Today I had my annual ministry review with Bishop Yu. We met in his new office down town, and I have to say I like having him down here better than before. Easier to get with, and it's kind of neat to stop by the Diocesan HQ and see various people I know there.
We followed a specific format based on form I filled out with questions like, "What were your greatest accomplishments in the last year," and so forth. we also talked about some of the things I felt could have been better. We spoke at length about some of the challenges and potentials in the congregation and how I'm addressing them.
About the most useful suggestion he made is to develop and execute a "Discipleship Making Strategy." this is something I've thought of before, but having him remind me how helpful this could be to Messiah's mission put it back in my mind. Perhaps after the Stewardship Campaign is over (Dec/Jan) we can start a programme like that.
In general, the bishop seemed pleased with what has been happening at COTM. It's nice that the numbers (both people and money) are up a bit from last year (though still below what they were just a few years ago). They are also still below the benchmark for a sustainable pastoral-sized parish. That means that theoretically there are not enough people to support a full-time priest. The magic number, incidentally, is 100. It takes about 100 average Sunday attendance per full-time priest on staff.
of course, I've written here before that I'm not sure these kinds of benchmarks are very helpful. They may be a way to understand what's happening when an inherited church is facing decline, but they don't lead us to an emerging future mission. Instead they tend to just make us want to try harder at what isn't working.
After an hour with the bishop we ended with some prayers and I went on my way.