One of the things I love about Eagle Brook Church is that they are investing in helping other churches become more and more effective in Christ's mission. They have two staff people dedicated exclusively to this endeavor. Dale Peterson, executive director of the Eagle Brook Association, will help any way he can if you just ask. Director Penny Isaac-Nelson is the same. So I asked Dale to come and experience Five Oaks and give us an honest evaluation.
Dale came this last weekend and then several of us took him out to lunch to hear what he had to say. He used a new tool Eagle Brook is developing, so we got a very detailed analysis. But I'd summarize his comments in three points (just like every good sermon, right):
- Very positive on all fronts. From first impressions to bathrooms to congregational friendliness and engagement in the service to smells (yes, he commented on how we smelled) to music. His assessment is that he could observe no big fixes needed from his visit and he was very encouraging about everything he saw and experienced.
- Keep tweaking. And he gave us some good ideas for doing evaluation on the weekends, some tweaks to music and the message, and a bunch of other good ideas.
- Think about the future. Dale got us thinking about the future and about reaching more people in ways we hadn't thought about for a while. It was stretching, and (for me) a needed kick in the pants.
Dale's desire to see the church reach people for Christ and disciple them is contagious. And I'm so thankful for the work he and Penny are doing.