Services, assessment to check CCC’s pulse

By Mary M. Rall

Community Covenant Church

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska — The Holy Spirit is moving, and Services of Dedication and the PULSE assessment will be featured in the weeks ahead to help the congregation better understand how He may be moving within Community Covenant Church.

The Services of Dedication will be offered as the next natural step along the Vitality Pathway and will be featured March 1 during the regularly scheduled 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services to help individuals discern how the Holy Spirit may be stirring within their lives, said Worship Arts Pastor Tyler Shaw of CCC.

“We don’t want it to be a polarizing service, so it’s not intended to be, ‘Hey, are you in or are you out?’” Shaw said. “The question we’re inviting people to ask is, ‘Where is God calling me to step a little deeper into community and into pursuing Christ and His priorities in the world? Where is God leading me personally?’”

The recognition and confession of the individual impacts of culture, convenience and comfort may help some recognize how God is calling them, he said.

“Confession doesn’t have to be riddled with guilt and shame,” Shaw said. “It can just be simply a recognition that God’s calling me to something better and that I just need to name those things that are getting in the way. That’s what confession is, naming those things.”

Shaw said he hopes the services are a loving and encouraging way for people to take stock and to take a step into being part of a community and toward following Christ and His priorities in the world.

“It’s not about preferences, it’s about priorities as related to the 10 Healthy Missional Markers,” Shaw said. “That’s really where PULSE ends up fleshing those out.”

According to Russ Carlson, the PULSE General Director for the Evangelical Covenant Church, the PULSE assessment: Provides awareness of a church’s current reality, Updates a church’s progress periodically,
Links the church more closely with the mission and message of Jesus, Suggests next steps for the church community and
Encourages spiritual discernment as part of a congregation’s walk along the Vitality Pathway.

The assessment will be offered from March 1-15 on the CCC website at www.communitycovenant.net and includes 40 scaled and four open-ended questions that will take about 15 minutes to complete, Carlson said. The questions will allow the congregation to provide input as to where they feel the church is in regards to the 10 Healthy Missional Markers.

The PULSE assessment was developed about five years ago to create a more accurate picture of where churches are from the congregation’s perspective, rather than that of just their leadership, Carlson said, adding that the accuracy of PULSE increases with the number of people who participate in the assessment.

“The more people in a church that participate in PULSE, the more accurate of a reading the church is going to have of how its members feel and what the reality of the church is,” Carlson said.

Fully completing PULSE is imperative to its accuracy as well, Carlson said, explaining that partially completed assessments won’t be factored into its overall results.

“That doesn’t mean that they have to answer every open-ended question, although it’s safer if they put ‘N/A’ or ‘non-applicable’ in there, but cycle through all the way until the end so it’s counted,” he said.

The data from the assessment will be processed through the ECC’s protocols and database, which will then be then be interpreted by a veteran pastor, Carlson said. A comprehensive report on the overall results will be provided to Community Covenant’s leadership.

“As we pursue Christ and His priorities in the world, the expectation is that there will be more of those 10 Healthy Missional Markers evidenced,” Shaw said, explaining that a congregation that’s embracing those markers is embracing change.

“There’s a cultural shift that needs to happen,” he said. “Calling is about the posture of my heart as much as it is about hearing some direct message. It’s ‘Your’ will be done on earth as it is in heaven. ‘Your’ will be done in my heart.”

For more information on how to be part of the change that’s impacting CCC, the Vitality Pathway, PULSE and the 10 Healthy Missional Markers log onto the church’s website at www.communitycovenant.net/church-vitality.