From “In the Spirit” April newsletter
by David A. Anderson
When we’re asked by a friend who knows we belong to Libertyville Covenant Church: “How is the church doing”? How do we respond? Do we provide a one word response, do we elaborate….how do you think we’re doing?
Last fall, LCC took part in a congregational survey called PULSE. Before getting into the survey and a discussion on what we’ve discovered, let me put this survey effort into some context.
Over the last two years, LCC has been involved in a Covenant de-nomination program for church re-vitalization program called “Congregational Vitality”. Vitality is the wind of the Spirit. Our role is to raise our sails and catch this wind. Vitality is nothing less than a spiritual awakening in Christ. It is not about sustaining and maintaining; it’s about thriving, growing, and depending on God to lead us deeper in Christ and further in mission.
Past efforts along this vitality journey includes the developmentof our “Covenant for Community Life”, which contain 5 “pledges” for leadership and congregational life (see page 2); and a workshop called “Veritas”. Veritas is a discussion to discover the marks of a healthy, missional church and the four types of established churches in the Covenant. The four types are: Health/Missional, Stable, Critical Moment, and At-Risk. At Veritas, the consensus was that LCC was generally stable, but trending towards “Critical Moment” status. Our goal of course is for LCC to become a healthy missional church and by “healthy” we mean pursuing Christ; by “missional” we mean pursuing Christ’s priorities in the world.
PULSE is a survey which diagnoses the vitality of a church using Ten Healthy Missional markers (or constructs), and a number of other factors. One of the goals of PULSE is to stimulate conversation, not to solve every problem confronting our church. The answers are not in the data, the answers are in the conversations that the leadership and the congregation have regarding this information.
Over the next few weeks we will be introducing key elements of the PULSE survey, with the main “kick-off” being the adult Sunday school session on April 14th. In late April and during the first weeks in May, there will be a number of home based discussions about our church life and specifically to reflect upon what the PLUSE survey scores indicate. Writing on behalf of the vitality team, we look forward to the opportunity to dialogue with you more fully as together we seek God’s Kingdom here in Lake County!