Readiness 360 Launches in California-Nevada Conference
November 04, 2013
More than 120 church leaders from 16 local churches recently gathered at Genesis United Methodist Church in Milpitas to begin Readiness 360.
"In order to become vital agents of God’s mission in the world we must provide our churches and its leaders effective tool and process that will help them increase their capacity to become more vital and multiply their impact by creating new faith communities, transforming established congregations and equipping and deploying servant leaders so that our mission – making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world – might be better fulfilled, said the Rev. Dr. Bener Agtarap, Conference Superintendent for Congregational Vitality.
Readiness 360 is a web-based tool used by people in a congregation and potential stakeholders to provide input about the church from their perspective vantage point. The resulting report provides feedback to the leadership of the congregation about its current capacity to bear fruit and multiply. Some use this tool as a part of their discernment process about whether or not to be a church planting partner, others use it as a congregational development tool to reclaim more multiplication DNA of the Jesus movement. But this assessment is just one step in the process.
The Readiness 360 is the first online tool of its kind designed to help a congregation specifically assess its current multiplication energy that directly translates into its readiness to plant new ministry and multiply kingdom impact. Sixteen churches were selected by the Cabinet and encouraged to fully participate in the “Congregational Vitality and Leadership Development Process.” Agtarap says, "Our hope is to find, engage and support at least 10 churches every year to participate in this Process."
The 16 churches have completed a congregational survey utilizing the Readiness 360 tool. The teams will participate in 6 to 12 months of being coached and trained.
The Readiness 360 measures a congregation’s multiplication DNA–its current capacity to multiply. There are four strands that are building blocks present in faith communities that multiply: spiritual intensity, missional alignment, dynamic relationships, and cultural openness.
The tool outlines the four strands as follows:
All of the great church movements worldwide are intense spiritually, marked by a deep love for God and a surrendering to what God is seeking to do through human beings. Understanding the degree to which a spiritual fire burns within the hearts and souls of those leading and participating in the life of the church is critical.
The degree to which a church consistently prioritizes investment of its resources (time, talent, treasure) according to a biblical vision and mission indicates readiness in this dimension. It is critical that a church’s plans, major initiatives, and pruning of ministry stem clearly from a biblical vision/mission and drive for fruitfulness instead of from habit.
Good habits and skills for leading new persons into a deeper relationship with God through Christ is vital. Healthy congregations work as a system to accomplish this. Relationships with others directly impact the strength of the church's evangelism muscle.
Since the first century, effective churches have been reaching across cultural boundaries to share the Christian good news with diverse people, who begin with different experiences, perspectives, and stories. Churches that exhibit fortress behaviors, or who spend excessive time mourning social change often have difficulty sharing life with new kinds of people.
The 16 churches who completed the congregational survey are:
Madera UMC, Madera;
Modesto First UMC, Modesto;
Merced UMC, Merced;
Holy Cross UMC, Stockton;
Saint Paul UMC, Fremont;
Palo Alto First UMC, Palo Alto;
Concord UMC, Concord;
Genesis UMC, Milpitas;
Napa First UMC, Napa;
Jones Memorial UMC, San Francisco;
Santa Rosa UMC, Santa Rosa;
Arcata UMC, Arcata;
Church of the Joyful Healer, McKinleyville;
Lincoln UMC, Lincoln; and,
Foothills UMC, Cameron Park.
For more information about Readiness 360 and the process, contact the Rev. Dr. Bener Agtarap, Conference Superintendent for Congregational Vitality, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (916) 374-1581.