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January 28, 2020

All-Church Quarterly Strategy Meeting (January 26, 2020)

Amanda Knoke

Director for Communications

Meeting Highlights ...

  • Devotional from Elder Chair Kurt Elting-Ballard
  • Membership Report/Executive Session
  • Motion to Call Non-Staff Elders
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Presentation and Vote on 2020 Operating Budget
  • “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” Updates
  • Deceased Members From 2019


Kurt Elting-Ballard shared about how he was called to be a physician. He then focused on Jeremiah 12:1–4. “Why does the way of the wicked prosper?” God answers Jeremiah, “If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?” God wants us to lean on him instead of on our own strength.

Membership Report and Church Discipline Matters

We began the meeting with 2,703 members and 54* members were removed by request.

In Executive Session, the elders proposed motions to dismiss two members who expressed unbelief. The motions carried without opposition. Elders from the Downtown and North campuses shared two cases of church discipline and called for the prayers of the congregation.

At the end of the meeting, Bethlehem membership stood at 2,647.*

Motions to Call Elders and Deacons

Bethlehem members voted to call the following as elders to service at Bethlehem.

Non-Staff Elders

Treasurer’s Report

Pastor Jon Grano delivered the Treasurer’s Report to the assembly with details on the fourth quarter of 2019 and a summary of the year. (See the full presentation.)

Summary of Fourth Quarter 2019

Giving was $3.47M

  • Up $398K when compared to Q4 2018 giving

Spending was $2.86M

  • Down $162K when compared to Q4 2018 spending

Giving exceeded spending by $616K

  • In Q4 2018 giving exceeded spending by $56k

2019 Summary

Giving was $10.3M

  • Up $123K when compared to 2018
  • $300k below 2019 budgeted giving of $10.6M

Spending was $10.19M

  • Down $173K when compared to 2018
  • $338K below 2019 budgeted spending of $10.5M

Giving exceeded spending by $115K

  • In 2018 December YTD spending exceeded giving by $180k

Presentation and Vote on 2020 Operating Budget

Pastor Jon Grano presented the 2020 “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” Operating Budget with the following motion: “The Council of Elders recommended at their 11/5/2019 meeting a 2020 ‘Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25’ operating budget of $10,400,000 for the congregation to approve at the Winter Quarterly Strategy meeting on January 26, 2020.”

The members approved the elder-recommended 2020 Operating Budget of $10,400,000.

‘Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25’ Updates

Campus Reports

  • Downtown Campus
    Pastor Ken Currie highlighted the growth of the Small Group ministry and also their ministry partnership in events like Respite Night with the Disability Ministry (and new Disability Ministry Coordinator, Downtown, Sara Scholtens). Pastor Ken also highlighted the Downtown Campus involvement in care (with the American Red Cross) for victims of the Drake Hotel fire on Christmas Day 2019.
  • North Campus
    Pastor Steven Lee highlighted reports of conversions and increased love for the surrounding community through the “Befriending Unbelievers” initiative (spanning 2018–2019). He also highlighted the “Counseling One Another” initiative, including the COA seminars and Small Group Side by Side study (spanning 2019–2020), led by North Care & Counseling Pastor, Brian Liechty. Pastor Steven noted the departure of the Pastor for Children’s & Family Discipleship, North, Gil McConnell; and the good work of interim leader Tony Cooper; and the departure of Disability Ministry Coordinator Lee Burtman; and the good work of the new coordinator, Maddy Pearson.
  • South Campus
    Pastor Dave Zuleger shared a growing sense of being a “blood bought family” at the South Campus. He highlighted the South elders’ development of a new- member care plan and also a Care plan (“circles of care”) for all South members, so that no individual falls through the cracks. He shared how South staff has reconfigured and risen to the occasion of increased responsibility after the departure of a South pastor in late 2018.  

Global Outreach Report (including Unengaged People Groups)
Pastor Brad Nelson shared an overview of the Global Outreach department and the scope of their ministry. 

Church Planting Report
Pastor Kenny Stokes gave an update on Church Planting efforts in 2019. 

Strengthening the Core: 20/20 Vision Update

  • Pastor Jason Meyer gave an overview of the current “Strengthening the Core” focus as the church considers a transition to campus-specific preaching and strategy meetings. He drew the congregation’s attention to the “20/20 Vision and FAQ” document from the Council of Elders (December 2019), highlighted the upcoming February–April sermon series on “The Church” with himself and Pastors Steven Lee and Dave Zuleger preaching. He noted that the April 26 Quarterly Strategy Meeting would be a time to consider specific job description changes for his role and current campus pastor roles.
  • Pastor Steven Lee gave an overview of the church structure concepts that the elders are considering as Bethlehem potentially transitions from a “Franchise” model to a “Federation” model. 
  • Pastor Ken Currie offered summary comments and encouraged the congregation to continue to pray and discuss these changes as the elders seek the Lord’s direction.
  • Pastor Tom Steller shared about his upcoming ministry transition to being a global partner, serving with Training Leaders International as the Director of Theological Education – Cameroon, beginning August 1, 2020.

Deceased Members From 2019

Bethlehem remembered the members who passed away in 2019, as Pastor Jason read the following names:

  • Carlson, Edith
  • Cowles, Ann
  • Folsom, Dave
  • Fredin, Tim
  • Halldorson, Beryl
  • Hebeisen, Jan
  • Johnson, Lyle
  • Johnson, Marlene
  • Pearson, Shirley

* The membership counts were corrected on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, to include the removal of two more members through spoken updates during Sunday's meeting.