6/24/2016: Orientation Meeting Agenda & Discussion Questions

Churches Improving Communities
Focus Church Campaign 2016/2017 – First Reformed Church of New Brunswick

Church Orientation Meeting June 24, 2016, 10:00 AM
Questions to First Reformed from the FCC Steering Committee


Welcome and introductions

Tour of facilities

Short budget presentation by First Reformed

Discussion of questions from the Steering Committee



We would like to begin thinking about and discussing the following questions collected from members of the Steering Committee. Some questions have an easy answer and some serve as a launch point for further discussion.


  • With the recent population surge in the area of First Reformed resulting in close to 5,000 residents within walking distance of the church, what is the importance of contacting these residents about the church, and how can we best engage these residents?
  • Your neighborhood, a state-designated Special Improvement District, could be described as a bubble – atypical of New Brunswick demographics. To what degree you are seeking to serve and involve neighbors who live within this bubble, and to what degree neighbors a bit further away who live outside it?
  • Could your church also be described as a bubble? To what degree do you want to bring people in from outside to experience the wonderful things going on in the bubble? To what degree do you want to change some of the things going on in your church to increase affinity with people in the neighborhoods beyond the SID?
  • We would like to understand more about the perceptions of your young adult new members. Is it that they discovered a wonderful little church in the midst of their huge university, and they like the fact that your church is little and close-knit? Does it mean they are not interested in seeing it grow and change? Or is it that they put all their energy into school and just want to be at church as attenders without much other participation?


  • Some rentals are connected to a church’s mission and part of a church’s ministry, while other rentals are solely for supplemental income to the church. Are any of your current rentals an example your church in action in your community, or are they non-connected rentals?
  • Do you have a schedule of activities for the rooms in your church, and the days/times when they are available /not already rented out? This will help, if you intend to add programs, to see how often they could meet, how many people they could accommodate (depending on room size).


We would like to understand your current budget. Some specific questions:

  • Do you have one full time pastor, or two part time pastors, or two full time pastors? How many hours a week is your music minister? Do you have any other paid staff? With your expectation for the congregation to provide at least 50% of the minister’s salary, does that mean 50% of all current staff salary? How much is that?


  • What diversity of music styles is being considered by your music ministry for any possible role in drawing new people to your church?
  • Do you have any specific ideas in mind for building on your good interfaith relations and congregational friendships with Muslims and Jews?
  • Would it make sense for your church to develop a Stephen Ministry at this time?
  • Do you have volunteers beyond your church members who come in to help with the rotating men’s shelter? If so, do you have any bridging activities for them to get involved in any other aspects of your church?
  • Do you anticipate any upcoming occasions when your congregation may do a public expression of spirituality or public action in the Protestant tradition?


  • When is your concert at Crossroads? What was your attendance at your past concerts there? How is it being positioned to combine music and fighting homelessness, and where is it being advertised? What is your ticket sales goal? What is your goal for how much $ you will clear from this concert? Does it bring any philanthropic contributions beyond cost of tickets? Who in the community is the concert important to?
  • How many volunteers do you have in your historic preservation efforts? It sounds somewhat more revitalized than what it was a few years ago. What is your vision for this aspect of your church going forward?
  • “…we have also attracted a variety of other groups.” How you are doing on attracting Latinos, and is this something you want to do more of? Do you have any bridging activities towards the kids who come to the lunchtime recital series from Livingston School, and their families as potential members?
  • Could you picture your revitalized Dutch Dancers as one component of an additional effort to have a church team of Latin Dancers or African Dancers or Native American Dancers? Or possibly as part of a city-wide league of heritage dance teams of various nationalities?
  • Have you convened any discussion among your church members who specialized in teaching children with developmental disabilities, as to what kind of service to the community could be based at your church that capitalizes on their expertise?

Partnering with churches to Transform Lives through community outreach & social justice programs in central New Jersey