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July 27, 2020

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

Amanda Knoke

Director for Communications

Meeting Highlights ...

  • Devotional from Pastor Tom Steller
  • Membership Report
  • Church Discipline Matters
  • Approval of the 20/20 Vision Structure
  • Approval of Job Description Changes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25 Report
  • Notification of Intent to Bring a Motion to Amend the By-Laws


Pastor Tom Steller gave the devotional and drew our attention to the historic nature of our gathering (three campuses digitally connected) and the pivotal decisions before the church. He recounted some of Bethlehem’s history during his 40 years as a pastor here, noting that Bethlehem turned 149 years old in June 2020. We considered God’s faithfulness in leading this congregation and in leading us in the many decisions that have been made over the years. Pastor Tom closed by encouraging the church to be strong and courageous, for the Lord is with us.

Membership Report

At the end of the meeting, Bethlehem membership stands at 2,546 members.

In Executive Session, the elders made members aware of church discipline matters during which all non-members were asked to leave the room.

Approval of 20/20 Structure

Following a time of discussion, the congregation voted to approve the 20/20 Vision structure. See the Proposed Org Chart (now approved).

Approval of Job Description Changes

Following a time of discussion, the congregation voted to approve the following job description changes:

  • Ken Currie as Pastor for Strategic Implementation
  • Jason Meyer as Pastor for Preaching & Vision, Downtown
  • Steven Lee as Pastor for Preaching & Vision, North
  • Dave Zuleger as Pastor for Preaching & Vision, South 

Treasurer’s Report

Tim Brinkmann presented the Treasurer’s Report to the assembly.

Second Quarter Summary

Giving was $2.29M

  • Down $196K when compared to Q2 2019 giving

Spending was $2.49M

  • Down $100K when compared to Q2 2019 spending

Spending exceeded giving by $202K

  • In Q2 2019, spending exceeded giving by $106K

Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25 Report

Church Planting

Kenny Stokes, Pastor for Church Planting

  • Andrew & Lida Sheard, along with Elliot & Olivia DeLorme, were formally approved to plant a church in Henniker, NH.
  • Tom & Emily Boyer were formally approved to plant Emmaus Church in White Bear Lake, MN.
  • Marshall & Becky Posey are new church planting residents on the North Campus, starting August 1, 2020.
  • Continue to pray for new residency applications. (Deadline: September 1, 2020)

Global Outreach

Brad Nelson, Pastor for Global Outreach Strategic Short-Term Ministry

  • Many global partners are displaced due to COVID-19. Many are searching for ways to minister when they cannot get out and about as usual. Many are struggling with finances. The Global Diaconate has been active to buy food for the poor and many other initiatives.
  • For the 25 x ’25 goal: We’ve reached one or two Unreached Unengaged People Groups (UUPGs). The goal has also prompted some global partners to think of additional ways to reach groups located near them.
  • Pastor Brad shared two video testimonies from global partners of how God is working in them. One from Global Partner Lynda Oatley, who serves children in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has been battling cancer and recently let Pastor Brad know that her chemotherapy has not been effective, and she has no more treatment options. She is choosing to remain with her Brazilian family with whatever time she has left. Lynda is thankful to be experiencing relatively little pain, and she is happy in the Lord and ready to be with him. She says, “If Jesus is taking me home, my job here must be done!” A second video was an update from Global Partners Ryan & Carrie and their family, serving in Africa, and temporarily on home assignment.

Notification of Intent to Bring a Motion to Amend the By-Laws

​The Council of Elders introduced in writing a recommendation that Bethlehem amend its by-laws by adding a new item “g. Electronic Meeting to By-Laws Article V Meetings, Section 2 for Business:

When approved by the Council of Elders, any member business meeting may be conducted as an electronic meeting by remote communication using ​guidelines established by the Council of Elders. All members whose remote participation in a meeting complies with such guidelines are considered to be “present” for all purposes under these By-Laws and Roberts Rules of Order. All members “present” by any of these means have the same rights as members. The Council of Elders is not required to offer remote communication for a meeting, and no member has a right to demand participation by remote communication for any meeting for which the Council of Elders has not approved it.

The motion will be brought to the congregation for discussion and a vote at the October 18, 2020, All-Church Quarterly Strategy Meeting.

New Business

In response to questions from the congregation, pastors shared the following updates:

  • Pastor Ming-Jinn Tong spoke about the formation of Support the Cities to respond to the needs following unrest and riots in Minneapolis and the continued efforts to meet practical needs in the Twin Cities.
  • Pastor Jason Meyer spoke about the Downtown Campus worship ministry and that currently Pastor Chuck Steddom is overseeing worship for both the Downtown Campus and the South Campus with assistance from several others—primarily with Elder René Gonzalez at the Downtown Campus.

Thanks to Church Clerk Bobby Ratliff for his assistance in preparing this update.