Strategy Team Update – December 12, 2018

Many thanks to the members of UBC for your participation in the listening sessions.  During those 6 sessions, we heard concerns and ideas that fall into two categories, short-term mostly operational issues and longer-term strategic issues.  While the mission of the team is to focus on the longer term strategic plans for the church (church leadership, ministries, communications, outreach, etc.), the following short-term issues were brought to our attention.  Below, you will find the comments and the responses as they presently stand to these short-term concerns.  We will continue to update the progress on these items as well as update the congregation on the steps that we are taking on the larger strategic vision/plan for UBC.  As we proceed, please feel free to reach out to members of the strategy team personally or to contact us at


The UBC Strategy Team



SHORT TERM – Listening Session Comments and Responses


  • We need a nurse on duty at every service and/or EMS at church every Sunday.

We will ask the Health and Wellness ministry about this first.  We will then consider organizing medical emergency teams on Sunday by service.  They may not need to be medical professionals.

  • Communion is being served to little kids by Deacons on first Sunday.

Pastor talked with Deacon and Youth church leadership about this.  Pastor also mentioned to the congregation on the first Sunday in September that we only serve communion to those who have accepted Christ.

  • It is becoming more of a problem to find safe parking and any parking on the weekends and evenings. We need security guard protection, lighting and security, especially at night in the side parking lot (near the fellowship hall) and across the street.  Two different members cited incidents where their vehicles either had a strange person around it or something was taken at night. 

Security/Trustees have been made aware and will increase visibility in the prescribed parking areas.  The hurricane storm damaged street lights.  Duke Energy repaired lighting in the side parking lot and is currently working on repairing the front parking lot street light.  Officers will be more visible and mobile, and we are reviewing the number of officers that we have on duty.

  • The marquee board in front of the church should be higher quality with more visibility.

Quotes for electronic signage are being obtained for review by the Trustees.

  • Sound system quality – sound inconsistent throughout the sanctuary, volume too loud, sound unclear. Can professional sound engineers do a sound study?

Pastor received a consultation from a sound engineer.  By the end of January, we should have the speakers reconfigured working with speakers from the sanctuary, gym and chapel to give better sound and sound quality.

  • Consider on-going training for the sound booth workers. Consider boom microphones for consistent sound. Maybe Pastor would want a device that allows him to keep his presented sermon notes aligned with the flow of his sermon his own clicker.

Pastor will work with the sound booth team.  They now have the sermon outline.  It will not work for Pastor to preach and control the visuals.

  • Online streaming – stops frequently, poor quality

This is pending consultation on video technology.

  • Church vans are not handicap accessible. Van and bus modifications that can assist members that have physical restrictions.

Pastor has made this a priority.  The question of retrofit or new van was taken by Pastor to the Trustees.  They are recommending that we buy another van.

  • Medical forms – in case of emergency on each member (electronic)

We will not do this (for privacy and liability reasons), but we will address this concern in other ways.  See #1 on the list.

  • Has anything been done about the water build up at the front of the church entrance?

Yes, the drains in the front of the church have been cleaned.  Additional repairs were required.  A sump pump was recently added.

  • Order of worship: Would like to have the order printed on the program because there are people, students and visitors who are lost.  Children need to know the order of service, church etiquette, protocol.  Would like to see us go to the altar as a congregation for prayer.  Larger program font, maybe trifold.

We are looking at different strategies for this (two separate programs, a trifold option, ProPresenter technology on the screens.  The question of church etiquette and protocol may be a separate issue.

  • Can we have the sick and shut in addresses on the first Sunday? What is the protocol for informing members about the sick and shut in?

This has become a question of safety.  We are looking into having this available in the church office or through the Deacons.

  • Although we are saving money, there are too few people to go to the office. What are the roles and responsibilities of staff?  It is not clear who are volunteers and who are paid?

In 2019, Pastor will be working to make strategic hires to round out the ministerial and office staff.  We are still getting a handle on administrative flow.  As these positions are filled permanently, we will communicate to the congregation.

  • The musicians are distracting: the right corner, church etiquette, sharing jokes by passing their phones around, and youth notices and speaks of it.

Pastor has discussed this with the musicians.

  • The fellowship hall should be redesigned. Perhaps the stage can be used as a storage area.

This is a wonderful idea.  We will consider it later in the strategic facilities plan.

  • There is mold/mildew in the rooms behind the chapel.

This has been mitigated.

  • Parking: Parking lot across from the sanctuary needs clear direction and signage.  We should advertise in the bulletin and on the website (with GPS address) that we have satellite parking with bus pickup.

Parking issues are being addressed in 2019.  A plan is under review at this time by the Trustees and will be coming soon.

  • Vestibule chatting/laughing noise entering the sanctuary.

This is difficult to control.  We do plan to modify the beginning of service in 2019 to create a more spiritual atmosphere.

  • Can the live stream continue to broadcast through the altar call?

We have to consider the privacy of people requesting prayer and joining the church.

  • Suicide hotline number scrolls too fast.

We will ask the media ministry to be sure that it appears multiple times.

  • Better communication: What is our relationship to Global Scholars?

UBC and GSA are separate organizations from a legal/corporate perspective.  UBC provides in-kind support (below market rent, Backpack Buddies) and financial support throughout the year.

  • What is the timeline for implementing the outcome of the Strategy Team?

We should be able to make initial recommendations in late 2019.

  • Is the team taking the previous strategic plan into account?


  • Since attendance at church meetings has increased, that would be a good time to share the progress that the strategy team is making and to introduce the congregation to the spiritual piece. 

The Strategy Team will report at each quarterly church meeting.

Please share information to the full congregation that will help all know and realize the importance of spiritual transformation.

We will continue to share the transformation/discernment process with the church.  The book that we have used is Pursuing God’s Will Together by Ruth Haley Barton.  This is the kind of work that we will need people to do to be prepared for church leadership.

  • The Ushers did not do a ministry meeting in the previous strategic planning process. They would love to meet with the Pastor to hear his expectations and what he desires from them to assist him and the service.  They want to know if they are performing properly and if there are areas that need improvement.

This meeting will happen in January 2019.

  • Pastor approachability due to security and the inability to “randomly meet with him”. “I can’t get to Pastor Rivers.”

Pastor Rivers would rather not have security in the church at all, but this is the new normal given the world we live in.  Please feel free to approach Pastor Rivers and if you need to pull him aside to speak more privately, he’s happy to do so.