Friedens Looking Forward FAQs

Q: What is Friedens Looking Forward (FLF)?
A: A team commissioned to look into the future of Friedens, beyond the 2-3 year mark, to better understand and do what God wants us to do by identifying actions and capabilities we will need in the future. Team Members include Jim Eichelman, Mike Hastings, Pastor Marc, Mark Raker, Megan Powell, Heidi Richmond, and Ellen Weimer, with assistance from Adam Hayden.

Q: Why was Friedens Looking Forward (FLF) created?
A: The world around us is undergoing significant change. Fewer people believe in God. Fewer people are engaged in church. Fewer people go to a worship service. This has affected Friedens. Attendance is down. Long-term giving trends may be challenging. Friedens needs to have clear priorities set forth to help us as we make decisions for the future. We need to understand what capabilities we will need for the future. It has been many years since Friedens has gone through a long-term planning process.

Q: How does Friedens Looking Forward (FLF) correlate with the New Reformation that Pastor Marc has been talking about during services?
A: Every 500 years there has been a Reformation in church life. These major & unsettling shifts result in a new life for the church. It has been about 500 years since the last Reformation. The era of the cultural privilege of the church is over. Discipleship is replacing membership. The focus of Jesus must become our focus: WE ARE HERE TO SERVE RATHER THAN BE SERVED. Instead of marking boundaries of who is in and who is out of God’s kin-dom, we are re-discovering the extravagant welcome of Jesus. Friedens is still a very strong church! We are in a position to change. If we wait too long to begin looking forward and making changes, we may not be strong enough.

Q: Friedens Looking Forward (FLF) is providing quite a lot of information. Where did they get their ideas and information for this change?
A: The team worked with resources both inside and outside of Friedens itself. Through external resources the team:
  • Examined multiple studies of current trends
  • Read the books Weird Church and Divergent Church
  • Looked at population demographics in our area
  • Talked with Chad Abbott (Conference pastor) and Tim Shapiro (President, Center for Congregations)
    Internally, the team gathered information via reporting and cooperating ministry teams:
  • Attendance trends
  • Financial data trends
  • Congregational demographics
  • Staff deployment
  • Discussed fundamental Qualitative Questions
  • Talked to leaders of other Friedens’ change initiatives
  • Strengths Building by Equipping ministry
  • Open and Affirming Team
Q: When will more information about the changes coming to Friedens be available?
A: Communication will be provided over the next months but the crux of how Friedens will use the findings of the FLF will take place during the Lenten Season. Mission proposals, congregational surveys, and dedicated services will focus on providing the congregation what we need to ultimately decide and commit to the future direction of Friedens.

As more information is introduced over the next few months, additional information will be provided on this webpage.