MCCI is Missional Church Consultation Initiative and is a program for congregational intervention where the Conference partners alongside a church to help them launch a new life cycle of ministry.
The third cohort of churches has been announced and has begun the MCCI journey. Churches in the third cohort attended an invitational meeting and then made a decision to sign a covenant agreement to be part of the MCCI process.
MCCI Cohort Three:
Sioux Falls Asbury
Originally developed by the West Ohio Conference in 2010, the Missional Church Consultation Initiative (MCCI) resources churches and their pastors with an intensive consultation and clergy coaching model designed to intervene in local churches that are currently plateaued, are in decline, or are on the way up, but not sure what should come next—and have the pastoral leadership and potential resources to jumpstart a new life cycle of ministry fruitfulness.
MCCI is comprised of a flight of churches each year that have been recommended by the cabinet as meeting specific criteria, and are then prayerfully selected and invited by the Bishop to participate. For congregations that sign the MCCI covenant, a 2-3 year process is launched, involving:
· Concentrated new ministry leadership skills training each month for the pastors in the Initiative (80 plus hours total throughout the year, along with accountability for implementation back home at their churches) that includes starting a congregational Breakthrough Prayer Initiative
“Undercover Worshippers” who visit and worship at each of the churches in the MCCI, and then provide extensive feedback about their experiences
A thorough self-study by each church, including history, finances, staffing, organization, ministry activities and demographic setting
A three-day MCCI on-site weekend provided by the MCCI Consultation Team that culminates in a consultation report with five unique “prescriptions” (recommendations), or next steps the church needs to take to move from plateau/decline into jumpstarting new fruitfulness.
If an MCCI church votes 70% or better to accept its prescriptions (via an official church conference), the decision is made to go forward. The pastor leads the implementation of the prescriptions, with the assistance of “prescription coaches” (ministry leaders who already have a successful track record in their own setting with that prescription) to help guide and advise. The prescription coaches are underwritten by the conference, and continue to guide the pastor and congregation for up to two years.
The first cohort of MCCI in the Dakotas began in 2014 with these five churches: Fargo First, Huron First, Pierre First, Sioux Falls First and Spearfish. These five churches are at the steps of coaching and implementing the prescriptions.
“MCCI has been an exciting way to retool and redevelop the resources in our congregation: to look really carefully at the various ministries that we are doing and why we are doing them, to become more outwardly focused in our community, to make new disciples of Jesus Christ and the things that are necessary to help us reach a new level of ministry to help us to achieve that. The MCCI has been very helpful,” said Rev. Mark Holland, Huron First UMC.
Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey provides leadership and guidance to the MCCI process. Nilson Kibbey serves as a consultant to the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church. She has led all three cohorts. Photo: Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey (Dakotas Conference UMC).
In 2015, the second cohort of MCCI began with these five churches: Grand Forks Wesley, Madison, Rapid City First, Valley City Epworth and Watertown First. These churches have completed the process of consultation and are moving on to defining prescription teams and coaching.
The results of this rigorous process have already been exciting. The varied types worship services at Sioux Falls First United Methodist Church has increased attendance this past year. Fargo First now has an African worshipping community. Madison UMC is reaching out to young adults on the campus of Dakota State University. Grand Forks Wesley is touching the lives of the students at the University of North Dakota through a contemporary worship service - Ignite - and a young adult / college-age small group.