Long-Range Plan

The priorities and recommendations on this page are the framework for BSUMC’s Long-Range Plan. The overarching intention is that BSUMC should become the most dynamic and influential church in Greenville both in being and in making disciples for Christ. It is our prayer that, as a church and as individuals, we will continue to seek the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction.

BSUMC Mission Statement

To be and to make disciples of Christ.

BSUMC Vision Statement

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b)

As followers of Jesus, our focus will be to share the “Abundant Life” with those outside our church, those inside our church, and those in our own families. Our vision is to become a church that is developing Christians who desire to be instruments of God’s love and power. Through prayer, worship, learning, witness, service, and fellowship, we will reflect faithfully what it means to be the Body of Christ. We will invite our members who are here now and those who will join us in the future to become “ministers” in the Church, in the community, and in the world.

Long-Range Planning Committee Members

Many thanks to these church members who served on the Long-Range Planning Committee that drafted the following plan: Jim Doolittle (Chair), Blair Bailey, Krista Bannister, Jim Barnes, Brock Bauknight, Steve Brandt, Joe Cate, Janice Holliday, John Kincaid, Chris Malaska, Trent Ninestein, Scott Powell, Mary Jane Steele, & Roy Williams

The Process

Buncombe Street United Methodist Church has not adopted a Long-Range Plan since 1992. Several committees have reviewed and studied information, but to date, no official Long-Range Plan has been approved. The current Long-Range Planning Committee was charged with creating a formal Long Range Plan. This has been a long and arduous process with much prayer, seeking of the Holy Spirit for guidance, research, study, and collection of data. Listed below are the main steps that were taken in the planning process.

  1. “Holy Conversations, Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations” was utilized by the committee as a rough guide to our planning process.
  2. Different ministry areas in the church responded to a questionnaire about future ministry needs, and additional feedback from the staff was received.
  3. Data on membership, attendance, and budget was compiled and reviewed and will continue to be updated.
  4. Matt Yon, then Pastor of Sharon UMC, Greer, facilitated the committee’s discussion on what is now BSUMC’s Vision & Value Statements.
  5. Based on the ministry questionnaires, three major areas of focus were determined as needs of the church. These areas are space, people, and communications. The LRP Committee then formed three subcommittees for further work with each area.
  6. Leslie Hayes of The Hayes Approach worked with the LRP Committee to complete SOAR and SWOT analyses.
  7. The LRP Committee consulted with the Staff-Parish Relations Committee regarding future staffing needs. SPRC then contracted with Sarai Rice to complete a report on Staffing, Administration, Roles of Leadership, and Structure of Staffing.
  8. A facilities study plan was authorized by the Board of Trustees and completed by the architectural firm of Craig, Gaulden, and Davis.
  9. A long-range plan was formulated that seeks to fulfill our Vision and Mission Statements and carry out our core values through our ministries.

Our Strengths

  1. Missions
  2. Christian Education
  3. Endowments
  4. Passionate Ministers
  5. Financial Generosity—Historically, 97% of pledged giving has been paid in full
  6. Value of downtown property
  7. Vital in the community, good hosts for several missions/ministries

Our Challenges

  1. Internal communications
  2. External communications
  3. Branding BSUMC
  4. New members are not easily involved (no on‐boarding system)
  5. The number of members pledging is decreasing
  6. Worship attendance is decreasing
  7. The quantity of members volunteering is often insufficient
  8. Leadership training
  9. Ministries too often operate within silos
  10. Lack of clear vision that is articulated by leadership and a long-range plan

We believe that in order to become the most dynamic and impactful church in Greenville, we must have the following priorities as the guiding focus and basis for all decision making.

  • Leadership  Leaders have and give a clearly defined direction and provide a clear decision-making process to ensure that the Vision and Mission Statements are carried out.
  • Evangelism  Members and staff will proclaim the Word of Christ, invite new people to BSUMC , increase membership, and disciple both new and current members.
  • Missions  BSUMC will help “the least of these” (Matthew 25:31‐46) outside the walls of our church: locally, regionally, and globally.
  • Christian Education Staff, lay leaders, and volunteers will train and teach members, visitors, and others in the communities that we serve as to how to be a Disciple of Christ.
  • Congregational Care  BSUMC will reach out to, help, comfort, and support those inside our church.
  • Worship  BSUMC will give glory, honor, worth, and praise to God in all that we do.
  • Music  BSUMC will proclaim faith, give praise, and offer prayers through all mediums of music to honor God.

Long-Range Planning Recommendations

Near-term Initiatives to Consider

  • Build the brand of Buncombe Street and improve communications. Compile a comprehensive communication plan that communicates effectively across multiple technology platforms and print matter to leverage the best and most up‐to‐date channels to reach current and potential members of the congregation. Evaluate the need for a new staff position to implement the plan.
  • Begin a comprehensive effort to grow the church’s attendance and member engagement with the support of the church staff and members. Identify a staff position to be responsible for increasing membership, cultivating new members and retaining existing members.
  • Focus on member commitment to the stewardship of prayers, presence, witness, service, and gifts. Establish a monitoring process for staff to track closely the movement of members into, within, and out of the church.
  • Develop and encourage teamwork among the staff and within church groups and committees. With increased membership engagement, working together is key to success.
  • Improve the process of data collection to ensure that an accurate count is obtained of weekly attendance for all worship services, Sunday School, nursery, children’s, and youth activities.
  • Begin in-depth strategic plan to establish vital and relevant ministries including Women’s, Men’s, and Young Adult Ministries under the umbrella of Adult Ministries.
  • Empower committees and staff leadership to set goals and report results at year-end; provide training as needed for all Ministries and Program areas. Each ministry area should report to the Church Council.
  • Review committee structure for effectiveness and reorganize/streamline if appropriate.
  • Expand the scope of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee’s responsibility to include leadership training and development.
  • Reaffirm Church Council’s role of evaluating ministry results and progress and create an Executive Leadership Team to advise lay and staff leadership for driving the church’s Vision and Mission Statements.
  • Perform a business evaluation of vendor relationships with all vendors including church‐member‐owned businesses.
  • Implement effective performance management process for the church staff that incorporates pay for performance (i.e., achievement of goals).
  • Strengthen Congregational Care by fully activating the Congregational Care Committee, including a Prayer Ministry led by trained staff and lay people. Improve coordination between Congregational Care and existing groups such as Sunday School Classes, Bible Study Groups and Ladies/Men’s Ministry Groups to provide full support to our members.
  • Assess recent growth and consider future facility needs. Update the Facilities Use Study and create a long-term facility and space plan for phased alterations and /or additions, upkeep, acquisition, refurbishing, and adornment to meet our ministry needs.
  • Encourage leadership to be active and more visible in the community.

Mid-term Initiatives to Consider

  • Seek out and seize opportunities to take our ministries outside the “four walls” of the current facility, including online offerings once the technology is better harnessed.
  • Increase staff engagement with older adults to diversify activities and grow participation.
  • Develop on-campus relationships with students at area colleges.

Longer-term Initiatives to Consider

  • Improve social media and outreach with young professional organizations.
  • Utilize technology in the library and throughout the church to improve “access to things,” not things themselves.