Connect Christian Church in Amelia, OH grew more in a couple of months than it had in the previous couple of years.
The congregation of a few hundred that was started in the 1950’s has overcome a lot in its history. Realizing the need to change and “relaunch,” they even left a building they owned debt-free to go portable because it no longer matched who they were trying to reach. They now meet in a ballroom at a Holiday Inn. Despite this change and others, they came to a point where they felt stuck. The momentum wouldn’t stick.
We recently worked with Pastor Mike Edmisten and the team at Connect Christian on strategic planning process through The Unstuck Group’s GrowthSolutions service.
“For years, we were simply known as ‘the church next to Gold Star Chili.’ We knew we needed to change, and we thought we had a vision to do so, but it wasn’t working,” Mike said.
“When Mark Meyer led our team through the ministry health assessment and strategic planning process, he said something that upset me at first. ‘You don’t have a vision,’ he told me with humility even in the statement’s brutal honesty. I realized after a while that I was angry because he was right. We didn’t have a vision that was specific, that we could measure our efforts against.”
Connect Christian clarified its vision, its measureable goals and created an action plan with accountability to move things forward. And they’ve seen tremendous results so far, even to the point that they are actively seeking their next location to allow for continued growth. (It’s tough to find a space in their area that will allow a church to rent it.)
The congregation is on board. The momentum is palpable. And people are meeting Jesus.
Mike shared this insight he thought other pastors of smaller churches who are trying to transition to a new season should hear:
Clarity of vision means everything.
“I would’ve said I had a clear vision before, but I now realize I didn’t truly understand what that means. Once it’s clear, you also have to keep it in front of people. You can’t assume that because you cast vision people got it. Hopefully new people are always coming, so you’re always going to have to keep putting it in front of them.”
Could we help your church assess its health and chart a path forward? We’d love to share more with you about the process. Click here to get a feel for what we do and how it can help.