When you attend one of the Mission Study Listening Sessions, scheduled for November 3 through November 17, you’ll receive a summary of the results of the Holy Cow! survey completed in mid-September. Among other findings, this summary will list the top five indicators of satisfaction for Nacoochee Presbyterian Church. And you may be surprised, as I was surprised, that three of our top five indicators concern governance.
That’s right, I said governance. When I first reviewed the survey results with the Session on October 17, this was one of my Holy Cow! moments: governance? Really? Yes, it seems that NPC members and friends, at least those who completed the survey, are particularly sensitive to the process our church uses to make decisions. We want it to be ‘participatory.’ We want the ability to offer our opinions and have our perspectives represented in the decision-making process. In other words, we don’t like being told what to do or what to think. Surprised?
Maybe not. If you’ve been at Nacoochee long, you’ve probably already noticed that about us. We’re independent thinkers. And that characteristic of the congregation came through loud and clear in the survey results in our sensitivity to governance.
When NPC is ready to begin the search for its next Pastor/leader, (hopefully by Spring 2023) this is a value of the congregation that the Pastor Nominating Committee will want to represent in its job description (in Presbyterian-speak this is MIF or Ministry Information Form*), which will attract candidates to apply for the position. They’ll want to make clear to potential applicants that Nacoochee Presbyterian Church is looking for a consensus builder, not an authoritarian.
I look forward to discussions about this and other potential values of NPC at our upcoming Listening Sessions. If you haven’t already signed up for one, please do so this week,
*The congregation’s Ministry Information Form provides a narrative picture of the mission and ministry of the congregation and its sense of call. Prospective pastors will use the form to help them discern whether God is calling them to serve your church. The MIF should be used to express your ministry context, demographics, history, theology, values, leadership needs, and expectations. Well written MIFs clearly communicate the above and will ensure the best referrals. (Source: “On Calling a Pastor,” PCUSA resource.)