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CHURCH HEALTH LEADERSHIP TEAM

The Church Health Team’s report to the 43rd General Assembly of its work during 2022-2023.

Use these quicklinks to navigate to a specific section of this report:

Organization and Ministry
Church Health Coordinator Goals
Team Leader Summaries
Members

Bob Stauffer

National Director of Church Health
TE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies

ORGANIZATION AND MINISTRY

1. The EPC Church Health Leadership Team (CHLT) was expanded to include four of the 12 Presbytery Church Health Coordinators (CHC). The various areas of Church Health Ministry were assigned to team members as follows:   

Bob Stauffer, Director
Bruce Allison, Finance and CHC Coaching Coaches
Zenaida Bermudez, OGA Staff Support
Thomas Davis, Evangelism
Marc de Jeu, CHC Support
Jim Farrell,  CHLT Administrator and Transitional Pastoral Ministry
Mark Farrell, CHC Support
Mike Griffin, CHC Support
Jeff Moore, Lead CHC Support
Vanessa Mullendore, OGA Staff Support
Bill Rasch, Transitional Pastoral Ministry
Larry Williams, Administration and Box Church Health Resources Storage

2. 15 of the 16 presbyteries are now participating. The current roster is:

Alleghenies: Marc de Jeu (Coordinator Support)
Central Carolina: Rob McLelland
Central South: Mike Gibson
Coastal Mid-Atlantic: Bill Moore
East: Stefan Bomberger
Florida and the Caribbean: Mark Farrell (Coordinator Support)
Great Plains: Gary Fuller
Gulf South: Ron Horgan
Mid-America: Ritchey Cable
Midwest: Andy Gilman
New River: Andy Koesters
Pacific Northwest: TBD
Pacific Southwest: Mike Griffin (Coordinator Support)
Rivers and Lakers: Jeff Moore(Coordinator Support)
Southeast: Jonathan Schwartz (pending)
West: Brandon Addison

3. A Church Health Coordinator support team of 4 coordinators was established. Each of them oversees, communicates with, and supports 2-3 other CHCs on a regular basis. In addition, the CHCs meet via a monthly Zoom call for sharing, support, and trouble-shooting issues. These monthly “CHC Chats” are moderated by the CHC Support team: Jeff Moore (Lead), Marc de Jeu, Mark Farrell, and Mike Griffin. Bob Stauffer and other CHLT members are on the call to listen and offer input as needed.

4. Monthly CHLT meetings are conducted via Zoom, the second Wednesday of every month, where ministry groups report, training is planned, and troubleshooting concerns of CHCs takes place.

5. Presbytery Church Health Coordinators (CHC) meet for formal training and accountability twice a year: February at the Office of the General Assembly GA and October (the October 2022 meeting was held in Pittsburgh).

6. EPC Church Health Ministry had a significant part in the 2022 General Assembly, which including Transitional Pastor training and Church Revitalization presentations that included opportunities for Commissioners to meet and talk with their CHC. Jimmy Scroggins and Todd Thomas of Family Church in Florida presented seminars on “3 Circles” and “Turning Everyday Conversation into Gospel Conversations.”

7. Several Church Health documents have been prepared and published, which now include “Transitional Pastoral Ministry Training Manual,” “Transforming Our Churches: A Church Health Coordinators and Coaches Manual,” and “Refocus: A Church Vitality Seminar to Assess and Enhance the Health of your Church.” In addition, three summary papers have been prepared and published to inform churches and presbyteries of these three areas of EPC Church Health ministry. These documents continue to be edited and reprinted to keep them consistent and current.

8. In addition to training manuals and summary papers having to do with each of the three ministry areas of Church Health, we have developed and gathered together a multitude of church health resources and stored them in Box.com. These resources totaling 123 files are being stored in the following categories:  REFOCUS Health-Revitalization, Evangelism, Church Health Coordinators and Coaches, Church Health Leadership Team (CHLT), Transitional Pastoral Ministry, and EPC Info. Currently, these resources are accessed and utilized by the CHLT and Presbytery Church Health Coordinators. To the end of equipping and educating the wider church as regards church health, we are investigating a way to make some of them available to be used by the wider church, perhaps via the EPC website.

9. Bill Rasch, leading out Transitional Pastor ministry, has attended training offered by Interim Pastoral Ministries, Vital Church, and the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) to assess their training processes and see if there were elements of those trainings that would enable us to improve our training process. As a result, we are currently reworking our transitional process and rewriting our Transitional Pastor manual. As you might imagine, this is a large undertaking. We have now started to see many pastors from other denominations attending our training and we are in discussions as to what the future of those relationships will look like.

10. Bob Stauffer and CHLT member Thomas Davis are working with Gloo and the “He Gets Us” ministry as we have formed an official denominational partnership with them to follow up on those who request followup information or even asking about what a relationship with Christ looks like. It has started gospel conversations in many of our 130 churches who are already participating in this program. We are looking to develop an even stronger relationship with more churches participating in the future.

11. Bob Stauffer continues to be invited and travel to Presbyteries to conduct training events and address presbyteries as regards all three areas of Church Health Ministry: Evangelism (3 Circles), Revitalization, and Transitional Pastoral ministry.

12. Work is being done in conjunction with the Office of the General Assembly to determine if Transitional Pastor profiles can be stored on the EPC website and a process developed for churches looking for a Transitional Pastor to search for candidates via this link. Presently, the CHLT has profiles and stores them, but this current system is not easily accessible to the CHCs or churches.

13. We are preparing to utilize opportunities at this year’s General Assembly / Gospel Priorities Summit for additional CHC training and educating/training of the larger church as regards EPC Church Health ministries in evangelism, revitalization, and Transitional Pastor ministry.

14. Because of the significant growth of our areas of ministry and the need to support this quick growth financially, we will be submitting a grant request to the Lilly Foundation to help with the capital support necessary to sustain our ministry and coordinators over the next few years.

15. We have been pressing in on the priority of evangelism at all levels of the EPC. Through our coordinators we have been doing evangelism training using a method called “Three Circles” and helping our churches not only share their faith but also help our churches create an evangelistic culture in their entire church. We are thrilled to hear of the many stories of people coming to know Jesus as the Lord of their life and many churches taking seriously the call to create that evangelistic culture in their churches. This remains the most important part of our gospel priority and the other things that we do are to support this deeply significant goal and Kingdom priority.

16. The National Church Health Leadership Team and our 15 coordinators have set big goals for the year to come. We are praying for God’s favor and for the support of our presbyteries as we want to see churches do good self-assessment and take advantage of our church health process, experience, and resources of our presbytery coordinators. We also desire to see the role, nature, and power of the Ttransitional Pastor process seriously to bring renewal to churches in their season of transition. And most of all, to take our Great Commission call seriously and become not only a church that shares the gospel but also creates a culture in all of our churches that enables the church and all of its people to make sharing the gospel its first priority.

CHURCH HEALTH COORDINATOR GOALS

1. Increasing Presbytery Awareness

A. Promote church health through regular and consistent communication, presentations and resourcing. This may include:

i. Presbytery updates (email, announcements, etc.)
ii. Send minutes of CHC meetings to Presbytery leadership
iii. Update the Presbytery website with Box information
iv. Send regular Church Health correspondence to churches
v. Presentations at presbytery meetings

B. Invest in relationships, specifically between:

i. CHC and Presbytery leadership (exec team/leadership team, MC, etc.)
ii. Other pastors in the Presbytery. 

C. Goal-setting with Presbytery Leadership.

i. Review these goals with presbytery leadership and adjust, if necessary, to fit the presbytery context.

2. Training in all Three Areas at the Presbytery Level

A. Identify and train at least 2 coaching candidates.
B. Conduct at least 1 Transitional Pastor training and identify at least 2 Transitional Pastor candidates.
C. Conduct at least 2 evangelism workshops.
D. Conduct at least 4 Refocus Seminars, or 25% of presbytery churches attending

3. Implementing Strategies in the Local Church

A. Facilitate at least 1 church through the vitalization process with a coach.
B. Facilitate at least 1 church toward establishing an evangelistic culture.

3. Coordinator Development

A. Regular participation in CHCOOR monthly chats
B. Regular check-in with Lead Coordinator

TEAM LEADER SUMMARIES

CHC SUPPORT TEAM

Our task is two-fold. 1) To check-in regularly with the other coordinators. Each person on the Lead Team is assigned to at least two other coordinators to have one-on-one conversations about our tasks as CHC’s. And 2) To lead the monthly coordinator call. This call is a forum for coordinators to celebrate wins, address challenges with collective wisdom, and cover any points of information from the Church Health Lead Team.

—Jeff Moore

CHC COACHING COACHES AND FINANCE

Provide training and guidance for Church Health Coaches, drawing from several years of hands-on experience within the Presbytery of the Alleghenies—both as a coach and in raising and supporting five other coaches. Developed a written guide for the Church Health Coordinators to use to recruit Coach candidates and to train those candidates. Have begun online “coach meetings” for Coaches and Coordinators having questions (as needed). Develop cost budgets and keep team updated on financial status for current FY and projections for future FYs.

—Bruce Allison

ADMINISTRATION AND CHURCH HEALTH RESOURCES

The effective access to and distribution of church health information, training, and best practices has become more important as the EPC involves an increased number of key personnel in the church health process. My role is to provide technical and administrative support to the various church health leaders to more efficiently capture, process, and make available through Box those manuals, videos, PowerPoint presentations, and other documents that enable individuals in the church health process to be trained, supported, and encouraged while minimizing time demands on the Church Health Leadership Team.

—Larry Williams

EVANGELISM

We continue to move forward with the “He Gets Us” project. As soon as the EPC/HGU webpage becomes active, we will ask Dean Weaver to send an email to EPC leaders across the country announcing the campaign and offering a link to the page. This EPC landing site will be the place where our pastors and leaders can learn more and sign up on behalf of their churches. Also, we are orchestrating a one-hour session at this year’s General Assembly / Gospel Priorities Summit that will highlight inspiring Three Circles stories. The goal would be to find one such story from the Gospel Priorities of Global Movement, Church Planting, and Church Health. Please be on the lookout for any encouraging Three Circles stories, and send any you find my way! EPC Church Health is committed to keeping “3 Circles” alive throughout the church.

—Thomas Davis

ADMINISTRATOR AND TRANSITIONAL PASTOR MINISTRY

As Church Health Leadership Team Administrator, I create (in consultation with Bob Stauffer) the monthly team meeting agenda and take notes from the meeting. I communicate with the team as regards all meetings, minutes, agendas, reports, and other correspondence with the CHLT and CHCs from the Church Health Director. I also prepare (in conjunction with Bob Stauffer) the agenda for CHC training events, and communicate with the CHCs and other groups and individuals with whom the National Director is meeting related to the Church Health ministry. I also communicate and work with the Office of the General Assembly Staff Support for the Church Health Leadership Team. I currently send a Transitional Pastor Profile to pastors completing the Transitional Pastor training. These profiles are stored in a database to be shared with churches seeking a Transitional Pastor. I also participate in the training of EPC Transitional Pastors.

—Jim Farrell

TRANSITIONAL PASTOR MINISTRY

We continue to work on building our Transitional Pastor pool with ECO, Interim Pastor Ministries, and Vital Church Ministries; lead conference calls with Church Health Coordinators and congregations inquiring about the value of Transitional Pastors; and map the interim process (through June 2023) for CHCs as they are contacted by churches seeking Transitional Pastors. We are also seeking to determine whether there are any Book of Order changes required to facilitate the flow of Transitional Pastor between the EPC and ECO for the purpose of doing that work—and that work alone. It is important to us to continue to hone our Transitional Church and Transitional Pastor assessments in order to have the best Transitional Pastors possible.

We seek to build the pool of Transitional Pastors available to the EPC. We will assess the Interim/Transition Pastor training of ECO, Interim Pastor Ministries, and Vital Church Ministries in order to determine whether we want to make use of any of those existing training opportunities or pick up elements of them to deepen, broaden, and enrich our current training. We will publicize the work and value of Transitional Pastors at General Assembly and throughout our Presbyteries as we continue to develop our Transitional Pastor training and provide multiple Transitional Pastor training events around the country each year. We will seek to establish a long-term standing process for congregations inquiring about and asking for Transitional Pastors as we build a network of Transitional Pastor coaches to provide ongoing support for Transitional Pastors in the field. Currently, we are refining our Transitional Pastor processes and strategies. In addition, we are rewriting and updating our Transitional Pastor training and manual to be as effective as we can be in this important process with several other denominations seeking to make use of our training.

—Bill Rasch

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Bob Stauffer (National Director of Church Health)
TE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies

Thomas Davis
TE, Presbytery of the Coastal Mid-Atlantic

Jim Farrell
TE, Presbytery of the East

Mike Griffin
TE, Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest

Bill Rasch
TE, Presbytery of the Midwest

Bruce Allison
RE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies

Marc de Jeu
TE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies

Mark Farrell
TE, Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean

Jeff Moore
TE, Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes

Larry Williams
RE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Stauffer, National Director of Church Health
June 2023

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