GUM Vital Church Initiative Black Red.png

What is VCI?

The Vital Church Initiative (VCI) is a “process” of renewal for growing healthy, vital, fruitful, missional congregations. This is a new process to engage congregations for transformation. The Vital Church Initiative process  prepares church leaders and congregations  for systemic change that will enable them to once again answer God’s call to reach out to new people with the Good News.

The overarching expectations are to be Christ-Centered, fruitful, aiming for excellence; accountability and collaboration. The primary goals are improved Lay and Clergy leadership including the development of a comprehensive, coordinated and collaborative model, with a unique affinity to the particularities of being a church in West Michigan.

What does the VCI process involve?

  • Developing a new vision and the strategy for communication & implementation
  • Motivating the congregation to embrace a new vision and mission
  • Developing resources, ideas and personnel to prepare for change
  • Embracing and implementing change
  • Embedding a new DNA into the life of the congregation
  • Providing new tools and training to be the church for the 21st century
  • Providing prescriptions for action

How is GUMchurch using the VCI process?

GUMchurch is leading the way for United Methodist churches in West Michigan to embrace and implement the goals of the Vital Church Initiative. Beginning in 2012 with the discernment and implementation of  a new vision and mission , followed by the establishment of a leader team trained in the VCI process, and more recently  training the entire GUMchurch community on Healthy Congregations (a workshop on how to constructively work through change and difficult situations), GUMchurch is working diligently and productively to step out of the framework of the "church institution" and into the call of God for the GUMchurch community.

On Sunday Jan. 18, 2015 at 11:30am, a Town Hall meeting will be held to discuss our progress on our VCI prescriptions.

Click here to view the "GUMchurch is a getting a check-up" Informational flyer

March 28-30, 2014: Consultation Weekend

During VCI Weekend, a professional Consultation Team will come in to our church to assess the "vitality" of our faith community and our work toward fulfilling our vision.

-On Friday March 28, the Consultation Team will spend time interviewing church leaders and staff members.

-On Saturday March 29 at 9am, the Consultation Team will meet with members of Church Council, Finance, Staff-Parish Relations, and Fundraising teams.

-On Saturday March 29 at 10am, the Consultation Team will meet with the ENTIRE CONGREGATION to facilitate a workshop that will focus on moving our congregation from "maintenance" to "missional" thinking.  This is a VERY IMPORTANT gathering and everyone who is part of the GUMchurch congregation is highly encouraged to attend.

-On Sunday March 30 at 12:15pm, the Consultation Team will present the findings of their study to our congregation. Again, it is important for anyone who is part of the GUMchurch community to attend this gathering so that they understand the findings. At this time the Consultation Team will provide 5 prescriptions for how GUMchurch can move forward in vitality.

VCI Consultation Report & Prescriptions

Click here to view the report with the findings of the professional Consultation Team and the prescriptions for moving forward:

GUMchurch VCI Consultation Report

In April 2014: Town Hall Gatherings

Following the receipt of the Consultation Team's report and prescriptions, the GUMchurch VCI team will facilitate 4 open meetings where folks can bring questions and comments and discuss the prescriptions in general. This is a time of clarifying the report and considering the options before the congregation as a group.

The Town Hall gatherings will be held on:

Tuesday April 1 @ 7pm

Monday April 7 @ 7pm

Sunday April 13 @ 12:15pm

Wednesday April 16 @ 7pm

May 4, 2014: Special Charge Conference

A special Charge Conference (where we come together for an "official" vote) will be held to decide if we, as a congregation, will accept the recommended prescriptions. If we do accept them, our congregation will get to work implementing them.  If we do not accept them, the VCI process comes to an end.

Please note:

Voting will be by secret ballot

You must be present to vote

Voting is for church members only

There will not be any discussion at this gathering, just the vote.

Vote to Implement Passes with 91% saying "yes"!

At May 4, 2014's  special Charge Conference the members of GUMchurch voted to accept and implement the prescriptions as outlined in the VCI Consultation report.

Time to get busy! Stay tuned for information on what role you will play in the implementation of the prescriptions.

New Worship Plan Launches Sept. 7, 2014!

Starting Sunday Sept. 7, a new worship plan, developed by the Worship Transition Team launched.  This plan includes having 2 identical worship services that use the best of GUMchurch's large and deep talent pool.  In addition, the Intentional Faith Development Team has put together many opportunities for folks to progress on their path to discipleship.

Also, be sure to notice the smaller changes and adjustments that are being made to help us connect with  all of our guests!

Town Hall Meeting Oct. 5, 2014

A Town Hall meeting was held to discuss a proposed governance restructure plan.

One of our VCI prescriptions calls for us to restructure our "Policy Governance" (It's #4 on the prescription list click here to see the prescriptions). The Governance Task Force worked diligently to study effective policy governance board structures that support relevant and timely ministries. This group of dedicated folks prepared a governance restructure plan that will be explained and discussed during this Town Hall meeting.  Click hereto have a look at what was presented.

This new structure was voted in at the October 13, 2014 Charge Conference and went into effect on January 1, 2015.

Want to know more about VCI?  Check out the West Michigan Conference's VCI page.