“This fellowship started because of this community’s need to hear about Christ”
This statement was made by one of the founding female leaders of the local Nalepa Christian Life Church, in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province. She was among several leaders who gathered together to address the needs of their local fellowship using the “Church Pulse” approach developed by the Multiplication Network; http://www.multiplicationnetwork.org/. The Learning Technologies team saw this tool as a very informative tool to help churches or fellowship groups keep track of their past and their focus for the future.
The details collected from the leadership and the survey interviews collected using tablets from the church members will be used to help the local church plan its goals to make Christ known to the surrounding community.
This particular fellowship was started by prayer meetings and house fellowship and formally recognized as a local church in 1993.
In small group sessions to record important events and important people who helped formed the current church, the group discovered that some of the previous outreach and evangelism programs were not being done now.
This confirms that the “Church Pulse” is a healthy way to get all the church members involved so that as a group will plan and plot for the future. Some of the youths involved in the information gathering session realized that good programs that were done before to start the current church must be revisited so that a new vision is built on how the Spirit of the Lord directed to start a fellowship.
The Church Pulse conducted in two parts involves listing of important events and significant leaders who were instrumental in forming the church and the second phase involves collection of data by tablets.
The use of mobile devices to collect data has been adapted by the team using the free Droid Survey app to formulate questionnaires for field surveys. The flexibility of the Droid Survey application has enabled the team to develop a couple of surveys to be used depending on the nature of the survey.
The questions for the Church Pulse was done by the team at Multiplication Network and adapted by the LT team to use the tablet to collect data.
The details on the mobile device are then uploaded using a Wifi connection to one of the LT computer to process the results. The survey results collected from the members will then presented in graph form to help the leadership set vision goals for the various ministries that the local church desires to be involved in.
This sample confirms that the leadership of the church needs to set its future goals.
The blue colored graph confirms what Nicholas felt was missing in his local church. Nicholas Jowapo works with CRMF at the front counter as sales person and requested for Church Pulse to be done with his local church.
All members who took part in the collecting of information and giving of details for the survey agreed that it is a healthy exercise for any church to check itself using this tool. It requires humbleness by the leadership to go through this exercise.
It was also another opportunity for me to preach at this local church from Paul’s opening chapter to the believers at Ephesus on the theme of Spiritual Blessings in Christ; that we are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit. It was a great week-end for conducting the Church Pulse and also being refreshed again by His Word.
Small group sessions were done to record significant events in the history of the growth of the church. A list was also done to record names of pioneers who were instrumental taking note of their leadership styles in the infant stages.
The scribe for Group Two lists the points provided by the group members.
Group three doing their list
The men’s group had a privilege of an elderly member who knew most of the history of the church. Having older members of the local church is good for conducting Church Pulse as the information they have is valuable for the new leaders and younger members of the church.
As a facilitator for this particular exercise, I see a great potential in assisting the local churches to learn about their history, it captures the spirit and the purpose of starting a church fellowship and it gives the leadership a bigger and clearer picture to effectively plan for ministries that will bring the lost to the saving grace of God through Christ.
Once again, I praise God for bringing technological tools that can be adapted to prepare Church workers for life changing ministry. For this particular local fellowship, they discovered that the initial spirit to start a house fellowship which later became a local church was for their own community to know Christ.
Therefore, from our perspective, the kind of input to give will be emphasis on evangelism and discipleship courses for the youth members.