About Turnaround Synod

Select a topic to learn more about the Turnaround Synod Initiative:



The Goal


The Turnaround Synod Initiative is an attempt to challenge, inspire, encourage, and equip declining congregations of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod to grow and thrive.

The goal of the Turnaround Synod Initiative is that 50% of the congregations in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod that are currently experiencing decline will be seeing an upward trend in worship attendance by mid-2013. This means that we will move from having two of every three congregations declining to two of three growing in average worship attendance.

This goal is bold and calls us to rely on the help of the Holy Spirit. A bold, concrete goal will inspire us, focus our energies, and draw us closer together. And, it will keep calling us back to the one thing that won’t get done if the Church doesn’t do it: spreading the life-giving, life-changing word about Jesus Christ.

The Call

People all around us are desperate for the Good News.

Imagine what might happen if each of the synod’s 200-plus congregations saw itself as a mission outpost actively reaching out to people who either haven’t heard the gospel or haven’t heard it in a way that really connected.

Imagine if all of us encouraged each other to share our faith with friends and neighbors and to invite them to come and see what a congregation of Christians is all about.

Imagine if we pooled our experience and insight, shared our best bright ideas, pointed each other toward inspiring books, great workshops, and other favorite resources.

Imagine if we shared—congregation-to-congregation—our triumphs and disasters, supporting each other and celebrating together.

Imagine a climate of hopeful expectation throughout the synod as we watch to see what life-changing thing God might do next.

The Turnaround Synod Initiative is designed to help us get there…together.

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Specifics of the Initiative

Any congregation in the synod can take advantage of these (and other) opportunities that will be part of the Turnaround Synod Initiative in the years ahead:

  • Worship and Conversation with the Bishop (with focus on mission)—several times a year
  • Opportunity to do a congregational assessment through TAG Consulting
  • Resource-sharing web page
  • Annual Evangelism for Congregations workshops
  • Workshops on special topics in evangelism and renewal, such as:
    • Relational Evangelism
    • Welcoming Web sites
    • Just Do It: Getting Started Reaching Out
    • Stories and Testimonies from Turnaround Congregations  
    • Don’t Try This at Home: Evangelism Strategies that Fizzled
    • Strategic Planning for Congregations
    • Identifying and Clarifying Your Congregation’s Core Values

In addition, your congregation may want consider getting extra support and encouragement as a Focus Congregation

Focus congregations are congregations that are ready to do renewal work and to take advantage of some focused help, including coaching. The plan is that two groups of six to ten Focus Congregations will get underway each year. These congregations will:

  • Send rostered leaders and teams to turnaround workshops
  • Get help identifying resources and approaches that will work for them
  • Be connected with a coach or mentor
  • Network with other congregations
  • Get support from regular check-ins by the bishop’s staff¨

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What's next?

Here are some options:

Remember the Turnaround Synod Initiative and your fellow congregations in your personal and congregational prayers.

Watch the Metropolitan Chicago Synod monthly newsletter and weekly e-Word for dates of upcoming workshops, seminars, and mission-focused conversations.

Get more information and answers to questions, or get a packet of information to share with your congregation’s leaders by sending an e-mail to the Rev. Sarah Stumme at sstumme@hotmail.com. If you don’t have access to the internet, phone 773-248-0021, ext. 13, to leave a message.

Page URL: http://www.mcselca.org/what/mission/tsi/about/