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Bethlehem Blogs

October 20, 2021

All-Church Quarterly Strategy Meeting (October 17, 2021)

Amanda Knoke

Director for Communications

Meeting Highlights

  • “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” Updates
  • Membership Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Updates From the Elder Council

‘Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25’ Updates

Global Outreach Report

Pastor Brad Nelson presented the Global Outreach report.

  • The Disaster Response Team sent nine people (from all three campuses) to Louisiana where Hurricane Ida came through and did a lot of damage. Pastor Brad shared photos from the trip.
  • This week Global Focus begins. Wednesday evening, October 20, will be the Kickoff at the Downtown, North, and South campuses and will highlight the ministries of many of our global partners around the world. A seminar on Saturday morning, October 23, will feature a 150-year retrospective of God’s grace to Bethlehem through missions, including the story of Ola & Minnie Hanson, who were sent out in 1890.
  • As the Global Outreach team is doing a preliminary review of the budget for 2022, either global partner support and/or global partners themselves may need to be trimmed. Please pray for the team as they decide what to do and how to meet the budget.
  • Pastor Brad shared a video update from a global partner couple who had to flee their country due to recent events.

Church Planting Report

Pastor Kenny Stokes presented the church planting report.

  • Pastor Kenny began by sharing from Acts 15:36,And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are,’” which gets at the idea of a church-planting network of relationships, that helps with checking in on how churches are doing.
  • The TCT network pastors and wives and retreat is this week in San Diego, with more than 100 people registered (largest pastors & wives retreat to date).
  • Pastor Kenny shared a number of updates on specific church plants.

150th Anniversary Update

Pastor Chuck Steddom gave the invitation to attend our 150th anniversary event on November 21 at Grace Eden Prairie. 

Membership Report

Pastor Ken Currie presented the membership report. At the end of the July 25 Quarterly Strategy Meeting, membership stood at 2,392. Since then, 59 members have been added. At the various campus-specific QSMs, 83 members were removed. Total members at the start of the October 17 QSM is 2,368.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Tim Brinkmann presented the Treasurer’s Report, including the following highlights.

Third Quarter 2021 Summary

Giving was $1.96M

  • Down $75K when compared to Q3 2020 giving

Spending was $2.37M

  • Up $44K when compared to Q3 2020 spending

Spending exceeded giving by $413K

  • In Q3 2020, spending exceeded giving by $294K

2021 Year-to-Date Summary

  • YTD Giving was $6.13M
  • YTD Spending was $7.06M
  • YTD Spending exceeded giving by $923K

Updates From the Elder Council

Elder Chair Kurt Elting-Ballard gave three updates from the elder council.

  • The council has worked hard on a lot of things this year. One topic has been what are our learnings from 2021. The elders plan to call a summit in early 2022 on leadership topics to help us grow and understand how to better shepherd our church.

    Kurt read a statement from the elder council: As part of our ongoing effort to review the events of this summer and to examine ourselves, the elders are planning to begin this process by convening an all-day summit, ideally in January 2022, to study and learn more about biblical authority and spiritual abuse. We plan to prepare for the next two months by examining the Bible, biblical scholarship, current cultural trends and patterns, and various articles and books to inform our understanding of this significant issue in our culture and church. We will invite an outside individual or individuals to consult with us to help us grow in how we understand and live out these ideas in our lives and church. We will share learnings and helpful resources with the congregation after this summit. 

  • Many of you know about Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25. This vision has four pillars: church planting, unengaged people groups, building the South Campus, and strengthening the core. As part of the “strengthening the core” pillar, the elders started looking at our structure two years ago. This includes looking at the three campuses and the auxiliary ministries (Bethlehem College & Seminary, CityJoy, etc.). In the middle of this review, the pandemic happened. About two weeks ago, the subcommittee shared a report with the broader elder group. There’s more to come on structure.

  • The council is mindful that the Downtown Campus still has an interim Pastor for Preaching & Vision, Jared Wass. Would you pray for us, specifically this coming week, as we consider this need together?

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