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Bethlehem Blogs

October 29, 2018

All-Church Quarterly Strategy Meeting (October 21, 2018)

Amanda Knoke

Director for Communications

Meeting Highlights ...

  • Devotional from Pastor Jason Meyer
  • Membership Report
  • Proposed Changes to Relational Commitments
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” Update


Revisiting the the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17–31), Pastor Jason called the assembly into the joy of stewarding God’s resources for the good of his people, especially in the work of hospitality.

Membership Report

At the end of the meeting, Bethlehem membership stood at 2,726.

Proposed Changes to Relational Commitments

Downtown Elder Brian Tabb presented Proposed Changes to Relational Commitments and shared the written motion with the assembly. (See context and next steps for more details.)

  • Motion: To amend and revise the “Commitment to Preserving Marriages” section of the Relational Commitments.

Treasurer’s Report

Adam Sexton delivered the Treasurer’s Report for Q3 2018 to the assembly.

One Fund giving was $2.52M

  • Flat when compared to Q3 2017 giving
  • Spending was $2.46M; up $44K when compared to Q3 2017 spending
  • $274K below Q3 2018 budget
  • Giving exceeded spending by $54K; in Q3 2017, giving exceeded spending by $95K

YTD 2018 Summary

Giving was $7.10M

  • Down $528K from 2017 when giving was $7.63M
  • Seven percent decrease from 2017 giving

Spending was $7.34M

  • Up $204K from 2017 when spending was $7.14M
  • $718K below YTD 2018 budget
  • Spending under the budget due to lower giving
  • Spending exceeded giving by $238K

Existing Debt

  • Existing debt was reduced by $120K in Q3 2018
  • YTD the balance has declined from $2.7M to $2.3M (This does not include new debt associated with our South Campus building project, which is estimated to be around $7M when all aspects of the project are completed in a few months.)


  • While Q1 and Q2 giving was down this year, Q3 was stronger and in line with last year
  • We are still behind on giving from Q1 and Q2, so expenses have continued to be managed below budget
  • Prayers
    • Thanksgiving to God for meeting our financial needs as a congregation.
    • Pray that God would open up our hearts as a congregation for continued generosity in our giving.

‘Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25’ Update

Pastor Kenny Stokes shared an update on church planting initiatives at Bethlehem.

  • Church planting resident Tyler Mykkanen was hired to replace Dave Zuleger at Sojourners Church in Albert Lea, MN.
  • Bethlehem hopes to approve four new church plants by the end of 2018:
    • Ekklesia, Eau Claire, WI (Dan Shambro, Bethlehem College & Seminary)
    • New Creation, Granville, NY (Joel Aubrey, Bethlehem College & Seminary)
    • Grace Upon Grace, Weston, FL (Michel Galeano, Bethlehem College & Seminary)
    • Little Earth, Minneapolis (Greg Mott)
  • Bethlehem hopes to approve Dieudonné & Dominique Tamfu’s church plant in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in 2019.
  • Bethlehem has engaged JD Hettema (Bethlehem College & Seminary) to plant a church in Eastvale, CA.
  • Pray for Glory of Christ Fellowship in Elk River, MN, as they look to buy a building.
  • Pray for TCT’s Pastors and Wives Retreat this coming week in San Diego.

Pastor Dave Zuleger shared an update on church life and ministry at the South Campus in the new building.

  • The South Campus is already making full use of the new building, both on Sunday mornings and throughout the week (e.g., Wednesday Connection).
  • Pray for favor with neighbors who are disappointed about the loss of a treeline to the parking lot.


Thanks to Church Clerk Benjamin Holvey for his assistance in preparing this update.