Jan 31
January 31, 2020, 2:48 PM
 
January 31, 2020
 
UPDATE
ON SURVEYS, INTERVIEWS,
& CONSULTATION WITH JIM BARBER
As part of our seven-month spiritual journey to
Pray & Listen, Pray & Discern, Pray & Envision,
Pray & Prepare for the future we engaged the services of
Jim Barber, church consultant.
At the end of November, Jim provided us with a 4 page Summary Report, 13 pages under the heading Recommendations, and 19 pages of Analysis. The complete document includes an in-depth analysis of the Church Health Survey, the results of the Organizational Health Survey, and the results of a demographic study of our neighborhood showing who lives within a 20-minute drive of our facility, including their religious preferences.
For instance, we know that:
52.4% prefer direct mail advertising.
24.4% prefer traditional church music.
20.9% prefer contemporary church music.
22.2% have no musical preference and
32.4% are okay with either/both.
That 20 minute/10 mile radius includes 131,911 people.
 
Most important for us, Jim made four recommendations in his summary and followed up with thirteen pages of in-depth commentary and suggestions for implementing his recommendations.
He gave us a road map, but it’s going to be a long journey. In all categories of spiritual and organizational life we perceived ourselves to be either unhealthy or very unhealthy. We can’t heal ourselves. Praise God that in God’s triune brilliance, the Holy Spirit awaits our call through fervent prayer for the healing of our ills and God willing, the restoration of this church to unity, harmony, and greater strength.
The four recommendations are:
1.     First Christian Church should take the time to develop greater Senior Staff and Board unity.
2.    When the Senior Staff and Board have consensus about the urgent need for change and what future steps will be taken,
they should invite the congregation to a series of at least two
Town Hall Meetings.
3.    After a reasonable amount of time during which the congregation has had time to participate in Town Hall Meetings, the Senior Staff and Board should then work on implementing a list of Early Wins.
4.    Simultaneous with the Early Wins, the Senior Staff and Board should conduct a discipline of strategic ministry planning facilitated by someone capable of doing so.
We have sixteen years of getting weaker and weaker as a church and a Church Doctor has given us a prescription that could lead us toward health, God willing, and the People willing. We could enter a season of revitalization. Many churches across the country are doing that.
A church revitalization is usually a 3 to 5-year process. Patience
and fortitude are elements in the process. There are no quick fixes.
It often gets worse before it gets better.
 
Good News follows:
Given the emphasis on the long road ahead we should also observe all that continues to be done now: 
  • During the year 2018 our total Sunday attendance averaged 95 women, men, children, and teenagers. 
  • In 2019 we averaged 95 indicating the possibility that we have plateaued and the decline has halted. 
  • In the month of January 2020 our average attendance was 103.5. 
  • In January we welcomed a young couple as new members and two who are attending our Wednesday night youth group expressed a desire to be baptized. Can we all say, “Yea God.”
  • The board and staff are meeting regularly on the first and third Thursdays of the month to work on recommendation number one. Our current meetings are focused on a “Roadmap to Unity.”
  • Our youth meetings on Wednesdays are growing, and please see the article on the Youth United Retreat last weekend.
  • We have a growing number of children in Children’s Church.
  • Our people continue to minister to the personal needs of members.
  • We continue to serve the students and staff of Mendez Elementary. 
  • We are making plans for this year’s Stations of the Cross, and other calendar items.
  • We are beginning training for a new, fully comprehensive children/youth program uniting the church and parents called “Orange.”
 
We pledge to provide updates.
We ask you to pledge prayer and patience.
 
Youth United Weekend Update
The youth attended Youth United this past weekend where they talked about frequency! It was an ecumenical event with youth from FBC, FCC, The Heart, Solid Rock & Promiseland all in attendance. They were asked to think about what they tune into and how often they tune into it. That what we tune into is what we will turn into & that we need to let His word be louder than the world!!
They learned about Daniel and remaining true to God in struggles and being faithful to what He asks us to do.
 
They were asked ‘when was the last time you were around
someone and made them feel like they were closer to Jesus because of who you are?’ This led to a great discussion.
I encourage you to think about it!
 
The scripture for the weekend was
1 Chronicles 16:11 -
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always
 
The weekend resulted in 2 kiddos wanting to be baptized!
Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl Football game, help up be mindful of those who are without
a bowl of soup to eat.
 
Please bring any type of canned
soup to FCC this Sunday. Our contributions will be delivered to
the Food Bank.
 
FEBRUARY
 
Kate Marley • February 2
Tony Rash • February 3
Mildred Scott • February 4
Sydney Morris • February 4
Brenna Eliaz • February 5
Claire Eliaz • February 5
Peyton Crabill • February 11
Dale Fowler • February 11
Wayne Fowler • February 12
Kelly Casparis • February 13
Gina Pruett • February 13
Desiree Richardson • February 17
Ashley Ralph • February 19
Katy Clayton • February 21
Barrie Breed • February 23
Martin Briceno • February 23
Mary Olenick • February 24
Charles Scott • February 24
Clinton Sutphen • February 25
Sierra Richardson • February 26
Chris Carson • February 27
Sawyer Mann • February 27
 
ANNIVERSARIES
Beth & Vickie Judkins-Mickloas • February 7
Britney & Tom Richey • February 15
Joy & David Pardo • February 28
 
BBA/CPA Disciples Men's Retreat 2020
"Did You Ever Wonder?"
 
Dr Passmore, with humor and serious reflection, moving beyond traditional wisdom, hopes to free the people of the church to allow themselves to freely wonder at the mystery of God in life. The concept of wonder, as defined in the dictionary, includes mind and soul, theology and philosophy. Wonder: “something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.: a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising or hard to believe.” Wunder is the German word, it means “miracle, mystery, prodigy of nature, natural wonder; wonders of nature.
- - - -
Join us at the 2020 BBA/CPA Men’s Retreat on February 28 – 29 at the Disciple Oaks Conf. Center in Gonzales to worship together and participate in a discussion of this important topic.
 
• Speaker: Dr. Michael Passmore – Sr Minister, Central Christian Church, San Antonio
• Music: Joel Pereira – Worship Pastor, First Christian Church, McAllen
• Hospitality Scott Miller and the entire staff of Disciple Oaks Camp and Retreat
 
For Registration please check out the flyer
 
If you wish to purchase a brick in honor of someone or something to be placed in the Memorial Garden,
please fill out an order form, one for each name,
attach a check and place it in the office.
An acknowledgment will be sent to you when the
brick/s arrive and are installed in the garden.
 
Each Brick is $30.00
 
The Memorial Garden is located around the Steeple of 
the original First Christian Church building
(now the Price Center in San Marcos.)
outside the front doors to the left.