The CAT survey (Congregational Assessment Tool) that Trinity undertook in late winter/early spring reports on the health and vitality of the congregation. As I’ve reported in my first blog post on the subject, as well as the second, I think we can feel pretty good about how our congregation is doing and the trajectory that we’re on. Clearly, God is at work in our community!
The CAT survey also gives us direction looking ahead, helping to sort and shape our priorities. While Trinity has a pretty significant 5-year strategic plan, what we find in the CAT can help us gain new insights and tweak our plan, as well as confirm for us if different aspects of the plan are still valid.
The CAT ranks 17 different priorities of the congregation as we look to the future. For Trinity, the top six priorities of these priorities include:
1) Develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.
2) Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church
3) Expand outreach ministries that provide direct services to those living on the margins of society.
4) Create more opportunities for people to form meaningful relationships (for example, small groups, nurtured friendships, shared meals, etc).
5) Strengthen the process by which members are called and equipped for ministry and
6) Strengthen the pastoral response of the church in serving people with special needs.
This is an exciting list. It energizes me for two reasons: First, it affirms the work that we’ve been doing, and it tells us that the existing strategic plan is on the right track.
Second, it helps to “fill in the details” as we move forward on the strategic plan. The CAT survey results articulates that our most immediate needs are not internal, but external. It is to serve in the community and the world. The results remind us that our mission lies outside the walls of our building.
Putting together the CAT survey, analyzing the data and working to best present it to the congregation felt like a lot of work. But looking at this list of priorities, I realize that the real work lies before us. And there will be a lot of it. I suspect that there will be work groups created, perhaps around each of these six initiatives, to dream, oversee and implement our work in this area. And we will need a lot of people giving of their love, their time and their energy to make this happen.
The CAT survey reminds us that we have an important role to play within our community. God is calling us to serve here. We are part of God’s mission in Owatonna and the surrounding communities. We have the people and the resources to change lives. We live the promises that God is with us. It’s time to move forward boldly.
Are you ready to go?
You can learn more about our CAT survey results on Trinity’s CAT survey web page if you’re interested.
More info is coming.