Vital Congregations Team

The Bishop of the New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church has challenged all churches to become Vital Congregations.  A Vital Congregation is a Spirit-filled, forward-leaning community of believers that welcomes all people (Galatians 3:28), makes disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, and serves like Christ through justice and mercy ministries (Micah 6:8, Luke 4:17-21).

A vital congregation has the following characteristics:

Inviting and inspiring worship;

Engaged disciples in mission and outreach;

Gifted, equipped and empowered lay leadership;

Effective, equipped and inspired clergy leadership;

Small groups and strong children’s programs and youth ministry.

To determine how our local church could accomplish the above goals, the Vital Congregations Team created a survey to see where our congregation met the above goals, and what we needed to improve.  The survey was open to all in the congregation.  The results of the survey were presented to the Administrative Council.  We asked for their help and approval to proceed in working on the needs that the survey brought forth:

  1. Make our congregation more welcoming to newcomers by:
    1. Setting up a Greeters Team and preparing a Welcome packet
    2. Moving coffee time to the Narthex once a month
    3. Introducing technology in the worship service
    4. Updating the Church School classrooms
    5. Making our outdoor signage less confusing
    6. Making the front entrance more visible and welcoming
    7. Looking into the possibility of a second worship service
  2. Improving our mission and outreach by:
    1. Creating a local food pantry
    2. Finding a way to help the community during flood emergencies
    3. Providing occasional meals for shut-ins or those who are ill
    4. Shopping for shut-ins
    5. Providing help for new parents

The Vital Congregations Team, along with the Administrative Council is working to fulfill the above needs, and had made progress on several goals thus far.