Strategic Planning:
A report on where we are today, and an invitation to respond

The Church of the Servant, our “local address” as friends and followers of Jesus Christ, has a colorful history and a wide variety of vigorous ministries today. It has been more than a decade, however, since the congregation took the effort to reflect on what it has accomplished and on what might be its “unfinished business” as a vessel of God’s grace in the near future. The council of deacons and elders decided last year that COS should engage in a period of reflection, priority setting, and goal making.

“Strategic planning” is a fairly commonsensical idea, based on the belief that every organization can benefit from understanding its own history and character, the setting where it works, the challenges it faces, and the strengths and weaknesses it brings to its ongoing work, then laying out some goals to advance its mission over the near future. The strategic planning task force has been working along these lines, and now we want to get a mid-course review and response from the congregation.

Priority setting is not a simple task, and we think it will prove more useful in the end if we gather responses and insights from the congregation. So here we present the congregation with our interim findings, and we use this report to consult the congregation about goals they would like to achieve under the broad needs we identify here.

There are five sections to this report:

  1. Our current environment and the changes we have experienced since 1992.
    • Our new location has brought us a number of new developments.
    • We have a closer association with our neighborhood, and
    • a much closer relation with the Calvin College and Seminary communities.
  2. Our current organization and statistical growth patterns.
    • Our survey showed weaknesses in organization, some of which the council already addressed with changes in July 2007.
    • It also showed that our worship was valued by our members 2:1 over any other ministry we do.
    • We have grown immensely since 1992, more than doubling our size. However, all that growth took place before 2001.
    • So what is our future?
  3. Growth: the marks of a healthy, growing church and options for adjustments by COS to remove hindrances to growth.
    • COS scores well on comparison charts for a healthy congregation, yet we have stagnated in numerical growth.
    • The report reflects on the meaning of this and possible responses and new directions.
  4. Our Strengths and weaknesses: Identification of areas we can build on and things we need to correct.
    • Here is a long list of our favorite things,
    • and a couple of things that either mystify us or frighten us.
    • Are there more?
  5. Summary and Questions: Seeking your thoughts about major areas of ministry development.
    • A list of six questions here are a guide for asking the congregation, from the point of view of its many varied ministries, to add to the ideas already here.

For the full report, you may download a PDF file of the INTERIM REPORT Strategic Planning Task Force

You may post your comments on the Report below: