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The Long Range Plan


This long range plan is dedicated to God and the advancement of God's Kingdom and is intended to encompass the nurturing, growth, and development of the Coal City United Methodist Church over the next 20 years.

We envision this a living document - one that should be revisited regularly and kept current. We hope that in the year 2030, it will still be a valid plan.

The Original Long Range Planning Committee:

  • Jim Hutchings, Co-Chair

  • Lorraine Vilt, Co-Chair

  • Carol Crawford, Secretary

  • Pastor Brad Shumaker

  • Dave Gowdy

  • Katie Crawford

The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) is working to discern where God is leading our congregations over the next 20 years, and in so doing, to renew and recommit ourselves to our vision and purpose as currently defined:

"To be a sanctuary where prayer, worship, acts of mercy, and study of scripture empower persons to live as disciples of Jesus Christ."

The long range plan fully endorses that concept. "Serve" is the way Christ told his disciples to work. Our congregation continues to encourage service, not only as a commandment, but also as a source of joy.

It is now more than 125 years since the Coal City United Methodist Church was chartered and ten years since we moved into this building. We have focused, not on the building, but making disciples for Jesus Christ. What has been and remains most important to our congregation is people personally inviting new people to come and participate in our many activities.  We have sought to do more than simply place a sign in front of our building and expect people to come.  For us to live up to our vision, we must continue to actively seek people like the Good Shepherd searching for his lost sheep by using culturally appropriate worship, marketing, prayer and study, as well as focusing on equipping laity for the work of the ministry.


Initially, the LRPC sought input from multiple sources within our church, including fellowship groups and individuals. Overwhelmingly, the response envisions continued growth through expanded building and equipment resources (particularly the addition of classrooms) and the addition and strengthening of programs for youth and adults. Other responses include appreciation for things we have in places that are working well, acclaim for the community choir, desire for additional worship opportunities, and hope for increased diversity in our church family.

With this in mind, we present the following Long Range Plan for the Coal City United Methodist Church.


Continue to increase the average participation in church programs and service by church members

  • Build disciples through understanding and education

  • Provide exposure to mission and service needs

  • Provide a greater sense of community and belonging

  • Use gifts, time, talent and training to find a place for Beginning, Becoming, Belonging, and Branching out in God's Service

  • Recognize that stewardship is not only money, but even more about how we spend our lives and what we, as followers of Jesus Christ, stand for

  • Provide an opportunity to carry our Christian compassion beyond the walls of our church building

Ultimately, the attainment of such an increased level of participation will challenge all programs of the church.  Key work teams will include education, worship, missions, choir, welcoming and nurturing.  The catalysts will be the Welcoming Ministries Director, Nurturing Ministries Director, Director of Music Ministry  and the Education Committee Chair, but all committees, groups staff persons, members and friends of the Coal City United Methodist are important to this goal.


care giving


This ministry is geared to those who are ill, disabled, impaired (unable to fulfill all their needs without assistance) and/or receiving medical treatment.

It has great potential for improving the health and general welfare of the entire church. Economic well being, family financial planning, debt management, insurance matters, and estate planning are also areas of general need and would build a greater sense of community.

Specific goals to be explored:

  • Inclusion of Stephens Ministry or similar training

  • Continuation of a parish nurse to provide guidance and council in health and home management matters (not medical assistance)

  • Committee or group to provide “on demand” help transportation to and from church functions.

  • Regular blood pressure and other health screenings during fellowship time and at other times during the week

  • Expansion of monthly nursing home communion service to residential and other nursing home facilities

  • Additional financial peace courses or other financial planning courses

  • Disability ministry


small groups

Continue to expand the number, variety, and participation in small group ministries.

Growth in this area is the only proven method for attaining a sense of belonging.

  • The Sunday School Superintendent, Education Committee Chairperson, Director of Music Ministries as well as the Director of Welcoming and Nurturing Ministries are a vital part of this process and serve as important members of this pastoral team. Most churches begin as a small group of Christians who have an intimate and caring relationships with one another. They worship together, study the Bible together, care for each other in time of need and serve together in the work of the church.  As churches grow, their intimate relationship is more difficult to maintain. More contemporary small groups are often the answer to the need of a larger congregation for relationship building and nurturing members. Trained leadership is necessary for the success of these programs.


spiritual gifts

Spiritual gifts and enhancement seminars, for all members of the church.
  • Provide a place where large group seminars can be performed, e.g. equipping the fellowship hall with necessary electronic equipment, plus sound reduction.

  • Priority should always be given to matching opportunities for service with specific gifts and talents, rather than simply plugging people in slots because they are needed. Formulation and maintenance of a talent resource database would significantly assist with this process.

  • Timely involvement and purposeful ministry is critical to helping people achieve fulfillment through beginning, becoming and branching out in God’s service, rather than simply working in particular ministry without conviction.

  • There is importance in doing this function wisely and in a timely manner so that new people have the opportunity to become doers of the Word. Key work teams will include the welcoming and nurturing ministries, education, choir and mission, and it should be a continuous function of the entire ministry of the congregation.

  • Our Discover Us classes have been very successful; however, a plan to follow up with members should be implemented.

  • Art of Marriage (Family Life)

  • Stepping Up Manhood (Family Life)

Mission Committee - Continue to build and strengthen the mission outreach of Coal City United Methodist Church by serving others through Jesus Christ

Our church was a five star church of the conference ministry team for many years.  A mission priority has been the payment of all “conference claims” which include World Service and conference benevolence. We also give to advance specials and conference advance special projects, missionary personnel support and UMCOR projects. We will continue to expand our mission program through a program of budgeting, volunteers and the collection of materials.

Suggested Project Related Missions:

  • Expand Volunteer In Mission (VIM) Teams for both inside and outside the country. Typically, VIM teams pay their travel and logistic expenses and contribute to project funding.

  • Develop local mission trips for educational and on-site assistance to Golden Cross Agencies and other ministries.

  • Provide scholarships for mission trips.

  • Continue to encourage support for volunteer service at the Midwest Mission Distribution Center.

  • Develop a mission exchange program wherein interested members travel to other countries while we share our culture with visitors from there.

  • Reestablish a future Covenant Relationship with General Board of Global Ministries' (currently $5.00 per member or $2500.00 per church per year.)

  • Restore and maintain 5 star church mission statuses.


Suggested Service Related Missions:

  • Alzheimer’s Day Care Unit

  • Senior Center and/or Senior Daycare Center

  • Daycare Center for Children (after & perhaps before school)

  • Nursery Day Care Program

  • Bereavement Group Welcoming and Nurturing

  • Divorce Group Welcoming and Nurturing

  • Single parent group Welcoming and Nurturing

  • Financial Planning, Personal and Family

  • Once a Year tell what each committee does

Development of any of these programs should thoroughly evaluate current and projected needs, extent of similar services that are provided in the community, liability and expected cash flow.





Forward motion is a waste of energy unless we are moving in the right direction. But how do we know? Only through understanding the teachings of Jesus Christ will we be moving in the right direction. The late Bishop W.T. Handy of St. Louis stated;

 “Our main purpose is not simply to add numbers to our rolls, but to fulfill the basic purpose of the church: to make disciples – followers of Jesus Christ.”

Our emphasis on education for children and youth is sound. Since many of the un-churched come to us with little, if any, prior exposure or understanding of Jesus’ teaching, we need to continue to explore additional classes for adults and special interest groups; for example, young adults, single parents, children of single parents, parents of teenagers, cancer survivors, etc. Christian Education should be the cornerstone of our small group ministry.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Ongoing development of an effective resource and reading library.

  • Add classes for additional ages and circumstances. Continue to explore the need for short-term and ongoing classes for specific needs.

  • Additional Christian Education class times should be considered. Some parents expect to have an opportunity to attend worship service and know their children and youth are in Christian Education classes. This could be a very healthy “take” on the drop off parent and may appeal to those who have a longer distance to travel.

  • Add a Family Education Director responsible for coordinating Christian Education Programs for families and members. This could include Vacation Bible School and similar responsibilities.

  • Additional bible studies


young adults

"Youth - our strength and our future"; Promote and enhance youth and young adult programs

The Coal City United Methodist Church needs to clearly define and articulate its God-centered commitment to the young people in our families and to the youth and young adults of the entire community. We are already a highly visible influence in our community and, with a strengthened Christian program for youth and young adults, we will continue to grow and prosper.

Many components must come together to make this dream a reality. Staffing and programs are important, but the key to successful programming will prove to be the extent by the support of CCUMC’s members and that parental interest involvement.

Ministry with youth and young adults is demanding, challenging and time intensive. This plan recommends early employment of a trained and experienced high-energy Youth Director or Youth Minister to be responsible for further implementing our ministry to youth and young adults.

  • Continue to expand and enhance youth programs that clearly define separately "Tweens" and Mighty Mites (Elementary School) Junior High (Middle School) and Senior High.

  • Programming should include more God-centered functions, youth sporting events, opportunities for fellowship, singing groups, youth outreach with other Christian groups.

  • Obtain church transportation. (Wheelchair accessible bus, etc.)

  • A  Young Adult Ministry (Christian Education, mission trips, events and a social contact for this age group) – something that would continue after their high school and keep them involved as they grow in their Christian way of life. This would include music and public speaking as a vital part of this ministry, possibly an evening event, with Bible study and specific programs.

sing loudly

for all to hear

Develop worship and music programs:

A single CCUMC worship service may be the only contact some persons ever have with God. The Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, Christianity; all those things we routinely hear discussed and take for granted. The following recommendations look to develop worship and music programs.

  • Our 8:00am and 10:30am services are often at or near capacity. Consideration should be given to other services, such as during our current Christian Education hour or at other times.

  • Expand musical expression-musicals, concerts, cantatas. The goal of worship is to help people come into a sense of the presence of God. The goal of worship is not to present a particular kind of music. Because music has the power to alter our state of consciousness, it increases our receptivity to God-powered attitude and behavior changes not otherwise possible.

  • Musical combos (vocal and instrumental).

  • Expand drama capability.

  • Encourage puppet ministry.

  • Do a larger and more comprehensive Christian Program or programs, including as many as possible in planning, preparation and production.

  • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day programs, etc. where children have more meaning and impact. Worship and Education



The Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) has the responsibility to hire, fire, supervise and discipline staff performance; but direction comes from the Administrative Council.

They should work together towards realization of the congregation’s goals and addressing the programmatic direction of our staff as requirements and resources materialize, identifying, delineating, and prioritizing various staff positions. Qualified volunteers with a willingness to serve should receive priority consideration. These are the people who can most readily grow in faith.

These may include:

  • Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries

  • Volunteer Coordinator

  • Family Education Director

  • Work to establish a position for “Clergy Intern” to lend parish ministry experience for a seminary student.

  • Work towards offering competitive salary, insurance and pension to full-time non-ordained staff.



In the process of determining program areas that are still in need of enhancement or development, several facility needs become more apparent. Meeting space, and ultimately a larger worship center (sanctuary) emerge.

As we grow into a high traffic, high demand operation, concerns for general housekeeping, daily maintenance, safety and security must be continually addressed. While responsibility lies generally with the Trustees, no staff person, member or user is exempt from the broad obligation of these concerns.

The list of expansion and maintenance items is detailed and exhaustive.

Ministry Options for Land Use

The Long Range Planning Committee believes that CCUMC needs to enhance its overall environment in working towards further development of land not now occupied and or/owned by the church and its planned recreation center. Several options were suggested.

  • Outdoor chapel with trees and wedding garden

  • Sports complex

  • Expanded activity center

  • Recreational center for youth

  • Senior Day Care

  • Day Care Center

  • Retirement assisted living/nursing home facility



Becoming good stewards of our environment

Establish a “Going Green” Committee to put in place practices that will help Gods world and our environment.

This committee should draw members from various areas of the church who are directly involved in the purchase and use of materials.

  • Kitchen Supplies

  • Classroom Supplies

  • Office Supplies

  • Janitorial Supplies

  • Landscaping

  • Individuals clean-up after themselves



Our goal is a spiritual goal; “Seek first the Kingdom of God in your life.”  The goal of a fiscally sound environment is a process that must flow on a continuous basis.

  • Program costs should never be covered by borrowing.

  • Discipleship learning will include promotion of faithful giving as a learned process.

  • Do a better job of budgeting. If it's not submitted in January each year monies may not be provided.

  • Two signatures on all checks over $50.00 for non reoccurring expenses.

We believe that programs of the church should operate on a financially sound basis without borrowing.


A largely unmet responsibility of the church is to take the lead in providing education and counsel on the use and abuse of credit, as well as long-term finance and estate planning. The Administrative Council, upon recommendation by the Finance Committee, should have control over all fund raisers; including the ability to take a Special Sunday Morning Service Offering. Also the Finance Committee approves all bill payments and is not left up to the discretion of the Treasurer.


beyond our walls

The Coal City United Methodist Church, as it continues to develop its ministries and become more of a Christ–Centered influence in the area, should assemble a task force with adequate data to become a catalyst in growing our own Christian corridor type neighborhood.


This ultimately involved the establishment of a sister church or a satellite worship center. Prepare a plan to help the churches in the surrounding communities (Braidwood, Braceville, Mazon, and Verona) enhance their ministries through shared resources.



We are limited by our attitude towards God’s work in us—
Limited only by our vision, our faith and our
responsibility to accept the mission bestowed upon all of us

Growing our talent is continuous. It will take assertive and careful work on the part of many. Diligence with the abounding grace of God will allow us to worship gloriously, practice fellowship deeply and reach out compassionately, all at the same time.

God is able to do more than we can dream—“God is able to accomplish abundantly far more that all we can ask or imagine;’ (Ephesians 3:20). In this Long Range Plan we have a vision of possibilities in the midst of leanness. Let us embrace that vision with joy, and exercise it with confidence and great thanksgiving.

May we all be blessed.

Plan ahead - it wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

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