To see how this process began, take a look at our journey. This five year plan covered from 2019-2023.
Previos Long-Range Planning- 5 Year Vision
The Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) of North Raleigh United Methodist Church (NRUMC) spent much of 2018 meeting with various committees and groups within the church, asking each of them to dream boldly about the future of NRUMC. We spoke with more than 350 church members and compiled over 37 pages of their dreams. The ideas, concepts and out-of-the-box thinking that came from our congregation were invigorating and exciting. The LRPC summarized what we heard from the congregation and developed a vision to achieve those dreams.
We have continued to move forward with the Long-Range Planning 5-Year Vision that was introduced in 2019. The economic and social disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have made immeasurable changes to our lives, but in that environment, our faith and efforts to honor God and transform lives help to sustain our optimism. We recognize many things will continue to impact and change the plans. While we have been unable to physically meet as a church body, many of the planned improvements and changes are continuing. In fact, facing the need to become more agile to deal with the impact of the changes is critical. We want to update the church membership on the progress toward the 5-Year Vision of North Raleigh United Methodist Church that we introduced in 2019. Amidst the social, economic, and religious changes that have occurred in recent years, we have continued actions to achieve our mission with intentionality– Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world – and strengthening our core values.
The following comments summarize the status of our 5-Year Vision milestones, including successes and changes to the plan you have made as we practice the principals of experimenting, accommodating change, and not being afraid to fail. As we return to the ability to physically congregate as a church, we will continue to reach out to you to evaluate and guide the plan with invigorating and exciting ideas, concepts, and out-of-the-box thinking. We always seek and need your inputs.
Although statistics reflect that Christian church membership and attendance have been declining for several years, many people of all ages remain hungry for spiritual growth that adds meaning and beauty to their lives. People are still yearning to find ways to make a positive impact around the world and in the communities in which they live. While traditional methods to grow and bring new people into the church community and to keep it relevant are not as effective as they have been in the past, the church still remains the most viable and relevant institution in which people can satisfy both these desires in ways that honor God and serve their neighbors.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we want to continue to grow His kingdom, impact lives, and transform ourselves and others in the process. We must continue to build on our strengths to help retain current church members and adopt new methods to adapt to the changing environment. We will grow by focusing on our core values – Grace, Compassion, Generosity, Authenticity, Inclusivity, and Courage.
NRUMC is well positioned to be a destination for those drawn by God into holy relationships shaped by acts of piety and mercy. To ensure NRUMC lives into God’s call and continues to be a place where those seeking such a relationship find a home, now is the time to consider bold investments in our future in terms of building on strengths such as our music program, the JOY group, and Stephen Ministry, as well as modernizing existing buildings, growing and entering into new community partnerships, expanding NRUMC’s physical footprint and/or new facilities, incorporating new technologies, and growing our staff to live into our God-given mission and the strategies that we have discerned in order to realize that mission.
The vision below outlines the key actions defined by congregational inputs. The specific actions and tactics have been and are being defined by the Ministry Action Planning (MAP) 3.0 teams. While we have noted the segments as steps in the process, these items will not necessarily occur sequentially, e.g. an item from Step 2 or 3 may occur prior to or simultaneously to an item in Step 1.
Step 1- Engagement- Look within to more deeply engage and grow our existing congregation, add new members that share our bold vision.
- Initiate Sacred Conversations – Continue providing a safe place for open candid discussion and improved understanding of controversial and divisive subjects
- Add Small Groups/Expand Participation – Expand membership of small groups, add new small worship groups and introduce new concepts such as small group meetings off campus that combine worship, Bible Study and/or a service project followed by a social or fellowship activity.
- Launch Disciples’ Path – Create a personal engagement map which will identify multiple “Disciples’ Paths” to help guide members in their spiritual growth and introduce accountability measures to get individuals involved in new areas and get more people involved.
- Update Church Website – Update website to reach members and non-members who utilize that medium for information.
- Initiate Podcasting – Establish multiple podcasts to reach more individuals who utilize that medium for information and learning.
- Reimagine Hospitality – Focus on taking actions that strengthen a welcoming environment to all.
- Commemorate 50th Anniversary of NRUMC
Step 2- Worship & Service- Expand Opportunities to Worship and Serve locally and globally.
- Launch Alternative Worship Service — Investigate and implement alternative worship opportunities that seek to further engage existing members and attract new members. Combine evening services with other outreach and fellowship activities.
- Enhance Online Presence/Online Discipleship – Provide online services and expand social media presence. Expand participation in missions via new activities and live streaming of services.
- Establish Signature Mission
- Cultivate Culture of Generosity
- Support New United Methodist Community – Consider launching a new faith community, potentially in a geography different from our church facility, if through discernment we determine God will bless this path. Deepen partnerships with other local churches to potentially expand our existing outreach efforts or better enable engagement with communities we may not be able to reach on our own.
Step 3- Investment- Growth and development of financial resources; invest in upgrades/improvements in physical spaces to support growing membership programs and missions.
- Optimize Facility Usage – Including consideration of elevator and decommissioning of mobile units
- Evaluate Need for Additional Property – Overcome building restrictions of the watershed and provide space for new facilities/services
- Evaluate Family Life Center – Potential uses could include expanded preschool program (more classes / more age groups), local missions center, and alternative worship service.
Again, we will continue to evaluate, prioritize, and adjust the vision. We are always seeking your comments and suggestions to move NRUMC forward.