The Vision Project: What Changes Are Needed?

Erin members and friends,

Our previous communication introduced the new strategies adopted as part of The Vision Project: Belong, Become, Beyond. We explained how we researched barriers to Erin’s growth and effectiveness and, with God’s guidance, identified ways to overcome them. We discussed what the strategies mean, and why taking action now is crucial. We’ve talked about the big picture, but now we need to focus on specifics: implementing our new strategies and achieving our Vision will require changes in how we operate and in how we think about ourselves and our purpose.

CHANGES TO SESSION

Erin’s Session will shrink from 18 members to 12. In the past few years we’ve had several classes of four or five elders because the nominating team couldn’t find six members who agreed to serve. A 12-member Session is more realistic for the size of our current active membership.

Session will also refocus on Erin’s current and future well-being. In the past our elders were assigned to a ministry team, and led that team in the third year of their term. Over the years, though, this meant focusing solely on operational details rather than long-term goals, and each elder’s narrowed focus on one team made it harder for us to see what was happening in the church as a whole. Going forward, elders will not be assigned to a team. Instead, team members themselves will choose a leader.

CHANGES TO OUR TEAM STRUCTURE

For the last 15+ years Erin has had six ministry teams, plus a few that report to one of the six teams. But crucial functions are carried out informally by a few members and staff who’ve stepped in unofficially to fill a gap. We’re reorganizing our teams to reflect the actual needs of the church, as shown in this graphic.

Ministry teams (Worship, Outreach, Fellowship, Discipleship, and Creative Expressions) will be responsible for the ministry and mission of the church. A new Ministry Integration Team, with one representative from each ministry team, will meet quarterly to coordinate schedules and resources. The ministry teams will be augmented by support teams; some, like Stewardship and Property, already exist. We’ve added others for critical tasks, such as Visitor Follow-up and Marketing and Communication, that have been handled by one or two people, but not in any formal way.

Establishing teams to reflect ALL of the necessary tasks will highlight what it really takes to carry out Erin’s purpose, and will encourage every member to get involved and use their skills and gifts to support the church. We’re also setting up teams that represent various groups within the church—youth, families, seniors, and so forth—to make sure the ministry teams meet all of our needs.

We strongly believe the changes outlined above, and covered in more detail in Presentation 3, What Changes Are Needed? at erinpres.org, will make Erin more vibrant, more engaged, and more effective in deepening relationships, fostering spiritual growth, and expanding our impact in the community. All of this will enable us to Belong, Become, and go Beyond, and help us realize our Vision.

Look for information soon on how YOU fit in—your engagement and support are vital! And join us for two live presentations on Sunday mornings, where you can get more information and ask questions. The first was on June 9 and was offered again on June 30; the second will be offered July 21 and August 4. Presentations will begin at 9:30 in the fellowship hall, and child care will be provided.

In His Spirit,

Your Pastor, Staff, and Session

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