Somebody once wisely said, “If you aim at nothing that’s exactly what you’ll hit.”
A year or so ago now our staff and parish council put together a number of goals for us to work towards over the next few years to keep us focussed on the main game.
We knew that we had 2 major priorities in line with our vision to “Introduce Jesus and Change Lives”- that of helping our members to grow in their faith and to reach out with the good news that Jesus is our rescuer.
To that end we came up with some goals based around the results of the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) that we took part in back in 2011.
The good news is that we’ve been making some progress and we ought to give thanks to God for it.
One of the most encouraging areas is in the growth of the percentage of people who say that they have “experienced much growth through our church in the past 12 months.” There has been a significant 9% increase over the NCLS back in 2011. Furthermore 98% of all those surveyed said that they had grown spiritually in the past 12 months. Praise God!
We’ve also seen growth in the number of our members who are inviting people to church [4% increase] and growth in the numbers of those involved with some sort of ministry leadership [7-8% increase].
We have maintained our level of growth group membership and this is the only area of the survey where we haven’t moved forward.
Another pleasing aspect is that of those who have joined us in the past 2 years 28% weren’t attending another church before they joined. Although we are happy to welcome people who are transferring from another church - maybe out of our area - the real kingdom growth is with those who are coming to church for the first time or after a long gap. There is much rejoicing in heaven over that!
In the past two and half years we have grown by 25% and now average 677 people in church each week. As to our finances we have now had a couple of months of reaching our budget and although we still have a shortfall to make up things are looking much better.
All in all this is all great cause for thanksgiving to God for answering our prayers and honouring our commitment to Him. We are getting on with our mission together.