I trust you have already heard about CHAT, Church Health Assessment Tool. It is a self-assessment survey that we hope all of us will complete before May 25th. You should have received an email and letter, and heard about it in worship. Our leaders have chosen this as an effective means of LISTENING to you, the Covenant community. We ask you to care enough to take twenty to thirty minutes to give your feedback.
What is the purpose or goal of this survey? l.) Reflection and Evaluation- for all of us to reflect upon our strengths and weaknesses as a church body; 2.) So leadership can listen to you and evaluate Covenant; 3.) So leadership and we as a congregation can make informed, prayerful decisions on how best to grow into a healthier community.
After you have taken the survey, we hope you will read BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH: TEN TRAITS OF A VITAL MINISTRY. Copies are available in the church library, or you can order the book or an electronic copy. It is an inspirational tool to stimulate our thinking about what it means to be a healthy church. Debbie Hester will be leading efforts to discuss the book in small groups, beginning in the summer and into this fall. (See page 3.) Why would we be interested in being a healthy church? First, because the church belongs to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Second, because we impact many people, children, youth and adults, and we are striving to make our influence a positive one. What are the ten traits of a healthy church, according to the aforementioned book?
How I Relate With God
- GOD’S EMPOWERING PRESENCE- “a healthy church actively seeks the Holy Spirit’s direction and empowerment for its daily life and ministry.” Are we depending on the grace of the Spirit rather than depending on our own ability and strength? Do we sense the Spirit of God in our lives and in the life of Covenant? Do we see the expression of God’s presence in us, God’s fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindess, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control?
- GOD-EXALTING WORSHIP- “a healthy church gathers regularly as the local expression of the Body of Christ to worship God in ways that engage the heart, mind, soul and strength of the people.” Do you have a heart to worship God in spirit and truth? Do we value observing Sabbath? Does our Sabbath worship inspire, strengthen and propel us to worship and serve God throughout the week? Do we see as part of our purpose “to glorify God and enjoy him forever?” (Westminster Confession of Faith, Shorter Catechism.)
- SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES-“a healthy church provides training, models and resources for members of all ages to develop their daily spiritual disciplines.” Do we value growing all of us into maturing disciples of Jesus? Do we value a daily walk with God, and do we understand how to walk daily with God? Do we want to listen to the voice of God and be led by God’s voice? Are you growing more like Jesus? Are we making a difference in peoples’ lives?
How I Relate with My Church Family
- LEARNING AND GROWING IN COMMUNITY – “a healthy church encourages believers to grow in their walks with God and with one another in the context of a safe, affirming environment.” Are you seeking to live and grow in Christian community? Are you finding community within Covenant, a community where you can love others and experience Christ’s love? What is hindering Covenant or you from experiencing community?
- A COMMITMENT TO LOVING AND CARING RELATIONSHIPS-“a healthy church is intentional in its efforts to build loving, caring relationships within families, between members, and within the community they serve.” Do you have an interest in building loving, caring relationships within your family and within Covenant? Do we encourage and value authenticity, transparency, honesty and integrity within our Covenant community? Are we a gracious community to one another and to our larger community? Do we accept people who are different from us? How well do we deal with differences among us?
- SERVANT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT-“a healthy church identifies and develops individuals whom God has called and given the gift of leadership and challenges them to become servant-leaders.” Would you describe Covenant leaders as servant leaders? Do you think our leaders are being led by the Holy Spirit? Are they reflecting the love of Jesus? Are we growing new leaders?
How Our Church Ministers and Manages
- AN OUTWARD FOCUS-“a healthy church places high priority on communicating the truth of Jesus and demonstrating his love to those outside the faith.” Are we joyfully sharing the good news of Jesus and his love to our community and world? Are we growing a heart for those outside our Covenant community? Do we have an outward focus?
- WISE ADMINISTRATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY-“a healthy church utilizes appropriate facilities, equipment, and systems to provide maximum support for the growth and development of its ministries.” Do you know what our (Covenant’s) purpose is? How are you a part of living out that purpose? Are our leaders wise stewards of God’s generous gifts? Do we have a clear sense of who we are and what our priorities are?
- NETWORKING WITH THE BODY OF CHRIST-“a healthy church reaches out to others in the body of Christ for collaboration, resource sharing, learning opportunities, and united celebrations of worship.” Are we intentionally working with other Christian communities to serve? How are we doing this? How could we do a better job of this?
- STEWARDSHIP AND GENEROSITY-“a healthy church teaches its members that they are stewards of their God-given resources and challenges them to sacrificial generosity in sharing with others.” Do we teach the generosity of God? Do we teach what it means for us to be generous? How generous are you? Are we as the Covenant community? Are you a faithful steward of what God has given you?
Please take the time to help us care more effectively for Christ’s Church, to become the Church Christ envisions for us. This survey is one important step. Let’s take it together. As always, we welcome your feedback. It remains a joy to share the journey of faith with you.