Notes from the Vision Dinner
We made it! 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for all of us, but God hasn’t given up on us yet, and we haven’t given up on our commitment to pursue his calling on our lives in this county!
Here are some of the things we talked about at the Vision Dinner this year.
First, we want you to know how we have adjusted the budget to reflect our new financial realities heading into 2021. As you can tell from the attached budget document, we are severely limiting all expenses. Staff payments have been slashed, and most ministry expenses have been put on hold, but our finances are strong enough to cover our building expenses, and our giving has been strong enough to significantly increase our ability to bless other ministries!
As a church, we are committed to tithing, but our church network leaders have encouraged us to divide that tithe up in various ways, so this year, we will be dividing it like so:
- 1% goes to Converge Worldwide (our global network of churches)
- 3% goes to Converge MidAmerica (our regional network)
- 3% goes to Local Ministry Partnerships (Matrix, GLGA, etc.)
- 3% goes to Non-local Ministry Partnerships (missionaries, etc.)
Here’s the full budget for you to download:
Since 2011, we have had one set of bylaws without making any changes to them, but in the past few years, it’s become clear to the elders that one aspect of our bylaws is too restrictive and doesn’t fully represent who we are as a church. It’s one line on baptism.
Our “Biblical Convictions” statement says that we perform baptism by immersion in our fellowship, but we don’t label our method a “Core Belief,” because we recognize the diversity of church traditions on the matter and our affinity with Christians in those traditions. However, under Qualifications for Membership, we specify that baptism by immersion is required for membership. In other words, our bylaws indicate that we can accept a person as a true Christian brother or sister who hasn’t been baptized by immersion just so long as they don’t try to join our church, but to be a member, they must be more than a brother or sister, they must also be baptized by our method.
The elders feel this qualification is overly restrictive even though we have not changed our “convictions” on the matter.
As a result, we propose a minor change to the phrasing of the qualification to say this (italics indicate the proposed addition):
Baptism by immersion as a public testimony of salvation or other evidence of faith as determined by the Elders.
You can read the official proposal at the following link:
We are inviting all members to submit feedback digitally (email@example.com) or by phone to Pastor Jeff Mikels (765-404-0807) or Joe Hill (765-543-4265).
We will hold an official meeting (by Zoom) on March 9, 2021 @ 7pm to have a few minutes of in-person feedback before we open the electronic ballots for voting.
Re-Launching Core Groups
Joe Hill shared his heart and the details regarding re-launching our Core Groups, and we also announced the start of a new ladies Bible study soon.
I (Jeff) am more committed to our core values than ever. My greatest sadness from 2020 is that these values slipped too often from the center of my life and from the center of the life of the church. But it’s time to re-claim them, re-commit to them, and to let them re-invigorate us as individuals and as a church.