In March, 2012 Hilltop United Methodist Church made a bold decision to move from three Sunday worship services to a single service. That decision was implemented on the first Sunday in May, 2012. It was seen as an integral element fostering unity, where there was disunity: bring us together.
While worship has been a highly visible element of the strategy, unity does not solely rest on one item. We have spoken of the unity objective as a three legged stool. The unity objective has three legs and they are: Worship, Christian Education and Fellowship.
One of the stated commitments within the unity decision was to examine where we were in December, 2012. That commitment was, and is, in the mind of your key leaders. Regular reporting within your Church Council has dealt with this topic as well as reporting in the newsletter and occasional comments from the pulpit.
A template for how we might move to a second service was developed and presented to church council which discussed the recommendations and agreed to place before the congregation a survey instrument designed to help Hilltop leaders understand what we know about Hilltop as it relates to worship and education.
Said another way: The objective of the June survey will be to help your leaders develop a better appreciation of what we know about two elements of the unity strategy: worship and education.
While the core purpose will be to help us better know what the congregation is thinking, it does not mean that every opinion or option presented in this survey will be incorporated into a future “New Hilltop”. Some thoughts, at least in the short term, might be mutually exclusively i.e. cannot do both.
We invite all at Hilltop to ask how a particular element of ministry leads to an incremental expansion of the Kingdom. Pastor Dennis has quoted the church leadership consultant Reggie McNeal: “God’s church doesn’t have a mission; God’s mission has a church.” We believe that kind of thinking changes the nature of the discussion.
If you need more background than this article, be alert to a brief podcast from Pastor Dennis that he will develop and circulate via an eNote before the survey is released.
It is our plan to have the survey ready for use on the internet or manual input by June 8th. Be alert to the communication vehicles where we let you know how and where to access the instrument.
(This article appeared in the Hilltop Newsletter for June).