The Special Synod of 2009 approved a new structure and a new focus for our Province, centering on eight interrelated characteristics of healthy congregations.
In 2010, Synod created directional statements for each characteristic, as well as some specific directives. Each year, the PEC provides suggestions and direction for congregations to ensure health. Here’s a complete list of the characteristics. You can also check out the Northern Province’s Healthy Characterics Resources. Click the sections below to learn about available resources, programs, and assistance for each of the characterics.
Bringing Church Members into Greater Harmony with One Another to Build Community
Within the congregation, there is a spirit of community and mutual love and a caring about one another. The congregation operates as an authentic community with a strong and growing sense of belonging.
Increasing Participation, Attendance and Membership
The members, boards, pastor(s), and staff of the congregation have a positive attitude toward growth. There is an intentional process leading to growth.
Ensuring Wise Direction, Administration, and Accountability for the Community
There is strong, effective leadership by the pastor and boards that is team oriented, empowering, inspiring, strategic, and risk-taking and which sets and leads the direction of the congregation toward becoming and remaining healthy.
The Processes Through Which We Learn and Grow as Individuals and in Community to Care for Ourselves and Serve Others
The congregation is committed to the agenda of God including a clear understanding of, and strong conviction about, the purpose of the church.
An Outward Focus that Networks Locally, Nationally, and Globally to Remember, Seek Out, and Serve Our Neighbors
Rather than a focus on survival and maintenance, the congregation has a clear, active, faith-based mission and outreach vision and plan that extend beyond the church walls.
Relationship with Christ
Bringing Individuals and the Congregation into a Greater Harmony with God with a New Sense of Faith, Love, and Hope
We trust and glorify God. We are aware of the nature and presence of God within the congregation. Because of God’s empowering presence, we seek to find out what God wants. We know that God is working in the lives of members and in the life of our congregation.
The Effective Use of Individual and Community Time, Talent and Treasure
In a healthy congregation, stewardship and generosity are nurtured. There is a positive approach for teaching, modeling and encouraging stewardship. A well-organized laity understands, demonstrates and uses total stewardship practices.
Proclaiming God’s Word through Scripture, Preaching, Music, and Sacrament
Worship is the center of congregational life. The pastoral leadership ensures a genuine worship experience that is God-exalting, Spirit-filled, vital, inspiring, meaningful and nourishing.