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February 2, 2022

Highlights From the All-Church Quarterly Strategy Meeting (January 30, 2022)

Amanda Knoke

Director for Communications

Meeting Highlights ...

  • “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” Updates
  • Membership Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Presentation and Vote on 2022 Operating Budget
  • Update on Restructure
  • Update on Elder Summit

‘Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25’ Updates

Global Outreach Report
Pastor Brad Nelson presented the Global Outreach report.

  • Reflections on the population of the world: Eight billion people in the world today, and from the Joshua Project, there are 3.3 billion people who haven’t heard the gospel. This is a staggering statistic, so we are praying Matthew 9:37–38.
  • Global Partners: We have a total of 420 individuals (adults and children) who are global partners. There are a total of 113 Global Partner Units (families and individuals).
  • ​​Nurture Program (Bethlehem’s missions preparation/sending program): Currently 56 individuals and couples are participating.
  • Global Diaconate: In 2021 we sent out $94,400 to 11 different countries.
  • We also have a business as mission (BAM) loan fund, which allows for creative ways to reach people using a business.
  • For the 25 x ’25 goal, we currently have two unengaged people groups that we have been able to engage. Engaging 25 groups is a hard goal, but we know that 47 global partners have been encouraged to think about additional groups that can be reached in their area.
  • We heard a special report from Global Partner in Residence, Ryan.

Church Planting Report
Pastor Kenny Stokes presented the church planting report.

  • This January, 12 seminary students and three guests completed the Bethlehem College & Seminary Church Planting & Revitalization class. 
  • Table Rock Church in Boise, Idaho, is continuing to meet with mediators and counselors.
  • The congregation at Glory of Christ Church in Elk River (2007) has voted to merge with a church in Monticello which will give them a new beginning and revitalize their congregation.
  • The Cameroon church plant is experiencing growth—praise God for baptisms, much diversity in the congregation, and a Sunday school class averaging 100 people.
  • Our church planting resident, Haddon Anderson, is working through his residency at the South Campus this year. Bethlehem seminarian Caleb Figgers is planning to join him in planting the church after he graduates.
  • Pastor Kenny shared a video update from James Lechler at Center City Church in San Diego. The Lechlers found a home in their area of ministry. The church has a building to worship in and Center City ministers to Afghan refugees, students, and neighbors—and through Little League participation.

Membership Report

Pastor Ken Currie presented the membership report. At the end of the December 12, 2021, Annual Business Meeting, the membership stood at 2,305. Since then, 16 members have been added and 11 members have been removed. Total members at the start of the January Quarterly Strategy Meeting is 2,310.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Tim Brinkmann presented the Treasurer’s Report.

Fourth Quarter 2021 Summary

  • Giving was $3.1M
  • Spending was $2.4M
  • Giving exceeded spending by $695K

2021 Full Year Summary

YTD Giving was $9.24M

  • Down $98K when compared to 2020
  • $965K below 2021 budgeted giving of $10.2M

YTD Spending was $9.46M

  • Down $489K when compared to 2020 (normalized, no PPP)
  • $738K below 2021 budgeted spending of $10.2M

YTD Spending exceeded Giving by $228K

  • In 2020, YTD spending exceeded giving by $619K


Bethlehem Mortgage for North Campus

  • $903K Principal balance as of 12/31/21
  • Reduced by $473K YTD
  • $169K of this reduction was from special designated gifts towards reducing our mortgage balances.

Bethlehem Mortgage for South Campus

  • $6.45M principal balance as of 12/31/21
  • Reduced by $185K YTD

Presentation and Vote on 2022 Operating Budget

Pastor Jon Grano presented the proposed 2022 budget. The 2022 “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” operating budget is $9,450,000. The motion to adopt the budget was approved.

Update on Restructure/Transition 

Pastor Ken Currie gave an elder update on a move toward three distinct churches.

  • In October, the elders announced to the church that after prayer, reflection, and discussion, the elders believe that the Holy Spirit is leading us to transition our three campuses to three churches.
  • The restructure initiative is not set in stone at this time, but we do want to communicate the direction in which we are moving. We believe Bethlehem would eventually look like three distinct churches. Recently the elders commissioned a transition team (sub-committee) to develop a plan and bring this back to the elders with the hope of bringing the matter to the congregation. This team includes the Pastor for Preaching & Vision from each campus (Kenny Stokes, Steven Lee, Dave Zuleger); myself (Ken Currie, Pastor for Strategic Implementation); Jon Grano, Pastor for Operations; and Joby Morgan, Director of Human Resources. 
  • In these initial stages, we identified areas of focus. Our goal is to involve the congregation through a survey and Q&A events at various times/campuses. We anticipate engaging specific groups in our congregation including the all-church staff and the all-church ministries (Church Planting, Global Outreach, Campus Outreach, City Joy, Bethlehem College & Seminary).
  • We also are looking for input from like-minded churches that have walked this path before.
  • Timetable: My goal as the chair of the Transition team is to have a plan drafted in the first half of 2022. After that, there is nothing constraining the timetable for next steps.
  • I want to encourage the members of the church to participate in these ways: (1) to seek the Lord on behalf of his people, (2) to share questions and concerns with your elders or by contacting one of the members of the committee.

Update on Elder Summit

Pastor Kenny Stokes gave an update on the All-Elder Summit held on January 22 with our guest, Jonathan Leeman, and thanked the congregation for praying for the summit which focused on the topic of biblical church leadership. 

Pastor Kenny shared several reflections and takeaways from the summit, including …

  • Various responses as the elders considered the question, “What do you wish would have been done differently?” and shared their thoughts at the summit.
  • A desire for Bethlehem to increasingly be marked by what author Paul Tripp calls a healthy gospel-shaped leadership culture marked by candor. Candor defined by “a spiritually healthy leadership community is characterized by the humility of approachability and the courage of loving honesty.”
  • A recognition that we will not have a spiritually healthy leadership or church community if only “the courage of loving honesty” is present and “the humility of approachability” is not. And likewise, if we are humbly approachable, but others do not have the courage of loving honesty to speak, we will be unhealthy. Both qualities are needed at the same time to be healthy in our leadership, church, and even in our marriages.

In closing, Pastor Kenny asked for continued prayer and read 1 Peter 5:5–11:

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

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