5/22/20 State of the Church Update: A Message from Pastor Mike
In the above video, we will share the details of our ministry realignment. We realize that in an attention economy, it is hard to present information in a lengthy format. However, we believe it is crucial to give you a detailed picture of our future. So while the video above is about an hour-long, we believe it will be worth it. Here is a summary of what we shared:
We had an opportunity to share how our last in-person gatherings were a snapshot of where the Lord was taking us. On March 8, we saw elements of our vision embodied as we celebrated child dedications, baptisms, short-term mission trips, and a new direction for Easter. On that same day, we began to shape a conversation about how we were developing mission, values, strategy, and measures would be the frame that would hold the vision or the picture of what KHC is becoming. This language was imported from a journey our staff had started with a consulting firm called Guided By Sherpa. We were working towards synthesizing language and practices to articulate this vision. Then March 12 hit and those plans became a luxury that needed to be altered.
COVID-19 & Ministry Realignment
This season of the coronavirus has revealed a need to focus our ministry efforts on empowering more people to pursue discipleship as individuals and to invest in the life of others. The video will give details about new roles the staff will play, but we wanted to provide a quick overview of each area of focus.
Liturgy & Digital Content
This area of focus will consist of both our onsite worship gatherings and any digital services and resources that we will continue to create. There are no major transitions in terms of our practices, but we have currently expanded our communications team and are looking to strengthen our production team in the near future by hiring a Production Director to oversee the technical aspects of our services and the development of our production volunteers.
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This season has made it clear that the burden of caring for our congregation has to be shared from the staff to those who are leading community groups. It is clear that we have to empower and increase training for our leaders, develop a process of care that is shared across more parts of our ministry, and the installation of care deacons to help with this process. Again the video will provide a greater level of detail, but we are increasing the number of team members in groups, broadening our approach to groups, and pursuing this expanded group model immediately.
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We have a Gospel responsibility from the mature to the less mature, from the strong to the weak, and from one generation to the next. Being quarantined has made this truth more evident. This calls us to reimagine our approach to children’s and student ministry. The first step in this is developing a unified strategy between children’s and student ministry. We want to develop clear benchmarks from preschoolers to high school graduates of discipleship traits. Second, parents and guardians are the primary disciple-makers of their children. That has never been more clear than in a season when other sources have been decreased and we are spending more time with our kids than ever. We want to be a dynamic partner that is producing content to equip you to be the lead voice in their spiritual growth. Lastly, we are looking to live into our serving with a renewed purpose. It is no longer just about filling out the roster, we are looking to fulfill our Gospel responsibility.
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Missions & Outreach
Our community has never been more primed for Gospel multiplication. This season has revealed how vulnerable our community is. We are increasing our focus on local cultural renewal efforts by addressing tangible needs. However, we do not want to end with just relieving needs. We are working to develop pathways that lead to relationships that will ultimately lead to transformation.
There is much more that can be said about each of these categories that we detail in the video, but we wanted to give an overview into our hope for each area of focus.
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Health & Future
We also took this time to detail how we ended the first quarter financially. Our first quarter giving was $94K shy of our expenses (view KHC 1st quarter financial snapshot). This is not uncommon in the early portion of the year and was also impacted by the first few weeks of COVID-19. But the month of April and May have shown an increase in giving, and for that we are truly grateful. We proactively cut expenses and have seen the Lord’s kindness through your faithful giving, which has allowed us to meet our budgeted income goal for April and we are trending towards another healthy month in May.
Here’s why that is important- none of these decisions to restructure are financial. We are seeing a vulnerability that must be addressed and we are responding by aligning our focus and efforts for ministry effectiveness.
Some of the change will be seamless and barely noticeable. The way we worship or what parents experience when they drop off their kids for CM or students, will not feel different. Some of this change will be progressive over time as staff take on new roles and responsibilities.
Other changes will be felt more clearly. One of those will be how we approach onsite classes. We are aligning our ministries for effectiveness, but we are also applying new metrics to measure effectiveness. We are asking the question, does this opportunity meet one of two goals: 1) is it training more mature believers to pursue and disciple the less mature and/or those who have yet to believe? And 2) Is it directly drawing or impacting those who have yet to believe? We have recognized that our onsite classes are not fully meeting these desires. We would like to transition these classes to the community group format. The exception is Mom’s Inc. because of the distinct outreach nature of this opportunity. It serves as both a vehicle for reaching women who do not know Christ and for empowering mature believers to pursue relationships with the less mature.
The elders and the executive team are continuing to develop the details regarding our return to in-person gatherings. We intend to share that process in our next update. However, we do have two clear principles guiding our planning. The first is our call to be faithful citizens, the second is our call to be good neighbors. In the video, we unpack how the Scriptures are informing our thinking on both of these topics. The conclusion we have drawn is that we are not going to return to gathering at this time, though we understand the eagerness of those who are calling for us to join events like the May 31st call to churches.
Transitions and realignments are never easy, but hard is not the enemy of good. We believe these changes will allow us to be more effective at making disciples who are empowered and equipped to make new disciples, and we’re excited to see what fruit the Lord would bear through this ministry in the days ahead. We invite you to pray with us as we navigate change and consider how you might join in with your talents for the advancement of the kingdom.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mike (on behalf of KHC elders and executive team)