Something about starting a meeting with a meal draws us together. Maybe it’s the shared chicken, the conversation around the serving tables, the danger of spilled drinks, or the loitering around sweet treats. Whatever it is, when the meeting starts, we’re all ready to engage.
The year’s congregational meeting was set up in just that type of environment. So if you missed it, here’s what happened after the children disappeared to their entertainment.
- Anthony played MC as the ministry staff took their seats on stage. Each of the departments responded to his questions about what is going in their backyard. Answers included mission trips, growth in leadership, shifts in ministry emphases, and new initiatives.
- As the world of technology changes, so do our digital tools. Ward Shope took a quick tour through many features of our website, New Life Online, our New Life app, and the weekly email. Along with our Facebook page and Twitter feed, there are multiple ways for New-Lifers to conveniently engage with our ministry in our digital age.
- Sam Chez shared how improvements in our staff structure are intended to provide a manageable supervisory role for Anthony (he only manages 5 people – down from 10 for the lead pastor a year ago), while providing other members of the staff more personal supervision. Todd Hill takes on a larger role in supervision to help out. This frees Anthony up for ministry in other pastoral areas.
- Every congregational meeting provides an opportunity to add new officers in the church. This year, Dave Lesshafft and Chris Barnes shared their own personal stories of how God has worked in their lives. Both were elected as elders among us and will be ordained and installed to join our current elders in shepherding and leading our congregation. In addition, Dave Lesshafft, Jim Baird, and Keith Soper were re-elected to fill 3-year terms as Trustees for the church.
- Finally, Meredith Elder (who is also an elder), reported that our income exceeded our expenses in 2017 by $60,000, which will be utilized to pay down our mortgage principal. A 2018 budget of $1.46 million represents an increase of just over 2% of the budget of 2017, and will include a lot of stories of how Jesus touches the lives of those in our congregation, the community, and the larger world.
We’re on the brink of a strategic planning process which begins in February and will set the course of our direction for future years. Please be praying as we seek the Lord’s wisdom how to best honor him in 2018.