life issues in practical ways. (Story of Zack camping out on our church property.)
VI. What do you hear the Spirit saying?
-A sense of unity and common vision
-Began to narrow the scope and focus in on specific goals
-What needed to change? Our Church Culture! Turning our “Come” structures into “Go” structures. Moving from an attractional model to a missional model. Utilizing a strategy for a un-churched culture.
-Mobilize our people for ministry—how can we equip our people to do ministry at the places they are already going to and through the activities they are already doing?
-How can our buildings be a site for planning and sending as much as they are for gathering and fellowshipping? (Examine Church Calendar)
-Talk with newest members to discover what brought them here and what has kept them here.
-We need to value the “come heres” and not just the “born heres”
VII. What action steps did we take?
*Free Community Meal & Ping Pong Tournament
*Worship in the Park
*Bible Study off Church Campus
*Backyard Bible Clubs
* “Just Because” Cards
*Christian Youth Night @ Ellington Studios
VIII. What were the larger outcomes?
*Increased Racial & Age Diversity
*Continued Prayer Triads
*Greater Unity and Forward Functioning
*Growth—Spiritually and Numerically
*Greater Compassion to regularly help families in need
*The “nay-sayers & power-brokers” have come around slowly but surely. (Story of Harry & Highway Patrolmen)
IX. Where is there still room for improvement?
*Getting out of our comfort zones!
*Getting more of our congregation engaged in off-campus ministry that involves interacting with people (listening, empathizing, and sharing/witnessing)
* Balancing the attractional with the missional (Keeping the Church Calendar in check)
*Continuing to change culture before we change systems and structures.
*Keeping the vision and momentum alive—through practical next steps that move us forward.
X. Questions & Dialogue: “What feeds/fuels your church?”
*Opportunity for Going Deeper Sat. May 2nd 10-2pm