Suncook United Methodist Church in New Hampshire, led by Pastor Hyosuk “Sue” Yun participated in the Shift Network process in 2015, and Peter Johnston, the Shift Team leader at Suncook, shared the following testimony with the Rev. Rick McKinley, New England Conference Director of Congregational Development.
See some photos shared by Suncook UMC
Dear Rick McKinley
This Shift training we have received over the past year has been a challenging adventure. We at the Suncook United Methodist Church shift team have appreciate the opportunity to participate while realizing that “this is a lot of work!”
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One of the many benefits of the process has reminded us that we are not alone. Many churches in our region face the same challenges we do. It opened our minds past our own doors. It is difficult at times to accept that some of the good thing we think were doing as a church are no longer the best way to engage our community and spread the Good News.
The commitment to the Shift Network has lubricated the changes we have implemented. Because of the extensive research results by Phil Maynard (trainer and coach) his people we have a clearer understanding of what things reach people today and what is less effective.
Thankfully a lot of changes that have taken place, such as, coffee ½ hour before service, transition to a mix of traditional and contemporary music, altar design for each week, open concept coffee ½ hour after church seem to be well received.
A few elderly members of the congregation that have not embraced all the changes, but for the most part we have tried to be sensitive to their voices while proceeding with what we feel were called to do. …
… The whole video meeting is a technically difficult for those of us not from this century. However, it has been a great tool to help keep us on track and positive reinforcement of this new process.
There seems to me there has been a subtle but sure change in the atmosphere during worship, committee meetings, choir, and fellowship greater than the small changes we have implemented. There is a greater feeling of community with in the church and a greater openness to whatever mission the Holy Spirit may have for us as a church.
It has been a wonderful surprise that a small church has received support to enable us to offer five small groups offering an opportunity for all to study and share the gospel comfortably wherever one is on their spiritual journey.
… Thank you for all your support and for your hard work.