CITC 2017 Survey Follow-Up

January 21, 2018

 

Opening

A survey went out in October and November of 2017 asking for feedback on the following topics. Participants were asked to share a concern they had about the topic of ministry, give an idea for a solution, how they might be willing to help solve the problem and share something positive about the topic too. We had 10 responses but not everyone wrote about every topic.

Today we are going to give an overview of the opinions shared in each topic, provide some feedback on the possible solutions the Leadership Team and Ministry Leaders are discussing and ask for a brief follow up comments on the topic. We have allotted a certain amount of time for each topic and at the end of that time, if there is a need for more discussion, we will be planning a follow up “Town Hall” type meeting to continue the discussion.

We will be distributing the following outline to our congregation following this meeting and adding any perinate additional comments made.

A few notes before we begin.

  • We want this meeting to remain positive and uplifting to all. While we value all the feedback and want to find ways to overcome the obstacles that our attendees face when it comes to drawing closer to Christ, we also would like to recognize the immense service and sacrifice that the staff, Leadership Team and other ministry leaders make to this body of believers.
  • Furthermore, we want to acknowledge that a majority of our spiritual walk and maturing is up to us. Pastor Dave, Pastor Heather, and all other leaders can provide the tools we need to continually walk closer to Christ, but we as individuals need to choose to use those tools every day through self-leadership.
  • It is always better to have an open discussion about the obstacles that we face when it comes to growing closer to Christ. While there may be some benefit in discussing your point of view with close friends, it should always be with the ultimate goal to discuss the topic with those who it effects directly. The Leadership Team desires to create an atmosphere of open and honest dialog with everyone. When you feel that there is an improvement that you wish to be made or find you have an obstacle to coming closer to Christ, you should go to that person or group of people and share your concerns.
  • As you will see from the information below, for just about every topic, there are opposing viewpoints. There are people who would like to see us make one choice about the topic and those who would like to see the exact opposite decision be made. This is always a difficulty when human beings come together for any significant amount of time. The staff, LT and other leaders will continue to work to not only balance these differing needs but also turn those challenges over to God. Ultimately, our goal is to create a space that reflects God’s will and encourages people to let Christ reset their priorities. If the Leadership Team feels that a specific change would be the wrong spiritual decision to make, regardless of how many people feel that it should be made, it would not be wise to make that change.

 

Worship

This was the most written about topic on the survey. We had about half of the people that filled out the survey that felt that worship was good and always helped them to draw closer to Christ, while the other half shared some obstacles to being able to fully enter into worship.

A large part of the obstacles focused on what was described as the style, length or timing of worship. Ultimately, it became clear that we have people who connect with God in very differing ways. The LT and Worship leaders want everyone to know that they hear both the suggestions and the praise. They will continue to seek the mind of Christ when it comes to leading the congregation into the presence of Christ.

There were some specific subjects that the LT and other leaders have already started and will continue to address.

Obstacle/Idea Possible actions
More variety and new songs Worship leaders will take note of this. It may take some time as learning the new songs does take time, but it has been noted and they will work to take this suggestion to heart.
More people involved If you know of anyone interested, see David. Right now, the Worship Team is working with what they have. They specifically need people on drums and bass, but any instrument would be welcome.
Improved creativity This idea seemed to be more in line with the Sermon and will be discussed in that section.
Start on time There has been a conservative effort for the last year to start on time. It has improved. We just learned that the clock in the sanctuary was slow. We intend to fix this. However, CITC seems to have a culture of lateness with many people believing that the beginning of the service is not important. Pastor Dave and Annette are working to mix up the beginning of the service (note Pastor Dave opening service by reading a Psalm) and working to change this “late” culture.
Timing of worship (before or after sermon) Some of this is by necessity as David needs to leave for work before the end of service. However, we have a significant number of people that do enjoy the sermon coming after worship. Pastor Dave and the Worship Team will consider switching the order on days that David is not leading.
More practice Worship leaders will take note of this and work to increase practice and improve.
Ending Practice by 9:45 Some would like to be able to comfortably enter the sanctuary before service begins but currently, the Worship Team practices right up until service begins. Worship Team will be working to start practice earlier so that they can put the instruments away earlier with the ultimate goal being that they end by 9:45 AM.
Parents distracted by young children This will be addressed in the Children and Youth section.

 Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • The worship team welcomes any instruments even those not currently on the stage. See David if you are interested
  • It is important to the worship team to practice not only on Sunday mornings but also at home throughout the week. Sunday practice should be to get those transitions and final issues worked out to bring it all together.
  • Despite the fact that most churches have only one worship leader, some would like to see additional worship leaders step up for variety.
  • More sound techs and multimedia volunteers are needed. If anyone knows of anyone, even outside of CITC, talk to them.
  • More time to discuss this topic was requested in a few months after some of the listed changes are implemented.

 

Sermon

Pastor Dave always welcomes feedback on his topic selection from anyone and has often taken the suggestions of people in the congregation when it comes to this. If you have topic suggestions in the future, please reach out to him (personally or through the office) and he would be more than happy to discuss those possibilities with you. Pastor Dave spends a significant amount of his time praying, researching and poring over his sermon each week. He relies on the Holy Spirit to guide him. We would like to invite everyone to pray for Pastor Dave, that he is given clarity through the Holy Spirit in this area.

Obstacle/Idea Action Considering
Variety of topics In his 18 years at Church in the City, there is likely not a topic that he has not tackled at some point. However, not everyone hears every sermon. As stated above, Pastor Dave welcomes any suggestions that congregation members have and will work to improve variety as he selects topics for his sermon.
Variety in takeaways
Simplify Points Some felt that many of the sermon points were hard to follow. Pastor Dave is making note of this and will work to clarify and simplify the projected and highlighted points in his Sermons.
Style
Creativity This seems to go hand in hand with the sermon and Service Design. In the last few months, Service Design has started meeting again and there has already been an improvement in this area. Pastor Dave will continue to work with the Service Design Team to find creative ways to illustrate biblical messages.

Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • The suggestion was made to have more of our body preach every once in a while.
  • The request was made to provide a sheet of paper in the bulletin with the main points of the sermon so that people can take it home and even make notes on it if they choose.
  • It was stated that one of the reasons that Pastor Dave does not get as many “Amen’s” as he might like, is because his sermons are so packed with information that when P Dave gets to a really excellent point (where people might say AMEN, many of the people are still trying to process the great information given.
  • The Service Design team would like to encourage anyone with a creative idea or many creative ideas to reach out to them and help make it happen.

 

Fellowship and Discipleship

While these two topics were separate on the survey, there was so much overlap in the comments that we felt it was best to link them together today. Many of the obstacles in this section will be hard for the leadership of the church to fix. They are personal obstacles revolving around family, time and commitment, that only the individual can find solutions for. However, we want to help in any way that we can.

Obstacle/Idea Action Considered
MC Questions for Meet and Greet Some expressed a desire for more direction during Meet and Greet and enjoy when Annette comes up with a suggestion of a question for everyone to ask each other. Annette has done this in the past and will continue to do so when compelled to do so. Though she does not want to have a “list” of questions that are asked as she feels that this will begin to feel stale and impersonal.
Dinners for 6 or 7 coming back The suggestion was made to have dinners for 6 or 7 return. The Leadership Team discussed this and agreed that right now unless someone comes forward and wants to organize this, it is not the right time. However, we would like to encourage everyone to look around the room and the sanctuary on Sunday. Maybe there is someone that you want to invite to your home for a meal.
Wed Night Family Night
Fellowship Snacks Some were concerned that the snacks that are brought and left out for people after service are being eaten during service or by the children. From now on, snacks will not be set out until the end of service so that people walking past are not tempted to partake early. The issue with the children eating snacks will be discussed in the Children and Youth Section.
Corporate Prayer There were some that felt that some of the best fellowship and discipleship can be done in corporate prayer. We would like to ask those here (and any others that read this to email their answers in)

1.       What obstacles have you faced that have made it difficult for you to attend corporate prayer in the past?

2.       Would you be interested in more virtual corporate prayer?

 Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • Someone asked people to consider why they are at church. Is it to be fed or to feed others.
  • More time discussing this topic was requested. We will plan another event in the next few months to focus on Fellowship and Discipleship. In the meantime, the survey about Wed night Family night will go out to gauge the true interest in starting this weekly event.

 

Outreach

Reaching our neighborhood and neighbors is part of the great commission. There were several ideas that were

presented in the survey results and many that we have done in the past we would like to revisit.

Obstacle/Idea Action
Treasure Hunters There were many individuals that would like to see this return. Pastor Dave is considering putting some of these on the calendar but would like to ask a few questions of you that are here (and those that are reading this later)

1.       How often would people like to see this offered?

2.       What stopped you from participating in the past?

3.       Is the name a help or hindrance?

Bike Race This is by far our biggest outreach of the year. However, in the past few years, the volunteers have dwindled. The reality is that this is one of the few ways the neighborhood knows who we are. Not only is it a practical way we can introduce ourselves to and meet a need to those around us, but it creates a unique chance for fellowship and discipleship within our community. Many of us still remember when we used to give away free hot dogs and fill the water bottles ourselves. These are memories that we cherish, and they brought us together as a community in a way that we really need now.

·         How can we invigorate the Bike Race?

Spa Day This has been a very effective outreach to Teen Challenge and a very memorable way for the ladies of the church to serve each other. We have every intention to continue this outreach.
Opportunities to attend events held at our church Many people know that we have 3 organizations rent our church throughout the week. Many times, these organizations have invited CITC attendees to attend. FOCUS Films meets every other Saturday night in the theater. Toastmasters meets on Wed nights in the lobby, and Acacia Theater Company holds auditions and rehearsals in the theater at various times through the year. If you would like information about being involved in any of these organizations, let us know. What a unique chance to minister to the people in these groups while they are right here in our building.
City on a Hill Every 2nd Saturday, City on a Hill opens its doors for a Health Fair. For many years, a group of individuals from CITC went to serve during this time. There are some that would like to see this group outreach from CITC to return.

Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • 5 people said that they would be interested in Treasure Hunters coming back once a month. The name did not have any impact on their participation.
  • It was suggested that we consider limiting the amount of time that we open our doors for the Bike Race. However, many in the group worried that because it is an all-day event, many of the aspects of this ministry would be lost. For instance, we loan tables and chairs to many of the bike companies that set up on the street. We loan things to St Mark’s and to other business in the block. They have come to count on us to meet their needs in this way and that is part of the outreach.
  • It was suggested that we put more advertisements for Focus, Toastmasters, and Acacia in the lobby.

 

Building

As the owners of a 100 + year old building, we find that there are many improvements that need to be made. Big and small. We would like to have a running list of these potential improvements so that if we have someone who would like to volunteer to make work on these, we can give them direction.

Need:
Loose veneer on the pews Need for organization of storage in the building.
Smoking bench outside to the right of the building Outside sign (in progress)
Basement work (starting soon) Light switch in the 2nd-floor men’s room

Contact office if you have others to add to this list.

 

Sheparding

Reaching out to those around us in need is not a responsibility of the pastoral staff and LT alone. The truth is that anyone who sees someone who has a need should be reaching out to that person. There may be some way in which you can help. If you feel that the person needs more than you are able to give, you can let the pastoral staff or the TLC Ministry know of the need.

Obstacle/Idea Actions
Need for rides Some people have a hard time getting to the church for Sunday service or for other events. The suggestion was made to create a list of people willing to give rides to those in need so that when we are made aware of the need, we know who to contact. The LT is looking for someone to head up this ministry. Please let us know if you are interested.
Various needs to be met The TLC ministry was created to meet the physical needs of our body. But for it to be effective, the leaders need to know what the needs are. Stephanie Z leads this ministry. If you are anyone you know has a physical need, please let her know.

Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • It was stated that because our members and attendees come from all over the city, it is really integral to the community, discipleship, and sheparding aspect of the church that we have more chances during the week to meet together.

 

Office Communication

The office is always looking for ways to improve the communication that goes to the CITC attendees. If you ever have any feedback, please let us know by emailing citc@citcweb.org

Obstacle/Idea Action
Many people use text more than email There are some that feel that if they received a text message with event and serving reminders, they would be more likely to read them. The office is looking into programs that are inexpensive in order to do this.

 

More info going out and an awareness of the forms of communication We will work on better utilizing Facebook to advertise events and activities at church. Some people were unaware that we have a weekly newsletter. The newsletter must be signed up for. Knowing now that information about the newsletter has not been adequately explained, we have now put that information in the bulletin every week. It is on the back of the bulletin. Newsletter subscribers should make sure that they add the citc@citcweb.org email address to their address book. Often mass emails from unknown senders are automatically sent to spam folders. If you add our email address to your address book, this will eliminate this problem. Be aware, Gmail will still send our newsletters and announcements to the “Promotions” folder so be sure to check that often.
Desire for Devotions to return to the Newsletter The LT team discussed the idea of having an LT member write a devotion for each week. Instead, it was decided that we would provide 3 questions based on Sundays’ sermon in the newsletter. There will be a link to both the website (so people can listen to the sermon if they were not there) and the FB group so that they can actively discuss these topics.
More info in the building There was a suggestion to have a small flat screen TV or tablet scrolling with the church events on it. This will be considered in the future.

Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • It was asked that we put the FB Live video on the website for people to be able to watch. This is something that is already being worked on.
  • Instead of a screen someplace else in the church, it was suggested that we could just put the announcements on the projector before and after service. We used to this but now that the Worship Team is going to try to be done by 9:45 AM, people will be able to be in the sanctuary for a bit.
  • It was also suggested that we are going to try to bring a bulletin up to those who are serving in the children’s ministry so that they are not out of the loop for the week. Josh Duncan has agreed to do this when he is there since he already goes upstairs to do the count.
  • It was suggested that we start emailing the bulletin and a clarification was made. The weekly Newsletter is essentially the bulletin. Perhaps a name change is needed?

  

Virtual Connection

In this virtual world, CITC wants to balance staying current with trends but not neglecting the person-to-person interaction that is so important.

Obstacle/Idea Action
Sermon FB Live While the FB live feed has been successful, there are a few challenges that people have. The first is that those who watch on Sunday, do not know when the sermon will start. The idea was floated to set a time for the live feed to start and it is before the sermon started, we will cut the sound until the sermon starts. Otherwise, we would need to pay for the distribution license to have worship be on the FB live video.
The other obstacle is that the quality of the video we currently run is not great. The LT and membership voted to include funds to purchase a video camera to record the sermon with better quality. This will be coming soon.
Wi-Fi for guest The church will be switching internet companies to Spectrum at the end of this month. This should provide the possibility for us to have a guest access to Wi-Fi. However, the leadership would like to discuss the reasons for guest WIFI and what it would be realistically used for at church.
Virtual Prayer This summer we tried to have a few Virtual Corporate Prayer meetings. They were moderately successful. One had about 5 attendees, but the other did not have any.

·         Is there interest in trying this again moving forward?

·         Was the process too complicated?

·         What are suggestions for making it more simple?

Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • People don’t’ mind introducing more virtual community to our church but there was concern that we make sure that it does not replace the in-person
  • The week of prayer that we put together in December was very well received and liked. People would like us to repeat it.
  • It was stated that there is a lot of “bad” stuff out there on the internet and it would be really great to be able to “take it back” for God.


Children and Youth

Having a strong children and youth program is foundational to the LT. While not every person uses these ministries, we all benefit from our youngest attendees being well taken care of and growing closer to Christ. Every child is unique and parenting also varies from family to family. However, there are many obstacles that we are working to resolve.

Obstacle/Idea Action
Parents not able to enjoy the beginning of service The first few minutes of our service can be very difficult for many parents as their children are anxious to get to their ministry area. The request was made for Kidz Church, Preschool, and Nursery to being just before the service so that parents can drop off their kids right away and then join the service. Pastor Heather has agreed to begin at 9:55 AM on Sunday and we are working to talk with the volunteers in the Preschool. Elizabeth in the nursery already starts by this time so this will be no problem.
Snacks being eaten by the children Often the children end up eating a majority of the snacks put out after service. It was requested that we ask that the parents keep their children from doing this. However, by noon (when service is normally over) our children are very hungry and in need of something to eat. The LT and Pastor Heather have decided to start giving kids in Kidz Church a snack about 10 minutes before service is over so that they can get something to eat before they
Children looking for something to do in lobby While some parents would like to drop their children off before the beginning of service, others would like to keep their children with them during more of the service. It was suggested that we create an “activity” box for children in the lobby area. Pastor Heather and Elizabeth will be working on this in the next few weeks. The box will stay in the lobby and have coloring pages, crayons, and other activity sheets in there for children to do before or during the service. Parents will be asked to help us keep this box organized and to return unused items to it when done.
Youth The Youth Group is in the middle of a transition right now. It was requested that some of our young adults work with our new Youth Group leaders to find topic and resources that are relevant to our youth ages 13-17.

 Notes from Jan 21st Meeting

  • It was suggested that we find a DVD series for the youth on evolution vs creation because that is a relevant topic that the kids are going through right now.

 

Closing

What became obvious to the leadership was that we continue to have a need for some people to be more involved in the events and service of the church. We would like to understand what obstacles you have to be more involved. Please reach out to the LT, Pastoral Staff or the Office if you have any further suggestions or questions.