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Monday, February 3, 2014

The Surprising Statistic about Most Church-Goers

by Kathy Kersten, Strengths Advocate and Coach

Knowing that I love talking about strengths, my pastor approached me to see if I would be interested in facilitating a strengths session for the board members of the different ministries at our church. He was looking for a way to help newly appointed board members "gel" as a team, and I saw an opportunity to help the members connect with what makes them engaged church members. I love building connections!

The following data from Living Your Strengths surprised me: "The Gallup Organization's 2002 national study of congregation members revealed that most people (53%) do not strongly agree with the statement ‘In my congregation, I regularly have the opportunity to do what I do best.’”

Could a major problem be that church members do not recognize their own talents or how to leverage them at church? Could the StrengthsFinder be the tool to help us be more engaged at church?
Armed with the book Living Your Strengths, I set out to build a working session that would help the participants become more aware of their talents and connect them to ways they use these talents in their selected ministries.

The strengths session started off with a buzz of chatter as we discovered the depth of talent diversity in our congregation by looking at each other’s top five strengths. We laughed together as we role-played a married couple with very different strength sets experiencing the job of "Greeters" for our service! The Woo/Harmony/Arranger wife couldn't quit smiling after interacting with so many "friends" and the Intellection/Context/Relator husband was exhausted by having to make small talk with so many "acquaintances."

After deep diving into everyone's top five, we began to look at the different "jobs" each ministry is responsible for and how we could re-approach those jobs from a strengths-based perspective. The ideas flowed freely and everyone walked away with a better understanding of how their talents, when used intentionally, bring a meaningful impact to our ministries and our church community. 

Not only did the members recognize more opportunities to do what they do best, the ministries will continue to benefit by getting the best out of their members. Mission accomplished!

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Kathy is a strengths coach who strives to help employees become more engaged in their jobs via individual coaching, team development, and leadership training.

Kathy’s top five strengths: Strategic | Input | Learner | Belief | Maximizer

Connect with Kathy:
Twitter: @kkersten02


Anonymous said...

Great article! Helping people understand & use their talents aka spiritual gifts to serve faith community. My connectedness is very happy. Kimberly P.

Mary Sue Ingraham said...

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing not only the statistic but also the gist of your strengths session for leaders of your congregation. It sounds like it was a fruitful and fun experience, and I really loved imagining the role-play you used for the "greeter" job-- I could just hear the inevitable laughter. I led a similar strengths session for adults who work in youth ministry in my congregation this past week. With your permission, I just may borrow your role-play idea in the future! Thanks for sharing. Keep up the great work!

Kathy said...

Go for it, Mary Sue! I'd love to hear how your session goes. My next venture is to facilitate a session with our teenage youth using StrengthsQuest.

Kathy said...

Go for it, Mary Sue! Best of luck during your session!

Karen said...

Am presenting SF to the church board tonight. Should be fun to get them engaged.

Jeff Doria said...

Kathy is not only a great motivational speaker and Strengths Coach, but her inspiration and service is heartwarming as well! Blessed by God through her and her wonderful husband/family!
Soli Deo Gloria
Rev. Jeff Doria

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