Running head: CONGREGATIONAL FAMILY NEEDS 1

CONGREGATIONAL FAMILY NEEDS 17

Congregational Family Needs Analysis and Action Plan

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Name

Institution

Congregational Family Needs Analysis

This is an assessment report on family needs based on survey data of 200 members of life ministry congregation. It is important for church leadership to have a clear perspective of the people forming the congregation to help address their various needs. The best way to know the actual needs of the congregation is by asking them. This report provides demographic make-up of the congregation and shows various needs, interests and concerns of church members and suggests the best ways to address these needs within the available budget and programs. This report is divided into two main sections; the first deals with analysis of congregation family needs and the second part outlines the action plan to be taken by church leadership in order to address these needs. This report is intended to reveal the wholistic view of the congregational needs and provide possible solutions within the set budget and timeframe.

Demographic Characteristics of Congregation

The background information of the respondent is very important in any form of study, because it enables the researcher to know the type of people that comprise the congregation and consequently, the nature and extent of their needs. All of the people involved in this survey were classified into male and female categories. In this regard, the survey comprised of 90 male and 110 female as tabulated below. Accordingly, the female forms the majority of survey congregation with 55% whereas male comprises 45% of the congregation.

Table 1. Gender Characteristics of Survey Data

Gender

Frequency

Percentage

Male

90

45

Female

110

55

The age of surveyed members was grouped into various age categories. This was necessary, because different age groups have different family needs and challenges, and these categories are shown in Table 2 below. The findings revealed that majority of survey congregation (22,5%) are aged 30-39 years, followed by 18-29 and 60-69 years age groups. Age groups with least population are aged 70-79 and that above the age of 80 years, each with just 5 people out of the total survey congregation of 200 people.

Table 2: Age Groups of Survey Population

Age group

Frequency

Percent

18-29

40

20

30-39 years

55

22,5

40- 49 years

25

12,5

50-59 years

25

12,5

60-69 years

40

20

70-79 Years

5

2,5

80 and over

5

2,5

Total

200

100

The survey data indicates that people in the congregation have different educational level; these levels are classified into nine categories. The findings are as summarized as follows:

20 or 10% of the people in the congregation had less than 12 years in school. This means that they do not have basic education.

High school graduates are 41 (20,5%) people, and they are people who have attained basic education.

Eight or (4%) people have attained technical or business school, meaning they have some technical trainings

Within the ministry congregation, there are 30 people with some college attendance. These are those who dropped out of college or are still pursuing their college education.

25 (12,5%) have associate college degrees and 62 people have college degrees. There are 87 or 24% professionals within the ministry congregation

However, only ten people have post-graduate work, one doctoral degree and 2 people have professional degree

The findings show that only 15 (7,5%) members of the congregation are currently unemployed and 45 (22,5%) are retirees. Three members are in professional and management positions, 39 (19%) are in skilled trade such as foreman, electrician and carpentry. Homemakers are 25 (12,5%) people whereas 11 are skilled workers. The table below shows total hours spent by members at work in a week. Accordingly, 25% of the members work for less than 5 hours away from home; these are probably part time workers. 11% of the congregation work for 6 to 20 hours in a week. However, the majority of members are working for 41-55 hours in a week. 30% of members work for more than 55 hours per week and 29% works for 21-40 hours.

Table 3. Members Occupation

Number of hours spent

Number of Members

Percentage

0-5 Hours

50

25

6-20

22

11

21-40

58

29

41-55

60

30

Over 55

10

5

The survey data indicate that 97 (48,5%) members of congregation are married, 20 (10%) members are still single, 18 (9%) are divorced, 5 (2,5%) are engaged, 29 (14,5%) are widows and 4 (2%) members are separated. Ten members who are singles live with parents while the other ten are not. 50 of the married do not have children while the remaining 47 (23,5%) have children living with them. Among the divorced members, eight have remarried as opposed to ten that have not remarried. The survey further indicates that 26 (13%) members have been married for over 30 years, 23 (11,5%) have 21-30 years in marriage, 27 for 11-30 and 25 for less than 5 years. Furthermore, 95 (42,5%) members are satisfied with their marriages while 40 or 20% members are not satisfied and require some intervention.

Figure 1. Marital Status of Congregation

According to the survey data, 71 (35,5%) members of the congregation are parents with children living with them at home and 40 members have grandchildren. Most of the members surveyed have been in the congregation for years, with just 21 (10,5%) members with less than one year in the ministry and 31 have over 31 years. Members confirmed to be living with different categories of people in their homes such as children (71), Stepchildren (14), spouses (88), spouse parents (14), other relatives (10) and unrelated persons (4). The survey data sought information on family time spent together on matter spiritual in nature, the findings reveal that 91 (45,5%) members rarely have such spiritual events such as worship, bible study, games and family projects at family level. However, 32 (16%) confirmed to have them more than once per week, 39 about once a week, 15 members once a month and another 15 about 4 to 4 times a year.

Figure 2: Spiritual Family Time Together

On scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is the lowest and 5 being the highest rating, the survey sought information on various characteristics within the family. The findings of the survey found that families have high appreciation to its members with a rating of 4 and 5. Families spend most time together and are highly committed. Therefore, clear communications, ability to deal with crisis and spiritual orientation are rated as moderate in the families.

Family Ministry Interventions

The family ministry had the intention to enrich families with experiences through seminars, workshops and classes. The survey findings revealed that most members (50) require the ministry to address the problem of grief and loss, how to adjusting to the empty nest, help members understand the aging process and how to enjoy lifes later years. The experiences of little concern to most members (10) include improving self-esteem, understanding emotions, how to cope with career changes and how to handle fear and anxiety. Other challenges of little concern to the congregation are on how to manage finances, overcoming co-dependency and understanding sexuality. On marital training, most members (60) require training on marital communication, how to solve marital conflicts and marriage enrichment. This is followed by 50 members that require trainings on the role of husband, wife and marital decision making.

On the issues of parent and family training, 50 members are in need of trainings on how to build healthy families, nurture faith in children and how to shape values in children. Furthermore, trainings on how to communicate with children (46), relating to adult children, relating with adult children and selecting wholesome entertainment received significant backing from members as areas that require trainings. Moreover, members had an opportunity to choose appropriate time for trainings. Wednesday P.M and Sunday P.M were the most preferred training days and time with 175 in support followed by Sunday A.M with 160 members in support. Saturday P. M was least preferred recording zero members. The most preferred delivery formats is through classes or series and lecture (100 members) and film/video and workshop (75). Discussions and retreat were the least preferred delivery methods with ten and zero members respectively.

Survey data indicates that starting a daily quiet time and marriage as well as family counseling are current needs for members, 50 members within the congregation are faced with these needs. The need for individual counseling and homebound assistance (40), caring for aged and the need for relief care giver is required in 30 families. The most preferred counselor is the church minister preferred by 160 surveyed members (80%), as Christian and community counselor or psychologist are preferred by 50 members (25%). However, community psychiatrist and counseling ministry of the church are not preferred by the congregation. Fear to violate confidentiality was cited as the reason that could hinder 30% of the congregation from seeking this service. The concern of privacy and fear of being labeled could prevent 20% from seeking counseling service organized by the life ministry. Members were finally requested to choose support groups in which they are willing to be part off within the ministry. The findings indicate that grief and loss will have 20% of the congregation, young mothers and general parent 15%, women group 12,5% and fathering 10%. The least group is AA/NA, families of chronically mentally ill and parents ADD/ADHD children group 1%, co-dependency and single parent group 2,5%. Others are addiction lifestyle, abuse recovery and mens group at 3% and divorce adjustment, marriage enrichment, parents of troubled teens and adult children dysfunctional families at 5%.

Summary of Preventive Programs

These programs are aimed at helping members to avoid family challenges that hinder their physical, emotional and spiritual development. These preventive programs include personal development and trainings, marital training programs and parenting programs. However, they are intended to prevent the occurrence of likely problems related to poor parenting, personal development and marital conflicts. The first program entails encouraging families to have as much time together with some spiritual emphasis through Bible studies, worshiping together and so forth, this is necessary in preventing several challenges. A family that has a culture of frequent spiritual nourishment is likely to raise responsible children, have less family conflicts, enhanced communication and able to handle challenging needs than the rest. These could be raised higher to community level fellowship and Bible study programs attended by members of families. Under the program, members of the congregation in a given locality could meet and have fellowship in members homes in the presence of family members. The church leadership has a duty to inculcate this culture to its members.

Personal development and training programs are necessary in preventing personal and family challenges affecting their physical, emotional and spiritual development. This program helps members to manage stress, improve self-esteem, handle depression, fear and anxiety, grief, guilt, anger and loss. They also enable them to manage their time and finances, overcome negative memories and self-defeating behavior, cope with career changes and loneliness among other challenges that affect their spiritual nourishment. Training members on personal development of this nature will no doubt reduce associated negative impacts on members in particular and the family in general. According to the survey data, the leadership of the ministry life should prioritize on areas like how to handle grief and loss, adjusting to empty nest, helping members to understand aging process and training on how to enjoy later years as this are the challenges facing majority of ministry members.

Marital training programs are essential for the members. These will entail premarital training for young members, trainings on marital communication and decision making and how to resolve conflicts in marriages. Others include trainings on how to relate with in-laws, built intimacy in marriage, role of husband and wife, sex and intimacy trainings and how to handle family finances among other marital challenges. Other priority areas should be on how to resolve marital conflicts, enhance marital communication and how to enrich the marriage, these being the problems that majority requires to be addressed. Premarital education, understanding spouse, interfaith marriages and trainings on how to relate with non-Christian mates are of little concern to the most members of the congregation.

Parenting and family training programs could help prevent the occurrences of physical and spiritual challenges. These will prevent problems resulting from poor parenting in adolescents, pre-school and school age kids. It aims at building healthy families, handling family conflict, relating to children and how to nurture faith in children among other trainings in parenting. As a matter of fact, the area of importance in parenting to most members are building healthy family, nurturing faith and shaping values in children in addition to leading kids to Christ. Other areas of preference are on how to relate with children, parent/teenagers conflict resolution and communicating to children/teenagers. Equipping parent with ability to address these areas could help to avoid conflicts between parents and children, reduce drug abuse in children and reduce conflicts in families. Managing school problems, coping with infertility and long term illness are least preferred among the members. It is believed that such programs if well implemented could drastically reduce many challenges facing members of the congregation. This will go a long way in improving physical, emotional and spiritual development of church members.

Summary of the Therapeutic Programs

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These programs address the current family needs and problems affecting members and their families. They include counseling and guidance programs to affected members and families on challenges of marriage, personal development, vocational guidance, financial challenges and employment among others using the services of counselors, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologist. Survey data indicates that most people are faced with marriage and family issues such as poor communication, decision making and conflicting role of husband and wife that require the need for counseling and guidance. Individual counseling is needed as most members indicated to be experiencing personal problems. This will include premarital counseling among the youths and those intending to get remarried as these are the main issues affecting members of the congregation. It is important also to counsel mothers since they are most affected with family challenges. Vocational guidance is aimed at helping the youths that have problems in choosing the right career after analyzing their abilities and talents. This area is of much conflict in families, where parents and children have different views on the type of career for the children. Counseling parents and children will reach a win-win situation.

The second programs is treating members and family members suffering from various problems such as stress, physical illness, drag addiction problems and other special needs. This will require the ministry to seek the services of trained health care personnel like nurses, doctors, psychiatrists and physiotherapists to carry out this exercise. Treatment of stress will require some medication and complemented by counseling and physiotherapy. There are members suffering from terminal illness such as HIV and Aids, cancer, obesity, diabetes, etc. Others suffer from physical illness due to accidents and aging that require medical treatment. Drug abuse has negative health impacts, since some members confirmed to have abused drug substance; there is a need to treat them of physical illness they might have caused them. Upon recovery, it is the duty of health practitioners to promote healthy behaviors in the church members.

The third program involves giving assistance in the form of food and clothing, finances, school fees for their children, assistance for the homebound, reading for sight impaired members and assistance for special needs to members and families that are not able to cater for these essential needs. This program will require both human and financial resources to provide for member of the congregation that are disadvantaged and cannot provide for themselves. There are people with disability and others are incapacitated with illness. The duty of the church leadership is to identify and assist these members using the available resources. Under this program, the church can source for funding from donors, church members and even church savings. Lack of food, shelter and unemployment, sight impairment and homebound assistance were cited as the issues confronting most members of the congregation.

The fourth therapeutic program is offering caring services through support group programs and caring centers. These offer caring services to the aged members, children, people with disabilities and giving relief care to adults. Aged members are confronted with challenges and oftentimes are left by their family members hence the need for the church to take care of such members. The case is similar in peoples with disabilities and to some extent children. These and other issues can be addressed by the church through setting up caring centers for various groups. Similarly, it may opt to take them to caring centers and support them through these centers. These programs are aimed at improving the physical, emotional and spiritual growth of the members of life ministry. Within the congregation, members have different skills and training and could be asked to offer their services on voluntary basis to help their fellow church members through support group programs.

Ministry Plan of Action

Description and Justification of Life Ministry

Family life ministrys prime purpose is to build healthy families for the Kingdom of God. The church partner with families and ministers to the needs of these families in the same way that Christ did, thus helping to restore wholeness. They believe that families that feel complete and have harmonious relationships are likely to dedicate themselves to God. The Church follows these principles and its vision is to empower families by empowering children and youth that follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Located in Capitol Hill, the family life ministry was born in 1971 through Northeast F Street mission. Family Life Ministry focuses on four areas namely spiritual development, personal growth, relationship building and recreational inspiration. The role of Capitol Hill based ministry is to partner with family to get right the needs of members. The leadership and members believe that strong marriages lead to strong families that make strong churches and consequently, strong communities and societies.

These programs are justified in the sense that they promote the core principles of the church. Personal development and trainings are aimed at enhancing personal growth of members and marital programs and training builds relationships in marriages and therefore, strong families. These programs are justified, because they address challenges that face the members of ministry congregation and hence the most appropriate assistance should come from the ministry. These challenges are related to personal development, marriages and parenting in families of the ministry congregation. Failure to address these problems could hinder their spiritual development, the main goal of the church. It is the duty of every church to help its members to develop spiritually, but spiritual growth go hand in hand with physical and emotional development.

Family Life Programs to Be Launched

Based on provided budget and knowledge from survey data, the three programs should aim at addressing the most essential needs of the members. These programs are counseling program, personal development and training program and finally, assistance programs for vulnerable members of the congregation. Counseling is the required by majority of the members, particularly, at personal level, marriage and family level. Counseling is an essential preventive program that could reduce the occurrence of potential problems. In order for this program to be effective, the ministry is expected to adopt a class format and lectures, films and videos, and workshops. The ministry will be required to source for Christian and community counselors and psychologists. These will help the church minister in counseling and guiding members of the church. Under no circumstance should the ministry use the services of community psychiatrists and counseling ministry of the church as these are not desired by the members. It is important that matters of privacy and confidentiality are strictly adhered to in order to attract members.

Personal development and training programs should be launched given the high gravity of personal challenges. Just like counseling, the same delivery format as preferred by members should be used in carrying out this program. Classes should be identified, lectures also should be conducted using the best trainers and training aids such films prepared as well workshops and seminars. The best training times are Sundays and Wednesdays evenings; this being the most convenient for most members. The main areas of trainings should be on how to handle grief and loss, trainings to help aging members to understand and cope with aging process, best way to enjoy later years, and training children and youths on how well to relate to aging parents. Others are trainings on leadership, coping with loneliness, how to handle guilt and anger etc. It is important to try and group members into training categories based on respective needs of members and the purpose of each training session. Assistance program for disadvantaged members is something that cannot be avoided. Using the assistance of support groups and available funds, the ministry can extend assistance to sight impaired, provide fees for children of members, food and clothing, assists sight impaired to read and assisting people with special needs.

First Year Budget for the Ministry

The budget will cover three programs namely counseling program, personal development and training program as well as assistance program. Counseling programs will be allocated $3,500. Personal development and training programs to be rolled out will cost $4,500 and finally, assistance program will cost the ministry $7,000.

Table 1. Program One Budget

Counseling Program by the family life ministry

Activity

Amount in US Dollars

Cost of counselors

2,200

Training Aids/tools

800

Cost of venues

600

Miscellaneous expenses

400

Total

4, 000

The total cost for counseling program will be $4,000 per annum as indicated above. The venue will be provided by the church and hence associate costs are for maintenance only, but not hiring or renting costs. Most of the counselors will volunteers, but small allowances will be paid to them. Training tools will involve the cost organizing workshops, seminars, film and videos and CDs. Miscellaneous expenses will cover expenses of stationery, printing, writing materials, telephone calls, and stamps etc.

Table 2. Program Two Budget

Personal development and Training Programs

Activity

Amount in US Dollars

Cost of Trainers

2,500

Training Aids/tools

1,000

Cost of training venues

600

Miscellaneous expenses

400

Total

4,500

This budget will cover the cost trainers allowances since most of them will be derived from support groups of the ministry that comprise members themselves. Training tools are videos cassettes, CDs, films, and preparation costs for seminars and workshops.

Table 3. Program Three Budget

Assistance Program

Activity

Amount in US Dollars

Cost human labor

1,100

Cost of food and clothing plus transport

3,200

Financial aids (School fees, medical bills, etc)

2, 400

Miscellaneous expenses

300

Total

7, 000

The cost of this program is higher those of the counseling and personal development programs to be rolled out by the ministry. The cost of food will constitute the bigger share of the budget followed by financial aids to settle medical bills and fees for disadvantaged members. The total budget to be used is $15,000 per annum.

Key Questions and Talking points

Why did you select these three programs and leave out programs like treatment of members and caring programs?

Key talking points: Limited budget, huge finance to set up caring centers, free health care policy, and the number of members affected the gravity of needs.

Why are there the variations in budget allocation to the three programs instead of allocating same budget to all the three programs?

Key talking points: Voluntary human resources, the increasing cost of foods and education, the number of members in needs, food and shelter are necessities

What is the importance of survey reports yet the issues they highlight are known to the leadership?

Key Talking points: Congregation keeps changing, needs changes, the need to prioritize needs, to address members concerns, issues of confidentiality and privacy issues in counseling, mode of delivery

How do you rate the performance of these programs into the future?

Key talking points: I see them succeeding, strong families, I foresee support, expanded budget and programs and enhanced spiritual development.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important for churches to consider other needs of members if they have to succeed in development them spiritually. This report presents demographic characteristics that help leadership to know members and their respective needs. Based on this, they are able to address various needs that affect spiritual development of members of the congregation. Through family life ministry, the church will be able to achieve its objectives to the members and the society.

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