East Orrington Congregational Church
April/May 2024

Pen of Power

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Submitted by Tanya Kingsbury

          As the Advisory Board undertakes the early steps in the process of a strategic plan, starting with the creation of mission and vision statements, we all are called to reflect on the aspirations, goals, core beliefs and realities of EOCC.  It is human nature to assess, to measure our successes.  How else can we move forward if we don't?

         The success of a church isn't easily measured because success in spiritual and personal matters cannot be quantified.  One person might come to EOCC only for major holidays, but the church service fulfills a deep need for that individual.  That's just as much a success as any church-attendance number.  If a person who can afford to give only $1 in the offering plate puts in $2, that is success.  I sometimes hear that we 'aren't doing as well as we should' in terms of involvement.  One of the universal realities of organizations, including churches, is the volunteer ratio.  It is my experience that the few do the most.  So what?  Some people are very busy, and their lives are hectic: let them come only on Sunday and rest with God.  Some people volunteer many hours to other clubs or organizations that are important to them; they are still serving God.  The few will most likely continue to do the most, but I refuse to use that as a measure of a lack of success.  Our success is better measured by whether we offer the best opportunities we can to accommodate those who want to participate or partake.

         EOCC has so many successes, big and small, to celebrate.  It might be easy to rely on the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  But that doesn't mean, "If it ain't broke, it's perfect."  As we undertake the strategic planning process, let's consider the whole: strengths and successes; missing opportunities and potential for greater service to our church family, community and beyond; and things that no longer serve their original purpose well. 

         How best to measure success, to me, is to see if the church self-evaluates, grows and is striving to become who we want to be.  A church family that does that is, in my mind, successful.