Who is the #1 customer of your presbytery?
If you responded the sessions of your congregations, you answered wisely.
18 months ago, I initiated a missional intervention in conversation with other key committees in Newark. I asked the moderators and clerks of session to invite me to a meeting of their choice and give me 33 minutes on the docket.
Within that time I wanted to achieve one primary objective: To express our belief that the session is the #1 customer, the focus, and the priority, of the presbytery. Its been a great experience. They sometimes believe me! (It's a shock to their time-tested experience.)
40% of our sessions have intentionally set aside time to join me to listen and lead in new ways. They are clarifying their congregation's unique mission and refocusing their ministry on new initiatives. Using demographic, survey, and other tools, they are realizing that every church can take responsibility to rekindle their mission passion to love their community in tangible and sustainable ways.
Reliable data leads to better decisions. Like in Moneyball, when your session gains clarity about what matters most, and the real Wow emerges. (More on this in a post to come.)
When a session and congregation discern and choose a clear, focused, mission, they begin to make better choices. They can say “Yes” to what achieves their unique mission and they can confidently say“No” to actions, programs, and ministries that are not aligned with their mission.
By constantly listening to the Spirit, the focused mission becomes part of a new DNA for the church and the blessings sure to follow will reinforce the new direction that has begun. It is at this fundamental level that the presbytery, the collective spiritual energy of our congregations, can provide resources needed for the transformative work.
Clarifying mission is the #1 task for the presbytery's #1 customer. Its working already.