Members of the NATF:
The Needs Assessment Task Force has been busy in the month of January. We’d like to share what we have been doing. Our task force, chartered by the congregation to make a recommendation on staffing in light of Pastor Rokke’s announced retirement in November, has met frequently as we gather input in a variety of ways.
While members of the congregation have had conversations with NATF members individually, the task force as a group has been hearing input from our church’s staff over the month of January. These conversations have underscored for us a sense of the culture of our congregation. We are a church that has deep roots in caring both for our younger members, our youth, and for our aging members as well, in effect spanning all age groups in the congregation. These conversations have also helped us get an understanding of how our staff support the various ministries of Saint James Lutheran.
Between our meetings some of our task force members have been gathering information about our congregation from our church records. While a sense of our culture is in some measure subjective and subject to growth and change, our church records give us information about ourselves that we can quantify, for example that our pastors visit over 70 members at home each month throughout the year.
As the task force has met, we have discussed conversations, culture, staffing activity, and information from records. The result is an emerging set of what we are calling “church facts.” These are things like membership, numbers of ministries, and many other things that help us see more clearly what our needs are. Although this is still a work in progress, we’d like to start sharing this information. In mid-February. NATF members will be in the new narthex between services to share some things we have found and to hear what you think about them. We are still getting ready, so stay tuned for those dates.
We have a lot of work to do before we make recommendations on staffing, however it will be good for all of us to understand the background on which recommendations will be made. Do you know how many members we have? Do you know where our people live? Well, as the saying goes, more to come….