Journey Preparation: Surveying Your Church’s Landscape
By Kay Kotan
1 of 23 books in the 2021/2022 Greatest Expedition Series
Before we head in any direction, we must first have a starting point. What does the ground under our feet look like? Are we trying to hike mountains in flip flops? Do we have a desire for something really cool to happen in the life of our church, but we do not have enough people willing to roll up their sleeves to make it happen?
Is honoring history and tradition more important than anything else?
Has method become the true north rather than the mission?
Is there a key influencer, matriarch, patriarch, or family in control of “their” family chapel?
In the life of the church, I like to refer to this as the current reality.The church has become distracted by the latest bells and whistles, personal preferences, lack of accountability, and being program-driven rather than missionally driven. If what the church is doing and spending its resources on is not making disciples, then why are we doing it? Yet, so many churches continue to do what they are doing without ever evaluating the effectiveness of their “doing.”
We have fooled ourselves into thinking that as long as we are a “busy” church then we must be an effective church. But, the real question to ask is if our busy-ness is fulfilling the mission.
How would you rate your church’s missional effectiveness currently? How effective is your church in its mission of making disciples who disciple others? How often is your council or board asking this foundational question? How are the leaders of your church trained to know the purpose of the church and to continue to ask the question and evaluate? How many adult professions of faith did your church have this year? Last year? Two years ago?
In Journey Preparation, Kay Kotan will lead the reader into a deep dive into a congregational assessment to ascertain the current lay of the internal land of his/her congregation.
“In true Kay fashion, she poses the concrete questions that teams need to be wrestling with to explore how they are meeting the mission of making disciples, evaluating ministries for effectiveness, and engaging guests and the community. If your team is ready to take the journey of making a Kingdom impact then Kay’s words will guide you.”
Conference Lay Leader, Missouri Conference of The United Methodist Church
“Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity have been baked in to the post-pandemic world, and the church is on the clock to resource disciples and leaders on a new and different expedition. Kay Kotan provides an accessible handbook for Christian leaders to take a faithful – and sometimes brutally honest – look at the essential systems of the church. The essential questions (Where are we? Are we prepared for the road ahead?) are thoughtfully asked and answered in this guidebook, created for you and your church’s next great expedition. This is the handbook leaders of churches of any size would be grateful to have in hand while taking expeditions with their trusted teams of adventurers.”
Director, Congregational Excellence, Great Plains Conference of The UMC
“Kay Kotan does it again. She provides the busy church leader - whether lay or clergy - with another toolbox full of ready-to-use resources. She does this with the sensitivity of a coach who clearly has worked with many churches. As a part of this Expedition series, this book will help churches take a close look at where they are even as they prepare for a preferred future. Creating a good map is a vital part of any expedition and Kotan provides the way to do that here.”
Director of Connectional Ministry, Oklahoma Conference of The UMC