The Center for Transformational Leadership is pleased to introduce A.D.A.P.T., a program to guide and support churches to assess and discern their future.
The church life cycle is a journey to be celebrated and embraced across all stages. Through the A.D.A.P.T. program, qualified Shepherds assist churches through a fearless and honest inventory of their assets - time, talent, and treasure - to determine a path toward transformation for their future. The program guides participating congregations through a sequence of 5 modules to support shared decision making and reflective problem solving:
Overview/Goal: During this step, a congregation will apply to the A.D.A.P.T. program. The CTL will receive and review the application before facilitating a match between the church and an A.D.A.P.T. Shepherd, if appropriate.
Module 2: Initial Conversations
Overview/Goal: During this step, the A.D.A.P.T. Shepherd will contact the church group to make an introduction, share their background, outline expectations, and discuss key characteristics of the church that will be relevant.
Module 3: Congregational Engagement
Overview/Goal: During this step, the Shepherd will share some general information about the lifecycle of a church; provide descriptions of churches at different life stages; and review the challenges of the church of the 21st century, discuss alignment of mission, ministry, and values and more. The Shepherd will introduce an overview of possible paths forward and will provide a checklist for churches to use to prepare.
Module 4: Assessment of Viability, Vibrancy & Sustainability
Overview/Goal: This module serves congregations who have pivoted from Module 3 and decided to move on in the program. During this module, using the information from Module 3, the Shepherd will share information regarding the four essential elements of a congregation's potential or capacity and spend time with the Core Leadership Team to discern/synthesize their situation and their readiness for exploring the future.
Module 5: A Way Forward - Discerning the Congregation’s Direction
Overview/Goal: In this module (the 5th and final) the Shepherd will work with the Core Team, other leadership, and the congregation to move toward the possible path(s) for the future. The Shepherd will assist the Pastor and Core Team in the decision-making process by sharing their feedback and offering meeting opportunities that lead to clear discernment about making final decisions for the best possible path(s) forward.
The Center for Transformational Leadership will be piloting this program in early 2023.
If you are interested in learning more about the A.D.A.P.T. program or would like to apply, please contact Karen Ziel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Our A.D.A.P.T. Shepherds
Rev. Quentin Chin (he/him) has served as an interim pastor for several congregations in western Massachusetts, including UCC, American Baptist, and United Methodist. All but two of the congregations have been part-time. He has been a hospice spiritual counselor for ten years. He also served as a chaplain for homeless veterans. He taught workforce ethics to inmates at the Berkshire County House of Corrections. He has also served the wider church. He wrote several worship services for Worship Ways and was the author for a General Synod worship in 2015. He was also on the writing team for the revised Manual on Ministry.
Rev. Chris Mereschuk (he/him) is an Unsettled Pastor in the Southern New England Conference with a call to transitional ministry. He has worked with churches in Connecticut, New Orleans, Virginia, and Massachusetts, and currently serves as the Moderator of the Hampshire Association (SNEUCC). Chris is a contributor to the StillSpeaking Writer’s Group (Daily Devotionals), and is currently pursuing coaching certification thanks to a Lilly grant funded program through Together We Thrive.
Rev. Susan Murtha (she/her) is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, currently serving as Interim Senior Minister at First Church of Christ, Woodbridge CT. Over the past 25 years she has served diverse congregations as a settled minister, transitional minister, and consultant. Susan has particular gifts for strengthening the spiritual, organizational, and ministry life of congregations and has developed processes and tools to deepen covenantal faith, facilitate and implement focused strategic planning, and build up fruitful ministry.
Rev. Dr. Betsy Waters (she/her) is a professional coach, practicing that as school psychologist, a UCC pastor, and a student seeking PCC certification through Coaching4Clergy. Betsy has served in settled and interim positions for more than two decades and has been consulting with churches for more than three decades. Betsy integrates deep listening, provocative questions, a playful creativity, and the wisdom that comes from experience.