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In the southern reaches of Goshen, Indiana, Maple City Chapel, an evangelical, interdenominational church with anabaptist roots, underwent a profound transformation catalyzed by a Center for Congregations grant. This financial boost played a vital role in reshaping the church’s operational core and fortifying its Human Resources (HR) department.
The journey began in 2021 when Executive Pastor Ryan Graham recognized the pressing need for an overhaul in the congregation’s HR system. Maple City Chapel needed an updated staff handbook, streamlined processes, and clarified staff roles. However, limited funding made it challenging for them to make these necessary changes independently. That’s when church leadership turned to the Center for Congregations for support.
“We were fortunate to secure a Center for Congregations grant a few years ago for a remodeling project,” shares Pastor Ryan. “Since then, we’ve recognized the Center as a valuable resource available to support us whenever we consider new applications.”
Maple City Chapel engaged in discussions with Center for Congregations Resource Consultant, Abby Miller, realizing the potential synergy between their needs and the services offered by HR Ministry Solutions, a faith-based organization assisting churches with HR needs. The outcome was a realization that this would be a perfect fit for a Center for Congregations grant.
“We discussed our congregation’s needs with Abby and shared our interest in working with HR Ministry Solutions,” says Kyla Whetstone, Executive Assistant at Maple City Chapel. “With Abby’s guidance, we applied for a grant to fund this partnership. Introducing our Center for Congregations consultant to the impactful work of HR Ministry Solutions was enjoyable because she hadn’t encountered an organization like it before.”
Since the fall of 2022, Maple City Chapel and HR Ministry Solutions have diligently worked together to transform the congregation’s HR systems. Congregational leaders began meeting with a dedicated representative, Nicole, every other week. With HR Ministry Solutions as their guide, Maple City Chapel crafted a practical twelve-month plan, charting a course for the enhancement of everything from audits to onboarding.
“HR Ministry Solutions has given us the tools and resources needed for revamping our HR department, saving us a significant amount of time,” shares Kyla. “This process has freed up both Ryan and me, allowing us to concentrate on our strengths rather than getting bogged down in all the operational complexities.”
Collaborating with Nicole, Maple City Chapel created a new and improved staff handbook. Not only has it clarified expectations and unified the staff, but it has also paved the way for increased support for staff well-being. This includes the addition of a policy on observing the Sabbath and the introduction of Soul Care Days.
“Now, every quarter, staff members can take a Soul Care Day— an opportunity to step away, nurture their souls, connect with the Lord, and return refreshed,” says Pastor Ryan. “Providing this opportunity was really special. It’s something we have always valued but struggled to articulate and lacked a formal structure for.”
This collaboration with HR Ministry Solutions and the Center for Congregations has empowered Maple City Chapel to create an environment where its dedicated staff can thrive, with clearly defined roles and efficient processes. Their proactive approach and commitment to investing in staff serve as an inspiration to other congregations. Maple City Chapel expresses their gratitude for this Center for Congregations grant.
“We believe that a healthy staff trickles down and makes a healthy congregation,” says Kylal. “We’re grateful for the Center for Congregations and this grant. It turned a 10-year problem into a 12-month solution. We wouldn’t be here without it!”
The story of Maple City Chapel’s grant project showcases the transformative power of collaboration, innovation, and the strategic utilization of available resources. Through its partnership with HR Ministry Solutions and the support of the Center for Congregations, Maple City Chapel has not only renewed its HR processes but has laid the groundwork for a thriving and unified congregation for years to come.
At the Center for Congregations, we believe in lifting up stories from across the state of Indiana to build connections, forge a stronger congregational community, and help others grow. Have we helped you navigate a challenge or opportunity? Please share your story with us.