Minutes from 2017
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.