Twelve years! Where has the time gone? Since coming here in September of 1994, we’ve experienced quite a lot together. And during that time, I’ve seen many changes - some good, some not so much. Members have come and gone, staff have worked with us and gone on to serve elsewhere or retire, and council leadership has changed significantly over the years. The only constant is change!

Well, almost the only one I’m still here - but I’ve changed, too. I’m ever so slightly older (HAH!), somewhat wiser (debatable), and my perspective on ministry and Trinity has changed a bit.

With all of these changes, it’s a little difficult as a leader in the parish to bring others along on the journey. Many don’t see the changes, or see them differently, or through the rose-colored lenses of how Trinity was “back in the day,” or have a personal agenda to promote, or have other experiences that shape their perceptions of ministry, or have personal or family needs that they want Trinity to fulfill. Add to all of these some funding-induced tension, and they make for some interesting, if sometimes lengthy, Council and Board meetings.

Natural Church Development (“NCD”) offers a way to come to a consensus on how to find priorities in ministry and work them through. It involves having 30 or more active, concerned and involved members of Trinity take a survey that will cover the basic areas of life and health of a parish, and sorts out what members themselves believe are the strengths and weaknesses of the parish. You work on the one weak area, and the others improve. Then you retake the survey and work on the next area of concern.

The NCD people use the illustration of a wooden bucket. The water level in the bucket can only go as high as the shortest stave. Lengthen the short stave and the bucket will hold more. Strengthen the weak area of the parish and the level and quality of ministry will rise in a healthy “natural” way.

Paul Davis has provided an article later in this Caller that has more details about NCD. We will offer the survey on Sunday, January 14th at 9 am. It should take a half hour or so to take, and we’re hopeful of having some results back by our Congregational Meeting on January 28th.

Thanks for helping us with this project. I think it will help!

Pastor Larry