Sunday, August 14, 2011

Witherspoon class responds

On Sunday, Aug. 14, the GPS asked members of the Witherspoon class to respond to some of the questions we're asking of the whole congregation.

Here were some of the responses to the question of what Second does best:

  • Lives in harmony with a theologically and political diverse congregation.

  • Owns a structure in a great location from which to do ministry.

  • We take some public stands on social issues but not enough.

  • We’re good at giving financially to support the church but not good enough. We need more emphasis on tithing.

  • We have a good reputation for being involved in the community and being present with others in need.

  • We know our fellow members well, but not well enough.

  • Second is a very welcoming church. (Said by a member who moved away from KC once and later came back.)

  • We know we need to do better in different areas and we are not uncomfortable talking about that need or considering new ideas.

  • The church historically is good at empowering individuals to do ministry in the community – whether done under the banner of Second or not.

  • Our biblical literacy has improved remarkably under the teaching of Don Fisher.

  • We maintain our building well, not just for ourselves but also for use by the community.

  • The congregation is filled with people of many talents – so much so that in some ways leaders feel as if they’re herding cats because sometimes it’s hard to get so many talented leaders to get behind one decision.

And here's what Witherspoon attendees said in response to the question of what Second needs to change or transform to survive and thrive.

  • We need to do better with stewardship of finances and talents.

  • We must do a lot better with internal and external communications at all levels.

  • We must do better giving public recognition to the valuable ministries people do and being much more consistent about that. (George Dooley’s  Messenger items are a step in the right direction.)

  • Our youth programs need attention and fixing.

  • We must get over our fear of change.

  • We need to figure out – and be consistent with – our relationship with UMKC, not expecting students to come in our doors but expecting us to go out our doors and over to campus when it’s appropriate.

  • We must find better ways of discovering and harnessing the talents and gifts of our members.

  • We must learn how to adapt to our coming new software system and use it to communicate better and be more efficient in all kinds of ways.

  • Our expanded small-groups effort is going well and needs to be even more of an emphasis.

  • We should be bringing in outside speakers of national note and hosting big events for the whole community. This point raised complaints about our failure to use the Hage Endowment Fund much in recent years.
If you have your own responses, please e-mail us at or put a note in the church file folder of GPS moderator Bill Tammeus. And thanks.

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