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Open Forum Notes – January 24, 2018

Open Forum at the ministry center

Pastor Bill opened the forum with prayer.  He then introduced the Leadership Team and each member proceeded to talk about their individual role on the Leadership Team.

Jeff Guenther and Jim Vogel led the forum and started with a little background information.

Mission and Vision

The Leadership Team completed a 5 hour session this past weekend, where they discussed the goals, vision, and future of Victory of the Lamb.

The Mission statement of VOTL was reviewed.  In summary, we are an outward focused church, always seeking to spread the gospel to those who do not know Jesus.

In addition, the Vision statement was introduced.  This states, how we plan to accomplish our mission.  In summary, VOTL wants to spread the Gospel to more people in Southeast Wisconsin and beyond.  We want to engage our community in Christ in order to grow our membership here at VOTL.

VOTL is doing a great job at this, witnessed by 100 new members to VOTL in 2017.  However, we can always do a better job at continuing to grow new disciples in Christ.

The Leadership Team wants to avoid complacency at VOTL.  We want to “dream big” with our 3-5 year future planning.  Ideas include a second campus, possibly funding a new church, or partnering with a current church that may need help in sustaining its congregation.

Questions and Comments – regarding the vision

At this point, the floor was opened for questions from the congregation.  Those questions and the discussion that followed are summarized next.

-The More Than Bricks campaign is now completed at VOTL.  It completed, raising $460,000.  Out of that amount, $92,000 was distributed to our mission partners in Nepal, St. Lucia, and North Dakota.  Any future money that is received for the MTB campaign will be used for debt reduction, and/or the parking lot needs.  The Leadership Team is now looking into our next capitol campaign, along with future partners that VOTL might be able share God’s blessings.

-Question was asked about building a church at a new site vs a phase 2 on the existing site.  This is not something that has been decided, and a lot of future planning would need to happen.  However, the Leadership Team has already investigated the options that we have at our current site for a phase 2 opportunity.  Our architect and engineers have provided us with a footprint of buildable space on the current site.

-A grade school is not something that is being considered at this time.  There are a lot of WELS schools in our area that can meet our current needs.

-Question was asked about plans for a larger group Bible study led by a Pastor.  Pastor Bill and the Leadership Team are always looking for new ways to help grow our faith.  When the future pastor arrives, there will be more discussion as far as how the time and talents of both of the Pastors will be allocated.

-Question was asked how VOTL could help a current church that may be struggling.  There are many ways to help and it depends on the situation.  One way would be to help them create various systems that have been successful for us at VOTL.

-Question was asked to define “Second Church” vs “Seeding” another church.  A second church would mean a physical church built on another site involving more staff.  To seed a church would involve contributing money in order to fund a church.

-Concern was raised that building our current Ministry Center took a lot of time and effort to complete.  Rather than doing that again, wouldn’t it be more prudent to spend our time and efforts to connect with our community and grow our current congregation.  Step one is obviously to grow our current VOTL.  The Leadership Team is simply looking toward the future.  Projecting into the future, as VOTL continues to grow with God’s blessings, moving forward to a second site (to remain outward focused and continue to grow God’s kingdom) is a real possibility.

-The Leadership Team is looking into a second capitol campaign.  This would have 3 components.  Debt reduction, Community Outreach, as well as partnering with other churches like Nepal, St. Lucia, and North Dakota.  The debt reduction would need to happen before any discussion of a Phase 2 can take place.  Would love brainstorming ideas for what VOTL could do in the community.  Ideas that were heard included a warming center in the winter, as well as a community garden/food pantry.

-Question was asked if Sarah Kuerth’s musical talents have been shared with other churches on a larger scale.  Copyright issues are involved with sharing this work.

-Question about a 3rd service at VOTL.  Research is being done into this.  The goal is to fill the 2 services we already have.  Surveys would be given to the congregation when a 3rd service would be a reality. A third service would mean discussion about more time and volunteers to do certain things like the Music Team, Ushers, Pastors, Victory Kids, Victory Café.  Decisions would have to be made as far as if some of the aforementioned characteristics of a normal service would not be included.  We would need to determine what we can do vs what we can do well.

-Ideas for community connection included: Single Parent Group, and Divorce Group among others.

Questions and Comments – regarding a 2nd Pastor

The forum then switched to the topic of calling our next Pastor.  The Leadership Team has some characteristics that are a must:  youth driven, relate to all members, strong teacher, accepting to all backgrounds, team oriented, expansion minded, strong preacher, inspiring, contemporary worship, outside the box thinker, not complacent.

-Ideas from the forum included:  embrace the multicultural side of the community, music oriented, possibly play an instrument, bring cohesiveness between the music and sermon, down to earth, sense of humor, personal, relate to today’s people and topics.  Basically it was determined that Pastor Ben cannot go to Florida!  We have been truly blessed to have had Pastor Ben.  Thank You!

-Conversation then led into the Call process:  Pastors, such as Pastor Ben, do not go looking for another call.  Congregations, like VOTL, will draft a Pastor Analysis which gives direction to the District President as to what type of Pastor we are looking for.  It gives the various characteristics and job description that a congregation is interested in.  We could give possible suggestions of names that we are looking at, however this does not mean they will be considered.  The District President will then provide VOTL with a list of 5-10 possible candidates that He feels might fit our needs.  With the District Presidents assistance, we will then put a call out to the person that we feel will best fit our needs at VOTL based on their God given talents.  The called Pastor will then prayerfully determine where the Lord would like for them to serve Him best.  This process will happen until we are blessed to receive our next Pastor.

-Concern was raised that there is no interview process.  We will be very clear in our Call packet to the District President of what we feel will best fit our needs.

-Pastor Bill reminded the congregation that the call process is very hard for to understand.  It goes against all the normal ways to fill a job position.  However, this is a Divine call from God.  God has a plan, and He already has our next Pastor in mind.  We just will go through the process to find out who God has chosen to be our next pastor.  We can be assured that God will bring us just the right person for VOTL.

-The Forum concluded with prayer.

-Any additional comments or concerns can be emailed to the Leadership Team at leadershipteam@victoryofthelamb.com