In the spring of 2018, First Parish in Lincoln undertook a structured review process over five months, culminating the the documents linked here:
Shared Ministry Report
Shared Ministry Presentation
The Shared Ministry Review (or Whole Church Evaluation) recognizes that intricacies exist in a church. In First Parish Lincoln, as in many churches with a congregational polity, each member has a responsibility to contribute to the spiritual, educational, social and justice work of the whole community. It does not ignore that there is a pastor, but it, also, does not locate the responsibility to lead in one person; the congregation shares the ministry. In conducting this kind of an evaluation, the church, also, had an opportunity to identify whether the requisite conditions, policies, structures, personnel and resources are present to support the mission and the organizational function, finances and the spiritual life of the church. Over several months, identifying and evaluating these individual, cultural and systemic issues was the task of the Shared Ministry Review Committee. It benefited from parishioners’ involvement, reflection, suggestions, patience and prayers.