From Your Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) Team
What is the Healthy Church Initiative?
The Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) is a process designed to transform churches. The focus is on providing resources and strategies to church pastors, staff, laity, and congregations so they in turn will be able to reach new people for Christ.
Why is the Minnesota Annual Conference using HCI?
The Minnesota Conference has 3 revitalization processes designed to help existing churches find new ways to disciple people, share God’s love, and make a difference in their communities and the world. The HCI process is designed for churches between 100-350 people in worship attendance.
HCI was formed to revitalize churches and aid them in fulfilling The Great Commission. Many churches today are stagnant or declining; so a team of talented coaches and consultants, backed by a proven process, was put together to address this problem.
Minnesota began piloting the HCI process in 2012 with 7 churches. Today there are currently 8 churches going through the 18 month process.
Why La Crescent?
La Crescent United Methodist Church was approached about the HCI process by the Minnesota Conference in summer 2015. La Crescent was chosen because it is currently considered a healthy church. The goal of HCI is to support existing congregations in becoming more vital. Vital congregations are prepared to reach and disciple new people, and equipped to help members grow in their love of God and neighbor. After approval to go forward with the HCI process a Vision and Prayer team were developed.
A Consultation Weekend was held in February 2016 where the Lead Consultant and Congregation Development Specialist Diane Owens; District Superintendent Clay Oglesbee; Consultant Becky Jo Messenbrink; and our church’s Coach and Consultant Bill Lewis spent a weekend visiting with our congregants and evaluating our church’s current state. From their consultation our congregation was provided with 5 Recommendations:
- Make sure we have a crystal clear Vision and that all of the congregation helps clarify and “owns” this vision
- Be very Relational in Outreach that Supports the Vision
- Produce and participate in Artful and Planned Worship
- Be intentional in Leadership Development and Deployment
- Consider Strong Administrative structure as a Ministry
In March a Charge Conference was held where the congregation voted with a 96% approval rate to move forward with the 5 recommendations from the Consultation Weekend.
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