Until recently, Round Rock, TX, a suburb of Austin, TX, has been one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. It has exploded in growth over the last 15 to 20 years, and the city is seeing many changes as it grows. These changes have been felt by First Baptist Church Round Rock, and they recognized their need to change as well.
Bob Sheffield, the associate pastor at First Baptist Church Round Rock, has helped lead the church in a self-assessment amidst a transition in the senior pastor position. Over the course of the last couple of years, due in large part to the changing nature of Round Rock, First Baptist Church Round Rock has undergone some demographic changes—particularly receiving an influx of younger attenders and members.
As a result, the Church Leadership Team, and the church as a whole, while going through a pastoral transition, thought it would be appropriate to do some self-assessment in an effort to move forward in the pastoral search process, and the future of the church as a whole, with appropriate focus and self-awareness.
First Baptist Church Round Rock decided to use the Transformational Church Assessment Tool (TCAT) last spring to learn more about their church and in order to get a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
Bob and the other churches leaders noticed immediately that the TCAT showed the church’s missional mentality and prayerful dependence on God were strong areas, but not overwhelmingly so. The church leadership also noticed that the church scored slightly above average on relationship intentionality, sense of community, and worship engagement.
“The average number of activities survey respondents attend each month is a little over four times a month, which tells us that the people who participated are faithful church people,” Bob said.
When it comes to some areas of improvement the church could address, Bob said that the long range planning team in the church is meeting regularly to prioritize what issues need to be addressed first and how to best address areas of weakness.
“The long range planning team is looking at the results and trying to address how we can establish some long range plans, alter our vision, and form some short range strategies at the same time,” Bob said.
Firs Baptist Church Round Rock recently called a new pastor, and as he has begun serving the church, Bob has made a point to meet with him to review the results of the TCAT in order to make sure that the pastor knows the strengths and weaknesses of the church as he begins his new role.
“I am anticipating that he will take this data and build off of it in the days ahead,” Bob said of the new pastor and his plans to take action on the results of the TCAT data.
If you are experiencing a pastoral transition, you recognize a need to refocus your vision, or you simply want to assess the health of your church, TCAT may be useful for you as it has been for First Baptist Round Rock and many other churches.
More information about the TCAT can be found online at tcat.lifeway.com.
This post was written by Chris Martin, Social Media Facilitator at LifeWay Christian Resources.