The following are questions asked by St. Peter’s members who were at the January 26 Meet & Greet with Richie and Rachel Musser. The questions are listed in the order they were asked during the session. Answers were provided by Richie Musser.
Q: You make mention that you hope to interview a number of people from the congregation. During the interview, what questions will you ask?
A: The interview questions will be provided to you prior to the interview. You will receive them in a mailing that is being sent to members of the congregation.
Q: What is the length of the interview?
A: Most interviews are about 20-30 minutes long. You can sign up for an interview, and that information is provided in the packet being mailed to you. We can work with your schedule.
Q: How long will the feasibility study last?
A: The study will conclude a little after Easter. We want to give time for the congregation to complete the survey and for anyone who desires to have an interview to be able to have one. We plan to return to the congregation and present the information ourselves (Richie and Rachel). At this time we are not asking for any financial commitment. We’re asking for your prayers and discernment.
Q: What kind of feedback have you received from other congregations who have been in feasibility studies like this?
A: The feedback ranges. Sometimes there is a piece of the vision that the leadership hadn’t thought of before that only is raised because the congregation was asked to discern. It is about listening to the people about what is needed or what as a community we can do.
Q: What is your background?
A: I (Richie) grew up in this service shadowing my dad with three decades of experience and consultation ranging from Florida to New Hampshire. In my experience I have served 31 different denominations. What unites us is that we know and love and want to serve the Lord. (Editor’s note: Richie is the president of Kirby Smith Associates and his wife Rachel is the CEO.)
Q: How long will it take for you to contact everyone?
A: It takes us about 4 weeks. We want to get a high percentage of the membership completing the survey. We would enjoy as many people as possible to be part of the discerning process.
Q: What is the return rate for interviews and surveys?
A: Kirby Smith likes to try to get 75% of the surveys returned and endeavors to interview 40% of the membership households.
Q: How long is the next step after the feasibility study?
A: It’s open. It depends on the feedback that we receive. Sometimes the feedback asks that the vision goes back to the drawing board, or there is a need to discern another few months, or the congregation is ready to go with the campaign vision that has been offered. It all depends on the feedback.
Q: Can youth be part of the feasibility study process?
A: Yes! Absolutely.
Q: Do you meet with individuals or the entire family?
A: If as a family you agree with each other or nicely disagree with each other’s opinion, then yes! Sometimes individuals want to meet separately, and that’s okay as well. Remember that stewardship is a learned behavior, we learn from our families
Q: As a member of the council, I received the comment “We are a congregation that always comes through if there is a need. Why do we need an outside agency?” How do you want to respond?
A: We want to hear your voice. The core group makes it happen. But to make the vision happen it has to be all of us. A third party allows for sharing in confidence.
Q: Is the percentage of the interviews you hope to have with the whole membership roster or for those households who have financially given?
A: We are looking at the whole membership roster, not just those who have financially given. We want to give everyone a chance to pay attention and get involved.