Wednesday, March 17, 2010

UMPH's Neil Alexander Urges UMs to Take Call to Action Survey




Neil Alexander, president and publisher of the United Methodist Publishing House, speaks about the research underway for the Call to Action project and urges your participation in an online survey of United Methodist leaders.

The Call to Action project, endorsed by the Council of Bishops and the Connectional Table seeks to review leadership, governance and other organizational issues in The United Methodist Church. The goal is to consider and propose actions that will lead to decisions that will help the Church better achieve its mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” and fully integrate the Four Areas of Focus (major ministry initiatives) into the fabric of the UMC connection.

Recognizing that alignment across the connectional church is essential in fostering and supporting effectiveness at all levels, one important aspect of the Call to Action project includes a focus on the factors that are most important in assuring vitality in local churches since they “provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs.” (Paragraph 120 in The Book of Discipline).

This survey is one part of a multi-phase research effort. The survey is one of the tools to gain qualitative insights and quantitative evidence about the factors associated with congregational vitality in United Methodist Churches. The results from this survey will be used to develop hypotheses about what factors (leadership, programs and structures) are most often found in churches that are seen as effective and vital. Those hypotheses will be further tested through another survey and statistical analysis. Our hope is to have as many persons as possible from across the church (clergy and lay) complete the survey.

Researchers from the independent outside consulting firm of Towers Watson are overseeing this part of the project and will report their findings to the Call to Action Steering Team based on a combination of personal interviews, focus groups, literature review, surveys and rigorous analysis of statistical reports from churches and annual conferences about what defines church vitality, and what impacts that vitality. The Steering Team will incorporate this information and other data as a part of its discernment process, leading to reports and recommendations that will be made in the fall of 2010 to the Council of Bishops and the Connectional Table.

Click here to participate in this online survey.

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