Minutes from 2017
Elder Meeting Minutes: September 19, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Joe Perry, Nate Rector, Bill Rieth, Allie Snyder
Not Present: Andrea Hounshell
Congregation Care/Concerns and Prayer
The meeting opened at 6:35 pm with prayer. The elders shared several care concerns at Grace and how they are being met.
Nate said that a flyer will be distributed at the October 1 service inviting the congregation to join service teams. Among the service teams will be a congregational care team that Bill will coordinate.
The team approved Nate’s summary of the Grace strategy discussed and approved at the elder retreat August 24-26.
The team confirmed the new membership policy developed during the recent elder retreat.
Motion: Bill made a motion, seconded by Allie, that the elders seek member approval of a change in the bylaws to conform to a new membership policy confirmed by the elders. The motion was approved.
The new policy is summarized as follows:
Grace will transition from the term “member” in favor of the term “partner.” This is being done primarily to denote a sense of ownership not only of the institution of the church, but also the mission of that institution. We will invite people to partner with us in the work God is already doing in and through Grace.
Those seeking to be Grace partners must meet the following requirements:
- They must have completed the equivalent of a new-member class.
- They must be committed to attending the weekly service.
- They must be committed to be connected through either a serve team or a small group.
- They must have publicly professed a faith in Jesus Christ.
The team discussed changing the wording of sections of Article III of the church bylaws, pertaining to members’ meetings, to allow for online/electronic voting. Nate will email suggested rewording to the elders for approval so that the bylaw changes can be submitted for member vote.
On September 20, Nate emailed the proposed changes in Article III for elder review.
Motion: On September 21, Nate made a motion, seconded by Bill, to approve the document reviewed by the elders to revise the bylaws to allow for electronic voting. The motion was approved. The proposed bylaw changes will now be submitted to the members for approval.
The team assessed the Grace Serves event held on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Everyone agreed it was a success and should be repeated at some point in the future.
Executive Personnel Committee
The elders discussed the usefulness, goals and structure of the Executive Personnel Committee.
Motion: Holly made a motion, seconded by Bill, to change the Executive Personnel Committee to include only the moderator of the elder board (at this time Bert) and the elder liaison to the Personnel Committee (at this time Joe). The motion was approved.
Personnel Committee Nominees
The Nominating Committee submitted to the elders three nominees for openings on the Personnel Committee: Suzanne Ward, Steve Player and Mikey Resar.
Motion: Bill made a motion, seconded by Joe, to approve the three nominees. The motion passed.
Review of August 1 Minutes
Motion: Nate made a motion, seconded by Bill, to approve the August 1 minutes. The motion was approved.
The meeting closed with prayer at about 9:10pm.
The next elder meeting will be on October 3 at 6:30 pm, at Bill’s house.
Elder Meeting Minutes: August 1, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Joe Perry, Nate Rector, Bill Rieth, Allie Snyder
The meeting opened at 6:40pm with the sharing of prayer concerns. Bert prayed over the concerns.
Elder assignments for the next year will be as follows:
- Allie: small-group relationships/discipleship
- Andrea: outreach
- Holly: communication from the elders
- Jack: liaison to Finance Committee (Kay Gamble is staff liaison)
- Joe: liaison to Personnel Committee (Nate is staff liaison)
- Bert: Executive Personnel Committee
- Bill: liaison to Nominating Committee (Nate is staff liaison)
The Finance Committee will begin meeting on an as-needed basis rather than monthly.
Personnel Committee Recommendation
We currently have no candidates for either the student ministry director or worship/production director position. The elders affirmed a recommendation from the Personnel Committee to increase the salary range for worship/production director and change the student director position from part-time to full-time.
Motion: Nate moved to authorize the Personnel Committee to hire a search firm 60 days from today if we still have not found a worship director. Joe seconded, and the motion passed.
Meanwhile, the staff has looked into an interim worship leader.
The elders reviewed recommended changes to the personnel manual drafted by the Personnel Committee.
Motion: Nate moved to finalize revisions to the personnel manual recommended by the Personnel Committee, with a few changes noted by the elders. Andrea seconded. The motion passed.
Discussion of Simple Church
Our goal is to make disciple-making disciples. How do we achieve that goal across all ministries? What process will we follow?
When we read about the possibilities of a simple church model, what makes us excited about Grace’s potential? How do we explain and implement our mission statement to the congregation: guiding people to love Jesus, love their neighbor and live faithfully?
In order to have a simple church, we might need to eliminate some of our current programs.
We will discuss all of these issues and questions at our upcoming elder retreat.
What does Grace do well? We’ve talked about where we have faltered, but what do we do well?
- Grace is not a judgmental church. We accept people wherever they are coming from, no matter their background.
- We’re good with younger people.
- We have good people who care deeply for others within the church. We have a true sense of community. While we are small, we should leverage that community.
Motion: Bill moved to approve the July 11 meeting minutes; Andrea seconded. The minutes were approved.
The next meeting will be the elder retreat August 24-26.
Elder Meeting Minutes: July 11, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Joe Perry, Nate Rector, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Allie Snyder
The meeting opened at 6:40pm with the sharing of congregant prayer concerns. Bert prayed over the concerns and included special prayers for new elders Joe and Allie.
The planned retreat will include team-building and camaraderie in addition to business during the day. It is tentatively scheduled for August 24, 25 and 26. Holly will work on finding an offsite location.
Giving to operations averaged $14,600 in May and $13,300 in June. The credit card balance is $28,000, down from $110,000!
Labor Day Weekend Day of Service
The church will spend Sunday, September 3 serving the community. We will have a short service that will include a few songs and collection of the offering, then everyone will spread out into the community surrounding the church. Communion will be postponed to September 10.
New Member Class
Question: How do we define who is a member? The church bylaws state that those wishing to join the church must: attend our worship service at least 10 times; complete a new member class; profess their faith; have been baptized or be willing to be baptized; and be received by the elders. To change these criteria and the definition of membership at Grace would require majority approval by church members. We will likely revisit this issue as we grow.
The Personnel Committee has interviewed several strong candidates for the worship and production director position. There are currently no candidates for the student pastor position.
With Allie and Joe now elders, they no longer serve on the Personnel Committee, which has placed the committee below its required threshold of five members.
Motion: Nate moved to make Andrea a voting member of the Personnel Committee until the committee has at least five members; Bill seconded. The motion was approved.
Motion: Bill moved to approve the meeting minutes from June 20 and July 9; Jack seconded. The motion was approved.
This was Clark’s last meeting. The elders thanked Clark for his outstanding service to Grace; he will be missed.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, August 1 at Bert’s house.
Minutes from Grace Community Church Annual Meeting: July 9, 2017
Bert Banks, moderator of the Board of Elders, opened the meeting at 11:04am, stating that the purpose of the meeting was to conduct a vote of the members to elect two candidates to serve on the Board of Elders. Bert called the meeting to order by declaring a quorum of the members present.
Bert said that the two elder nominees, Allie Snyder and Joe Perry, had been approved by the Board of Elders for submission to the members. The nominees were presented to the elders by the Nominating Committee, whose members are: G Walker, chair; Jeff Lemmons, Kim Moss, Susan Roberson, Melodye Sutherland, Tom Sartorius, Wes Ward and Bill Reith (non-voting elder liaison).
Bert reported that in accordance with church bylaws, voting would be by a show of hands and that members would vote for each nominee separately, voting either “yes” or “no” as they feel led.
Motion: Kay Gamble made a motion to vote on the candidates; Brad Gwinn seconded.
Allie Snyder was approved by a majority vote.
Joe Perry was then also approved by a majority vote.
Bert requested that those members who might have abstained from voting contact the elders for further discussion.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:09am.
Elder Meeting Minutes: June 20, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Nate Rector, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart
Absent: Katie Henry Murad (called in at beginning of meeting)
The meeting opened at 6:40pm with the sharing of congregant prayer concerns.
Katie discussed with the elders via FaceTime her request to announce her departure from Grace at the end of the service this Sunday, before the planned business meeting.
Wes announced that it is time for him to step away from the elder board. While he is very excited for and fully supports Grace, he needs a break. Wes suggested that we not fill the elder liaison position on the Finance Committee, but instead have the Finance chair send to the board each month a summary of the main points from the committee meetings. This was Wes’s final elder meeting.
Creative Giving Proposal
Andrea, who is a licensed real estate broker, would like to donate to Grace the commissions she receives from any Grace congregant who uses her to buy or sell a home, or who refers a friend or relative. While clearly Andrea’s intent is to fully support Grace, we need to be careful in how Andrea’s offer is handled and communicated, because it could open a can of worms as far as businesses promoting their services within Grace. It was decided that word-of-mouth communication will be best. The idea of a “GraceWorks” online forum stemmed from the discussion and will be explored further, as all thought it is a good idea.
Elder Selection Process
The Nominating Committee has two elder candidates: Allie Snyder and Joe Perry. The process is moving along very well, and the committee will have met with both candidates by the end of the week, after which, Bill said, he expects both names to be brought to the board for a vote. Once the elders have voted, the congregation will vote on the candidates at the church’s annual meeting, which will be scheduled as soon as possible.
June 25 Business Meeting
Nate had heard from a few people that they had tapered back on their giving because of Grace’s financial situation. Thus, the goal of the business meeting is to show the progress made since April 1 and how we are working smarter, being fiscally conservative and headed in the right direction. Andy Page, Finance Committee chair, will also speak. In addition, Nate will discuss staff changes, including new positions he is working with the Personnel Committee to hire.
Changes in Youth Mission Trips/Camps
Clark discussed his ideas for restructuring student mission trips and camps. This summer, 102 people (65 students) are going on the four trips, and the church is paying an estimated 10 percent of every student’s trip – we cannot continue to do this. Clark would recommend (if Nate and whoever is hired to run the student ministry agree) scaling back to one middle school camp and one high school mission trip. Trips must be scheduled so they do not conflict with other Grace activities such as VBS, so that the older kids can be present for the younger kids.
Vision for Small Groups
Nate went over an abbreviated version of his plan and vision for Grace’s small-groups program:
- Move to a semester system, concurrent with the traditional-calendar school year. Sign-ups will be in August, groups will begin meeting in September, will take a break in December, will start back in January, and will end for the year in early May (summer breaks are needed to avoid leader burnout). The semester system provides an easy on-ramp for new people.
- The church will provide default material based on the weekly sermon, but will not dictate that it be used.
- Every leader will have an apprentice in his/her group who is training to lead future groups.
- Groups that have been around for a while will be encouraged to understand that this new small-group philosophy has the potential to build the Kingdom along with strengthening individual relationships with Christ. Larger groups with several strong potential leaders should be broken up to create three or four new groups.
- There will be two types of groups: community and equipping. The current large-group Bible studies fit the equipping group model, while most current small groups would be considered community groups.
If we as an elder board believe that Sunday morning attendance is a priority, how do we translate that priority to the congregation? Everyone agreed that those in leadership positions – elders, staff, committee members, small-group leaders – should prioritize their own church attendance.
Nate asked for feedback on the service. The importance of the acoustics, hosts and other service elements were discussed. We also need to find creative ways for elders to have more visibility and involvement on Sunday mornings.
Motion: Nate made a motion to approve the minutes from the May 18 meeting; Wes seconded. The motion was approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 10pm. The next meeting will be Tuesday, July 11 at Holly’s house.
ADDENDUM: On June 25 and 26, the elders discussed and voted on the following motion via email:
Motion: Bill made a motion to approve the Nominating Committee’s recommendation of Joe Perry and Allie Snyder as nominees for elder at Grace Community Church, to be submitted to church members for a final vote; Holly seconded. The motion was approved. The member vote will be on July 9. The meeting notice will be emailed to the congregation by June 28.
Elder Meeting Minutes: May 18, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Nate Rector, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart
Absent: Wes Lowder, Katie Henry Murad
The meeting started at 6:40pm with the sharing of congregant prayer concerns.
Finance Discussion – guest Andy Page, Finance Committee chair
We have already received a little more than $10,000 in the first week of the congregational One Check campaign.
North State Bank has agreed to provide an additional line of credit of up to $40,000 for the rest of this year. Payments will be interest only and payable monthly through the rest of the year. The balance must be paid off by January 2018. Andy came up with a schedule. The bank has also agreed to allow us to pay interest only on the original $150,000 line of credit, and then amortize principal and interest payments over a five-year period beginning in January 2018. Andy said he would like for us to amortize over three years. He thinks we have a good chance of paying off the debt within the next 18 months.
The Finance Committee would like to start posting giving on a weekly basis in the bulletin.
Andy also said that the monthly financial summaries the elders and staff currently receive do not reflect cash flow. We need a cash flow statement, which is different from an income statement and reflects what is in the bank. Andy is working with staff members Kay Gamble and Becky Crenshaw to craft new statements.
Many changes have been made in Grace Hall and the atrium, and more changes are coming. This summer, Greg Taylor will build a wider stage and a soundboard booth.
The church vans have become unreliable for long-distance trips and are no longer used for local trips.
Motion: Andrea made a motion to allow Nate to designate someone on staff to dispose of the church vans in the best way possible. The first option will be to determine if they can be sold; the second option will be to donate them. Bill seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Clark requested that if we can make any money from selling the vans, he would have access to those funds, since he had been planning to use the vans for summer trips.
Three nominations have been received so far.
Motion: Jack made a motion to approve the minutes from the May 2 meeting; Bill seconded. The motion was approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:24pm. The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 20 at Andrea’s house.
Elder Meeting Minutes: May 2, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Katie Henry Murad (via FaceTime), Wes Lowder (via FaceTime), Nate Rector, Bill Rieth
Absent: Clark Rinehart
Prayer, Book Discussion, Facility Issues
The meeting opened at 6:30pm with prayer led by Nate.
The elders then discussed Chapters 1 and 2 of Sticky Teams, which covered the importance of elder board unity, conflict and term lengths.
There are some issues with the soundboard, but these are likely temporary. Also, some people do not like to have all the lights turned off during songs. Lights from the other building have been installed on each side of Grace Hall, which should help.
Elder/Staff Objectives and Stages of Growth for Grace
Nate said he sees growth happening in three stages:
Stage 1: The first goal, now through the summer, is to stabilize and ensure that Sunday morning looks sharp. Word of mouth is our outreach right now, and we must have consistent follow-up. We need to solidify relationships among elders and staff, revisit policies and the staff handbook, and discuss committees’ roles and duties.
Stage 2: Starting in the fall, we’ll focus on solidifying the youth and children’s ministries and growing the small-group ministry, beginning with trainings in August, followed by launches after Labor Day.
Stage 3: Starting next spring, we’ll revisit stages 1 and 2 and begin focusing on outreach events.
Holly and Jack have 1 ½ years remaining in their terms, until the end of 2018. To ease the upcoming transition, the board members reaffirmed their decision to ask the Nominating Committee to begin soliciting elder nominations so that new elders can begin as early as August 1.
Bill, the elder liaison for the Nominating Committee, reviewed the qualifications for elders that are listed in the elder candidate information form, which are in line with Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
Bill and Nate both had already talked with G Walker, chair of Nominating. The plan is to announce on May 7 and May 14 that we are taking nominations. The application process will follow – G asked Nate to be part of the interview process. The deadline for application submissions will be the end of the first week in June. Interviews will be conducted in June and early July, with a goal of the congregational vote by the end of July.
Transitioning Brian’s Tasks
Kay Gamble has offered to serve as volunteer business manager for the rest of the year. She would like to go into nonprofit work and this would be a good training ground for her. This is excellent news, as she will fill a large part of the gap left by Brian’s departure. Kay will be part of the staff during this period. At the end of the year, she will either ask for a paid staff position or we will give her a recommendation. She will come on-board next week (May 8).
We have a verbal agreement with World Overcomers to pay them $36,000 in 2017 to share space at 6561 Meridien Drive. As of today, we have $17,000 remaining for the year, about $2,000 per month. Nate has proposed going to the church and asking if they will forgive any further debt. The elders appreciated Nate’s willingness to take that step and agreed that we should now vacate the building entirely.
The elders will meet once in June (on the 20th), once in July (on the 11th), and starting in August, twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays. Possibly the second meeting in August will be an offsite retreat. The elders also decided to begin meeting in each other’s homes.
Motion: Bill made a motion to approve the minutes from April 4; Holly seconded. The motion was approved.
Nate has asked Katie to preach Memorial Day weekend; Clark is tentatively scheduled to preach on July 9.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:17pm. The next elder meeting will be Tuesday, May 16 at Bert Banks’ house.
Elder Meeting Minutes: April 4, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder (via Skype), Katie Henry Murad, Nate Rector, Clark Rinehart, Brian Worley
Absent: Bill Reith
Devotion and Prayer
The meeting opened at 6:35 pm with a devotion and prayer led by Nate.
Nate then gave an overview of his plan for the next couple of weeks as he knows it. He has meetings set up with staff and is focused on building relationships. He is ready to hit the ground running.
Staff/Elder Initiatives for 2017
Brian reviewed the 2017 initiatives that the staff and elders formulated in February:
- Senior Pastor entry and support (60-day transition)
- Volunteer and leadership development
- Small-group growth
- Outreach focus
He explained to Nate that we had put these on a temporary hold until Nate was on board to make sure he agreed with them. Nate agrees that, for now, these look like good objectives to move forward with.
2017 Budget Discussion
Brian took the team through the recommended numbers for 2017. Bert said that the Personnel Committee is aware that their recommendation for staff expenses is not supported by current giving levels; however, they believe it is important to retain all staff initially to support Nate and then reassess where the church stands a few months from now.
Brian said that a $676,000 income projection is unrealistic at the present giving rate. He thinks the $610,000 that the Finance team has recommended is a better number.
Holly said that she is optimistic that attendance will improve and revenue will increase throughout the year. As such, she would recommend a higher revenue number than $610,000.
Motion: Wes made a motion to accept the Finance Committee’s recommendation of $610,000 in total revenue for 2017; Brian seconded. The motion was approved.
As a result of this vote, the Personnel Committee will need to cut $66,000 from their recommended staffing budget of $383,500.
The board will vote on the total budget once we receive a revised recommendation from Personnel.
Holly said that the Mission Ministry has planned for the year and is not expecting to receive any operating income this year.
Moderator’s Report and Close:
The team agreed that there needs to be a transition plan for Brian’s responsibilities ASAP. Bert is going to set up a meeting with Nate, Brian and Executive Personnel to formulate a plan to divide up Brian’s responsibilities.
Motion: Holly made a motion to approve the March 7 meeting minutes; Brian seconded. The motion was approved.
The elders will have a leadership meeting with the staff, committee members, and spouses on Tuesday, April 25 from 6pm to 8:30pm.
Brian spent a few minutes sharing words of encouragement to the elders. This was Brian’s last elder meeting at Grace. He has served us well and will be greatly missed.
The meeting closed with prayer at 9:50pm; the next regular elder meeting will be on Tuesday, May 7.
ADDENDUM: On April 13, the elders voted via email on a final budget for 2017.
Motion: Jack made a motion to approve an operating budget of $623,307; Bert seconded. The motion was approved.
Elder Meeting Minutes: March 7, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Katie Henry Murad, Bill Rieth, Brian Worley
Absent: Clark Rinehart, Wes Lowder
Sharing and Prayer
The meeting opened at 6:45 pm with prayer. Katie and Bill shared several care concerns at Grace and how they are being met.
Senior Pastor Entry and Support (60-day transition)
The elders discussed our three 2017 objectives (supporting volunteers, small-group initiative and outreach) and how we should work on them before and after our new senior pastor, Nate Rector, arrives. Given that Nate will be arriving very soon (April 3), we decided to put them on hold, but share them with Nate now, and let him speak into them when he arrives.
Nate will be preaching on April 9, 16 and 23, and would like our Easter service to be an intentional outreach and church revitalization event. We will have a fellowship event on April 9 to welcome Nate.
The team discussed some issues like upfit of the new building, our old building and agreement with World Overcomers, our bank relationship (debt and refinancing), cash flow, and what to do with the baby grand piano. The team decided to try to find a congregation member to take care of the piano until we have room for it, and if we can’t find someone, to sell the piano.
Closing the 2016 Financials
Brian led a discussion on the 2016 financial reports. A requested update to documents was made after the meeting and a motion to approve them was made over email.
Motion: Brian made a motion by email on March 16 to approve the 2016 financial documents that Brian and Becky have generated; Bert seconded the motion. The motion was approved via email.
Brian led a discussion on the 2017 budget. The finance team recommends a total budget of $628,000 ($335,000 staff + $253,000 operations + $40,000 ministry) plus the amount the elders decide to give to missions out of the general fund (over and above the amount the mission team chooses to spend from their designated account). The elders are currently thinking about a mission budget item between $6,000 and $10,000.
The finance team also asked the elders to consider an estimate of giving for 2017 of $50,000 a month plus an additional $75,000 in December for a total of about $675,000. We are not at that rate currently, but we hope to be. Some of the more interesting items under debate are staffing and our agreement with World Overcomers for our old building.
The finance team wrote a letter to the congregation regarding stewardship and our financial needs. Holly will tweak the letter a bit and send it out to the congregation. Andy Page and Harris will represent the finance team and elders and give brief talks to the congregation on our financial situation on March 6 and March 12.
Personnel team chair Chris Latta has requested that fellow personnel team member Cindy Hays be his co-chair.
Motion: Bert made a motion to approve Chris’s request, for Cindy to co-chair the Personnel Committee with Chris for the duration of 2017 or until one of them resigns, at which time it will revert to a single chair. Andrea seconded the motion and it was approved.
Motion: Jack made a motion to approve the February 7 minutes. Bill seconded the motion and it was approved.
The elders will have a leadership meeting along with the staff, all committee members, and the spouses of all three teams on March 14 from 6pm-8:30pm. The primary topic is to be our financial challenge.
The meeting closed with prayer. The next elder meeting will be April 4 at 6:30 pm.
Special Elder Meeting Minutes: February 28, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth
A special elder meeting was convened at 6:30pm at the Banks residence for the purpose of discussing and deciding on the choice for the new Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church.
Bert opened the meeting with prayer asking God to guide us in every thought and consideration and to reveal His choice to each of us in this most important decision in the life of Grace IChurch.
Holly and Andrea thoroughly presented the results of the recommendation from the Pastor Search Committee. There was extensive discussion of the process, detailed review of all comments and results, and the recommendation was accepted. Next, Andrea presented the input received from each staff member regarding their interviews and time spent with each of the candidates. Again, there was extensive discussion and thoughtful consideration given to all input. Finally, there was discussion by each elder about each of the final candidates and a call for motion was made.
Motion: Wes made a motion to extend an offer to Nate Rector, with salary and benefits to be recommended by Finance and Personnel, and pending positive results from reference and background checks. Holly seconded the motion and it was approved.
Bert called Nate on the speaker phone, and he was informed of the results and congratulated.
We closed in prayer thanking God, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.
Elder Meeting Minutes: February 7, 2017
Present: Bert Banks, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Katie Henry Murad, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart
Absent: Holly Cook
Sharing: The meeting opened at 6:30pm with sharing and prayer for specific care concerns.
Elder and Elder Team Objectives and Key Initiatives
Brian led the discussion about various objectives and key initiatives that the elders agreed we want to accomplish for Grace in 2017, based on a list created in our previous meeting.
- Senior pastor entry and support. A team will be formed to decide what can be done and how it would be accomplished to support the transition for the new senior pastor. Bert, Andrea and Holly will make up this team.
- Volunteer and/or leadership initiative. We agreed that in the near term, and certainly this year, Grace will be much more dependent on volunteers to accomplish the work of the church, since finances are greatly constrained. This initiative addressed two types of volunteers: those who are staff-directed, and leadership volunteers who would be elder- and pastor-directed. Areas discussed were how we can better recruit, care, train and equip volunteers to serve our church effectively. All staff, pastors and elders will make up this team.
- Small-group initiative. Clark is leading this initiative and has established a goal to connect 60 people to small groups by year end. This will include equipping and empowering eight new small-group leaders to launch additional new groups in 2018. Bill will work with Clark on this initiative
- Outreach Initiative. There was significant discussion of how to approach this initiative and it was decided that the team would need to meet and develop a strategy. Jack, Katie and Wes will make up this team with a possible additional volunteer from the congregation.
Brian provided an update on efforts underway with Jim Adams and Andy Page to secure a consolidation loan for the debt on our credit card and line of credit. He also delivered an update on future upfit costs for the new facility. Wes reported that the Finance Committee has begun work on the 2017 budget and hopes to complete it by the end of February.
The next elder meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7.
The meeting closed in prayer and was adjourned at 9:30pm.
Elder Meeting Minutes: January 31, 2017
Present: Elders – Bert Banks, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Brian Worley
Staff – Becky Crenshaw, Doug Funk, Katie Henry Murad, Clark Rinehart, Julie Sauls, Erin Winston
Absent: Holly Cook
Sharing: The meeting opened at 6pm with sharing and prayer for specific care concerns.
Clark led a discussion of Conversation 7 from the book Lasting Impact. The discussion covered some of the key areas of change we would like to see at Grace. These included a greater emphasis on outreach, equipping lay volunteers for ministry, and an intentional drive to increase participation in small groups.
Finances and Facility
Brian announced that Andy Page has been nominated to chair the Finance Committee.
Motion: Bill moved to approve Andy as chair of the Finance Committee. Wes seconded and the motion was approved.
Brian reported that the lease for the Meridien property was completed and signed by all parties, and that Grace is no longer obligated to BPG.
Brian also reported that the lease for Suite 111 at the new location has been signed and the first month’s rent has been paid. Minor upfit is planned that includes removal of one partition in the rear room with restoration of the ceiling and floor at a cost less than $3,000.
Motion: Jack moved to approve upfit expenses for Suite 111. Wes seconded and the motion was approved.
Bert reported and all agreed that elder assignments and liaison responsibilities for 2017 will remain unchanged.
Motion: Brian moved to approve the minutes for January 10, 2017. Andrea seconded and the minutes were approved.
The pastors were dismissed, and Andrea gave an update on the Senior Pastor search process.
The meeting was adjourned at about 9:30pm.
Elder Meeting Minutes: January 10, 2017
Present: Elders – Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Brian Worley
Staff – Becky Crenshaw, Katie Henry Murad, Kristi Moore, Clark Rinehart, Julie Sauls, Erin Winston
Sharing: The meeting opened at 6pm with a meal and sharing of care concerns.
Jim Adams from the facilities team gave everyone an update on negotiations with BPG to finalize our sublease of 6561 Meridien Drive to World Overcomers Church (WOCC), with Grace sharing the space from January until June 2017 and paying about one-third of the rent.
Jim informed us that the security deposit will inure to the benefit of WOCC. He is asking for Grace to be able to deduct the security deposit over six months by reducing the amount of rent we owe them. It is possible, however, that ultimately we will lose the security deposit.
Motion: Bill made a motion to give Jim Adams the authority to negotiate the lease agreement stating WOCC as the assignee and Grace as the assignor/co-guarantor, with BPG continuing as the landlord. Ken Taylor, the church’s president, will sign the final agreement. Wes seconded the motion and it was approved.
Estimated income for 2016 is $842,000, with expenses estimated at $1,030,000; net loss is about $188,000. Debt at the end of 2016 was about $226,080: $131,500 has been withdrawn and expensed from the credit line and credit card debt is about $94,580. Cash flow was $30,000 on January 1, 2017; as of January 10, it was $17,400.
Brian reminded the group that the church has faced serious debt before, in 2008, when we owed $235,000. The Impact funding campaign enabled us to pay back the debt. This time, we likely will not be able to start paying back the debt until June, once we are no longer obligated to share the Meridien Drive space with WOCC. Brian has discussed with Ken Taylor, who coordinated Impact, the possibility of having another congregation-wide funding campaign.
Brian gave everyone an update on the agreement with WOCC to share space at Meridien. We will have the office space and use of rooms 121, 122 and 123 until June, and can store equipment in the youth room until the end of the year.
Decisions for first quarter of 2017
- Need to establish 2017 initiatives
- 2017 budget, including staffing
- Lease decisions with WOCC and BPG
- Elementary children’s ministry space for Sunday mornings – there is a critical need for additional space. Scott Hurst is working with Brian to find space in the new building as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
- New senior pastor and staffing, including middle school ministry position.
Motion: Brian made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 13 elder meeting; Andrea seconded and the motion was approved.
The meeting was adjourned at about 9:30pm.
NOTE: On January 15, the elders considered the following motion via email:
Motion: Jack made a motion to authorize Scott Hurst, Grace’s broker, to proceed with pursuing a lease for Suite 110 at 7041 Old Wake Forest Road, measuring 2000 square feet at a cost of $32,000 per year, plus upfit cost of $6,000. Holly seconded, and the motion was approved.