Every doctrine of the church is relevant to a society looking for meaning in life,” said evangelist Mark Finley as he presented ways to evaluate church growth to the 60 RMC ministers asked to rate their growth programs through a local church assessment tool.

“Are we intentional about church growth and consistently equipping our members to use their spiritual gifts?” was one of several questions Finley asked as part of the evaluation. The presentation included consideration of 10 areas that would assist ministers and their congregations in knowing their church growth potential, as well as enabling them to maximize their strengths and strengthen areas of weakness.

Finley also spoke about two equally important ways of impacting any community and evaluating their needs: programs, and developing relationships. Combining these two approaches will make churches centers of warm, loving fellowship—places to which people are drawn and want to return, Finley said.

This three-day event, held in January at Glacier View Ranch, included a presentation and “unpacking” of the ministerial core values recently adopted in the Rocky Mountain Conference. Six different groups of participants were led by Craig Carr, ministerial director, in discussing what constitutes the values of F.A.I.T.H. (friendship, adaptability, integrity, teamwork and humility).

During the conference Carr said he hoped pastors were encouraged and affirmed by reviewing these core values. He also mentioned the need to be challenged to broaden the circle representing engagement with the community.

“We must not grow content and be stuck with the same methodologies, but have willingness to try [new approaches] and perhaps fail, though we will never know unless we try first,” he added.

Following the presentations Wayne Morrison, pastor of the Brighton congregation, commented on the timeliness of the conference and its messages. It coincided with an elders meeting at his church the previous week, he said, where the elders asked: Who are we? What are we about? How do we evaluate what we are doing?

“Everything Mark Finley presented was perfect. I am going home to a board meeting tonight and we are going to use the evaluation and start to implement exactly what we received here,” Morrison said.

“I am taking from this conference a renewed interest for planning for church growth in my churches,” added Don Barnt, pastor of Cheyenne, Laramie and Torrington churches in Wyoming. “I am going to meet with my church boards and talk about what we are going to do to help our church grow this year. We will spend more time planning,” he concluded.

The meeting ended with recognition of new pastors employed in RMC during the past year and a dedication prayer for them.