Compass Team gathering information for strategic plan

The St. Mark’s Compass Team, which is working to develop a strategic plan to guide our ministry and life together, wants to send a big “thank you” to all who have participated in the Compass Team Survey.

The deadline to complete the survey is Sunday, Feb. 3, so — depending on when you read this — you may still have time to submit your survey if you haven’t done that yet. Please weigh in! The survey will give the team essential information about the St. Mark’s family and provide a profile that we have not had in this amount of detail.

Why does it matter? We’re called to be good stewards of the resources God has given us — the human resources, the financial resources, the time and talents and all of the goodness He has given us. That doesn’t happen by default. Good stewardship requires careful thought and a good plan.

To expedite our work, the team is working with Vibrant Faith Coach Jim LaDoux, who has worked with many other congregations in similar efforts. He will visit St. Mark’s on Sunday, April 14, speaking in both worship services and also during the Adult Forum at 10 a.m. Jim LaDoux

In addition to analyzing responses to the survey, the team is in an information-gathering phase now — collecting data about our community, drawing from Census reports and other research and official government planning documents. This is the first of four phases of the team’s work and will include meetings with church committees and interviews with many in the St. Mark’s family and the greater community to expand our understanding of the needs and goals we have.

The second phase is a period of discernment, which includes a leadership retreat, planned during the weekend of April 13-14. In the third phase, the team will design a strategic plan, with tasks, timelines and accountability measures for key objectives. During this time the plan will be submitted to Council for review and approval. The fourth phase is used to develop systems that will support the plan and ensure that its objectives are reflected in staff and ministry goals and are informing our decisions and actions.

Our website — — and newsletter (The Lion) will carry periodic updates on our process and progress. We plan to share the results of the survey with you and also will post other data to let you know what we’re learning. We would love it if you would follow these reports and keep in touch with us throughout this process, which we believe will continue at a formal level through December. Going forward, the plan will be a living document, with continuing growth and refinement.

We need and welcome your prayers for this effort. We believe this work will provide healthy interaction, new insights and a clear, responsible roadmap for our future.

Please contact any team member if you have questions or wish to offer suggestions or email us at The better our information and collaboration, the better our plan.

The Compass Team includes: Nancy Wilkerson (convener), Nichole Bishop, Peg Bradley, Pastor Scott Maxwell, Beth Miller, Dwight Novotny and Mike Patterson.

We meet monthly, with our next meeting on Feb. 17. Much more to come!