Church Reboots With a New Vision & Strategy
When Matt Schuler started serving Holy Cross Oxford Lutheran Church as their full-time pastor, the congregation was “doing” church and not “being” the church. To discover their natural giftings and uncover ways to serve the community, Matt and his team experienced a FiveTwo course.
A group of the attendees at Oxford Lutheran were ready for change. Though change is difficult for congregations where older individuals attend, we have found that — rolled out well — people of all ages are excited to see movement in the ministry and lives being transformed.
With that, Matt pulled together a team of people from the church who were open to exploring a new way to reach the community with the gospel. Here are the 4 steps they walked through under the proven process of FiveTwo’s Business Canvas.
4 Steps To Launch Oxford Lutheran’s Vision
1. The Church’s Identity Was Clarified
The church was in “small c” mode, operating on a weekly basis “doing” church. Matt’s vision was aligned with God’s “Big C” vision, which is to preach the gospel to all of creation.
Matt knew that, with the right direction, strategy, and training, the church could expand its impact and reach more people in the community.
Clarifying your identity is a foundational step in FiveTwo’s coaching and courseware.
As the team is being developed and strengthened, it’s critical that identity is set, which will help put action to the team’s passion. It’s as wise to know what you “aren’t” as it is to know what you “are.”
For teams in an urban setting, this will impact your startup vision and execution. Same with teams in rural settings, or startups outside of a brick and mortar facility, like the team who launched a mobile prenatal unit to expectant mothers.
Do you need to build a team? Check out 14 Tips on Recruiting and Building a Great Team
2. A Vision Was Determined
As part of the FiveTwo experience, startup teams are walked through a process of getting clear about mission and values.
In FiveTwo’s work with churches, Christian entrepreneurs, and leaders, we have found that investing time to work through the “why” of your venture will give you a substantial return. In addition, you’ll gain a more precise plan for gathering your team, seeking funding, establishing community partnerships, and creating your action plan.
One component of our signature process is to lead with compassion and then explore the impact of this value on the success of your endeavor. When you start with a compassionate perspective, the view of your community will change, and out of that value, your endeavor will proceed with humility, hospitality, and hope.
In Matt’s case, the compassionate way to serve the community was to make the church more accessible. This way, barriers would be removed and more people would hear about Jesus.
The congregation and church leadership agreed that implementing a second church service with a contemporary format — and adding a worship leader and communications assistant — would help them have a greater impact on the Oxford community.
They just needed help carrying out this new vision.
3. The Team Caught The Dream
Receiving customized coaching from FiveTwo had an unexpected impact on the team.
“I remember our team had observed one of the other churches in our three-day event,” he says. “There were people on our team that looked at what this other church was trying to do, and my team thought it would never work.
“And then we would come back [for a FiveTwo event] six months later, and there would be substantial progress in the work of that other church,” he continues. “It showed our team where we were stuck in our mindset. So it was good for us to see that God is providing.”
The takeaway? They could trust that God would provide for them, too! There was no need to fear. The team was fully on board.
4. The Team Determined Their Value Proposition
With the pieces in place, the team was able to take another step in the ACTIVATE process — to determine the team’s value proposition.
This is a statement of intent that tells the public who you are, what you offer, and why you deserve their attention, their business, and their loyalty.
Their value was in their community of believers and the ability to incorporate new individuals into their church. Specifically, the strategy included hiring a church communications assistant and a worship leader.
RESULTS OF FIVETWO COACHING
Today, the congregation has doubled in size, they’ve added to their staff, and they’ve seen an increase in new students at the church’s preschool. Matt and his team are also making inroads in their community through outreaches like a Beers and Bibles study fellowship that meets twice a month at a local brewing company.
Also, the team is looking at launching another ministry at Oxford Lutheran and plans to receive more customized coaching so they can build, fund, and launch a new venture.