Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) is a team-based discovery process that enables a church to more effectively live out its ministry to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The process begins by developing effective church leaders. The next steps assist church decision-makers in determining the key areas in which the congregation should focus its attention so that the church may become more effective and fruitful. HCI is different in that it allows each church to apply the process in the context of its own particular ministry.
HCI was developed by the Missouri Annual Conference. Its design comes from the work of Paul Borden, who helped turn around the American Baptist Church in northern California. Hundreds of MAC churches have participated in HCL, using and perfecting it since 2006.
In Missouri, 80% of the churches that have been in the process at least 18 months have experienced an increase in average weekly worship attendance, including half which have grown by 5% or more. HCI has enabled MAC church leaders using the process to have a better understanding of exactly what concepts are most important in an effective ministry. It has provided these leaders with direction, hope, and encouragement. The East Ohio Conference is one of many UMC conferences which embraced the process and is currently using it with local churches.
TRAINING: The first step in the HCI process revolves around the training of pastors and laity. Through Pastoral Leadership Development (PLD) and Lay Leadership Development (LLD) programs, HCI trains individuals to become leaders that are truly mission-focused. A pastor attends eight sessions (PLD) that meet on a weekday once a month. In between meetings it is important that pastor’s share what they learn with key leaders at the church they are serving. It’s not necessary for churches to continue with steps 2 & 3 below.
CONSULTATION: Churches – with the help of an outside team and coach - discover their strengths and weaknesses. This step culminates with a weekend assessment that results in five strategic recommendations for the church to pursue in order to move to even greater effectiveness. In preparation for the weekend, the pastor will be a part of a peer mentoring group. The church will do a pre-assessment report and workshop, and have a series of mystery guests visit their worship services.
COACHING: The final step helps church leaders apply key concepts to overcome specific church growth barriers, enabling it to become even more effective and fruitful. Over a period of 12-18 months, the church leaders - with the help of a coach - implement all of the recommendations from the weekend consultation. This third step is crucial to ensuring that the training and consultation processes translate into a healthy, vibrant congregation that is focused on creating disciples for Christ.
The approximate cost for the process is up to $1,000 per church. Call Kelly Brown at 1-800-831-3972 ext. 129 or send an E-mail to request a Healthy Church Initiative Application.
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH.
near the Akron-Canton airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Toll Free: 800-831-3972
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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