Workshopping at All Saints’, Sarnia-Corunna

Huron’s Congregation Coaches have a wide range of tools available to help congregations, deaneries, and programs of the diocese expand their potential. Some of these were created by outside organizations, with the Huron coaches trained in their use. Others are concepts the Huron coaches have designed based on past assignments. Customized workshops can also be developed.

Evangelism Planning for Mainstream Christians
Starting with a review of the basic Good News message of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:16-21 – reconciliation and transformation), the workshop leads participants to find opportunities to integrate sharing the Good News through many of their parish church’s regular activities. It then moves into an Evangelism Plan with a vision, goals, action, and assessment. Time required: 6 hours, including breaks

Gift Discernment
Several surveys are available in which participants individually answer a set of questions and then transpose numbered answers to a score sheet. The next step is to discern where and under what circumstances those gifts can be used. Time required: 3 hours

Deanery Sessions
Short sessions can be incorporated into Deanery meetings to enhance their role as a link between Diocesan Synod and the local region, including reflecting on themes, further study, and taking action. Time required: To be decided

Natural Church Development
NCD is a comprehensive, long-term process to help a church become healthy and grow. It begins with a survey of 30 committed church members, resulting in a score for each of eight “quality characteristics” of healthy churches. The church is then provided with a series of exercises and projects to boost its weakest area. At least 50% of members should participate in these exercises and projects. A leadership team is required to keep the process moving. Regular follow-up surveys measure progress. Analysis of churches worldwide indicates a focus on congregational health will naturally result in numerical growth – hence “Natural Church Development”. Costs are involved for survey assessments and reading material. For more details, see the NCD Canada website: Time required: Survey – 45 minutes; Leadership team – monthly meetings; Entire process – several years, but it could be unending.

Parish Profiles
For parish churches in the process of selecting a new rector, sessions are available to help the congregation identify its identity, values, strengths and weaknesses among the Marks of Mission, hopes and dreams, municipal/neighbourhood characteristics, and the skills and qualities sought in a priest. The aim is to provide input for the Selection Committee as they craft a report for the Bishop and candidates. Time required: 4 to 6 hours, including breaks

Reimaging Church
This course from Wycliffe College and Fresh Expressions helps churches transition from Christendom mode to a missional way of thinking and being. Sessions cover the changing culture, the spiritual resources to respond, being a Christian today, some models from other churches, and implementation at the parish level. Time required: Five two-hour sessions that could be done weekly in the evenings or over a weekend, starting Friday night.

A series of three workshops to help parishes articulate their Values and Identity (Session 1), Vision (Session 2), and Action (Session 3) – spelling out on the acronym VIVA. Sessions are based on Appreciative Inquiry – in other words, emphasizing the best of a congregation, rather than its troubles. Both individual and group work is used.  See one of our blog posts for more details: Time required: Each session: 6 hours, including breaks. Sessions should be held within a few weeks of each other.

Building a Common Vision
As more parish churches turn to nearby churches to work together – on everything from sharing resources for projects to full amalgamation – workshops that help participants discover what each partner brings to the table and what they have in common can help break down barriers and open the path for dreaming, structuring, and planning together. These workshops are customized, based on some of the preceding tools, such as Gift Discernment and VIVA.

Coaching services are free to churches and organizations in the Diocese of Huron, although coaches will accept an honorarium.

To discuss an approach that would work best for the needs of your congregation, ministry, or committee, click the phone icon and let’s talk.