I just came out of a focus group meeting in the search for Elmbrook Church’s new pastor.

My prior experience with a focus group was in college for the design of a new dormitory. That meeting consisted of free pizza, and hoity toity business people asking why us upper classmen still lived in the dorms.

My experience in this meeting for my church was much different. The meeting was led by Dave Travis, who the church was consulting with. Dave quickly got the room talking using a deck of cards with pictures and descriptions. Everyone was able to talk subjectively about the card they had chosen while he listened, yet he was still able to capture objective numerical data from the exercise. Dave was very personable despite leading over Zoom to a physical and virtual crowd.

In the meeting were several elders, search team committee members, and a demographic of the church. Everyone in my group was in their twenties or thirties. It seemed like everyone was a member, and volunteer or leader in the church.

I was impressed with the number of meetings they had. They had run at least two of these meeting for several days. This ensures that the population of the church is accurately captured. Dave also commented that the results from our meeting were consistent with other meetings. This is encouraging as Elmbrook has a unified vision for the future of the church.

The meeting concluded with elders giving encouraging remarks to the room and prayer.