King’s Way Foursquare Church near Sequim, Washington had plateaued and senior pastor Mike Vanproyen wanted to see the church push through. They had been averaging over 350 in attendance, but could never seem to break the ceiling of consistently drawing 400 on Sunday morning.
Persuing his master’s degree at Northwest University, Vanproyen made his goal his thesis project. He interviewed eight pastors of similar churches who had broken the 400 barrier and he turned to TCAT to help him better understand his own church.
According to Vanproyen, the church was in a good season and had accomplished some things of significance, but there was a sense among both the elders and regular church attenders that “God still had more to do.”
TCAT, or the Transformational Church Assessment Tool, provided him with the practical information he needed to make some changes and celebrate already existing successes at King’s Way.
After involving the entire church body in the evaluation process, Vanproyen discovered they were strong in leadership and prayer, but were weak in discipleship and community outreach. Learning this, the leadership and the members set about to make changes.
To help visitors and new members transition and find places to connect with the church, Vanproyen said they decided to start simple. They built a welcome center and staff it with people ready to answer questions and point others to areas where they can learn and serve. He says it has provided “a visible point of where the process starts.”
While King’s Way had a small group ministry, Vanproyen said it tended to be more care groups than focused on discipleship. One of the elders felt led to start a program he had participated in at another church that takes attendees through five separate levels of teaching and discipleship. Since starting that, 70 individuals have already graduated the first level.
To confront their low score on intentionally reaching their community, Vanproyen decided to help the congregation develop what he calls “Commissional consciousness.” He’s doing this so “the Great Commission gets into the consciousness of the church. In other words, it’s not just something that we teach. But it becomes who we are.”
Part of developing this, Vanproyen says, comes from their adding an additional service that meets once a month that “solely centers on seeking the empowerment of the Lord for mission.” Currently, they have around 70 people attending these services that are designed to prepare them to reach the community.
Vanproyen believes King’s Way will break the 400 barrier and feels TCAT has been part of that process. “I think every pastor is looking for the magic key,” he said. “But the bottom line is, it just takes a lot of work and TCAT is a tool for part of that work.”
It provides an “excellent picture” of where your church is currently, he said, but the key is follow-through on the information it provides.
More information about TCAT can be found online at tcat.lifeway.com.