October 10, 2016 6:30-9:45 pm at the Ministry Center
Present: Tim Johnson, Jay Justmann, Jim Vogel, Wes Andersen, Jeff Guenther, Ron Takacs, Pastor Ben Kuerth, Pastor Bill Limmer
Our meeting began as Pastor Ben led us in a study of Psalm 100—a psalm of giving thanks. We discussed the many reasons we have to praise God—especially for his faithfulness to his promises, the consistency of his forgiveness and love, and for the fact that he made us and we belong to him. Therefore, our lives are not random accidents. Rather we are special creations of God and our lives have meaning and purpose. We get to praise him—from one generation to the next! How sad it makes us to think of people who don’t know this and don’t know there is a Creator God who made them special and wants to have a personal relationship with them because he loves them.
After our Bible study we shared “victory stories” including a Bible 101 class filled with 12 people and personal stories related by new guests over the past month. One great story includes someone whose neighbors invited her to our church because she was new to the area and didn’t have a church home here. As it turns out, those neighbors who invited her are themselves new to our church in the last couple months and are currently in Bible 101 class. How wonderful that we have a church where new people are inviting new people because they love the atmosphere, the welcome, and the gospel message of Christ’s victory that they hear at our church!
Again this month Pastor Bill reported a number of new members who recently met with him to go through our membership covenant process. Other member care matters such as specific concerns related to health, etc. were also discussed regarding some of our members and updates were given. There are currently about 320 baptized members in our church (adults and children).
This month Pastor Bill reported on each of our small groups that have been meeting as well as his plans for a new group to start Wednesday evenings at the ministry center during the “Who is this man?” series. Plans for a cancer support group and an “empty nester” group are also in the works. Pastor Bill also wants to work on helping communicate our groups so that more people can get connected. This is all part of the learning process for Pastor Bill as he gets to know our congregation and develop plans. Leaders for new groups in the future are coming forward to learn as well. Allocating babysitting funds to the Victory Moms group which they have appreciated has helped facilitate participation.
Pastor Ben reported on our Victory Kids ministry. Throughout September we averaged 57 kids a Sunday (41 in 1st service and 16 in 2nd service) with an additional 28 helpers a Sunday (17 in 1st service and 11 in 2nd service). God be praised! As a growing church this past month we emphasized the security and safety procedures that we want to follow so that our members and guests can have maximum confidence in this. Thank you to all our volunteers for helping us to implement these consistently so that we can continue to be a church that loves children and does all we can to keep them safe and to give parents that confidence. Finally, Liz has expressed she’s having fun in her role as Victory Kids director and appreciates the many volunteers who faithfully serve. Because our Victory Kids ministry is vital to the outreach mission of our church, the Leadership Team encourages anyone interested in kids ministry to contact Liz to learn more. There are many roles in which one can get involved! And thank you to all our volunteers for promptly responding to the scheduling requests that Liz puts out each month. Your prompt and consistent replies help greatly in her goal of accommodating the requests of many volunteers each month. One thing to note: keep your eyes open for a new Victory Kids sign in the lobby thanks to Naomi Scheel’s design and a special gift received from former member living in Arizona to fund it.
Confirmation class (Jr High) and Quest (7th – 12th grade) groups have each been averaging about 18 in attendance. God be praised! We are thankful for all the volunteer adult leaders who’ve been demonstrating tremendous love and care for these kids. Out students too are to be commended. One student brought along 3 friends from school to Quest last Sunday. How amazing! Pastor Ben brought up perhaps an opportunity to look into for one of our Quest leaders to connect with the local FAPSU group (Franklin Area Parents and Students United).
Ron Takacs reported that our new digital monument sign is scheduled to be installed on 10/20. A handicap ramp at the main entrance is scheduled to be installed in a couple weeks. An exact date has not yet been set by PLM. A decision was made not to pay an additional $250 to install a yellow plate in the ramp since it’s not a requirement and many actually recommend against them because they get slippery. Cup holders have been installed now on half the chairs in the sanctuary. Cabinet knobs have been installed throughout the ministry center. Conversation ensued about the need to have a properties and grounds team to help with repairs and ongoing building maintenance and other projects related to the ministry center and our now two parsonages. Anyone interested or willing to help with maintenance, please contact Ron. This Saturday volunteers are requested to help lay sod at the ministry center starting at 8 am.
Pastor Ben gave an update on the sanctuary art project. There has been further discussion of extending the worship area stage as part of this project. No final decision has been made yet however and the worship team members will have input. Paul Mattek from Design Fugitives will be giving us a rendering of what that might look like for further discussion. Funding of the project was discussed at our Leadership Team meeting but there are still too many variables to roll out a plan with details. We are pleased to report however though that there about $30,000 in special gifts have been given or committed for this project. A matching gift opportunity over and above this has also been presented as a possibility.
Since the Leadership Team was established in 2010, four of the current Leadership Team members have served the entire time—Tim, Wes, Jeff, and Jim. Pastor Ben thanked everyone for serving with such dedication during this time when so much has happened. And God has really blessed us to this point in time where He’s led us through a building project, transition, growth, and adding new staff. This led to a conversation about Leadership Team terms of office and roles going. Pastor Ben invited feedback from everyone about their thoughts on their future service and different roles on the team especially so that everyone can serve willingly and joyfully. After discussion around the table, Tim Johnson, having served faithfully and well for six years as our church president, volunteered that the timing was right for him to step down from the Leadership Team and thus open up another position for someone new to come on board the Leadership Team.
What this means is right now we have two vacant positions on the Leadership Team. Pastor Ben will therefore be communicating to the congregation an invitation to submit nominations for qualified men to fill these two positions. All our Victory of the Lamb church members will be given the opportunity to submit names for nomination based on the position description of roles and duties of a Leadership Team member. Pastor Ben will be sharing this information in the near future. Each individual who is nominated will then be contacted to discuss and assess their willingness to serve over the next month. We hope to then make a decision regarding the two positions at our next monthly meeting on November 14th. After that the new Leadership Team members will be formally installed in a worship service in November and invited to begin serving at our next meeting on December 12th.
By God’s grace and the generosity of so many people, the current financial status of our church is healthy. With gratitude to our volunteer accountant, Jayne Reuter, fiscal year ’15-’16 reporting has been completed and Jim Vogel presented updates on offerings and our various funds. Stay tuned for an upcoming financial communication from Jim. We discussed the need to establish a long-term maintenance fund and balancing that with the desire to pay down the mortgage after closing. Funds received from the City of Franklin as a reimbursement for installing the oversized water line will be allocated to completing the top layer of asphalt. These funds will be around $25,000 and get us at least halfway to what we need to complete the asphalt. $2,100 of undesignated money in a special gifts account was approved for use to help facilitate a special fundraiser event to be held on November 20th at the ministry center for the Poulos family. Robyn Sabich and Robina Biesterfield will be meeting with staff and ministry team leaders to plan details for this special event to take place Sunday afternoon, 11/20, from 3-6 pm. The idea is a bake sale, silent auction, vender event to raise funds to help the Poulos family as they support their son Jackson in his battle against cancer. Our prayers also are most certainly with the Poulos’ family and all those in our church family battling cancer.
Pastor Ben led a conversation about creating an outreach plan for 2017 so that teams can begin planning now. Pastor Ben expressed the desire to regularly get at least a calendar year ahead of events in the future to give time for volunteers to come together and plan for success. Now that we’re in our own facility, have added staff, and will soon be getting a sign on Loomis Road for advertising we have the opportunity to do this now. Pastor Ben will put this plan together as a first draft, submit it to the Leadership Team for discussion, and then present at an open forum TBA in November for congregational feedback.
Due to the length of the meeting, the topics of facility policies such as the alcohol policy and facilities use policy by outside group were tabled until next meeting. We agreed to use email to further the conversation on them before the next meeting. In the meantime, any specific requests to use the building can be passed on to Pastor Ben.
Pastor Ben made us aware of a few things coming up including, at Victory of the Lamb:
11/24 Thanksgiving Eve worship service at 6:30 pm. (We will not have Thanksgiving Day worship)
12/18 Victory Kids Christmas service at 10:45 service.
12/24 Christmas Eve Worship 4:30 and 6:30 pm
At around 9:45 pm we closed with prayer.
As always, all are welcome to contact anyone on the Leadership Team with any questions or concerns. Further contact info including email addresses is on our church website. To email the Leadership Team as a group simply use: firstname.lastname@example.org