On Thursday, May 14, we held a congregational meeting on our Elgin Campus. Approximately 75 people attended, asking questions of our COO, Scott Millholland; CFO, Fred Adams; church treasurer, Jeff Smith; and Elder Board Chairman, Steve Huston. Pastor Jeff Donaldson emceed the meeting from the stage. A presentation was made of: progress on rewriting our church by-laws; church growth, both numerically and financially, over the past year; and a 5G update. We also heard a report on our movie project, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, currently being filmed by Dallas Jenkins and those partnering with us. Questions from the congregation were very positive, on topics ranging from the recent Risen for the Nations tour, to legal protection for the church, and matters related to Camp Harvest, etc. Pastor James closed the meeting with prayer and appreciation for our congregational interest in these efforts to make the governance functions of our church more transparent to the membership.
On Tuesday, May 19, the Executive Committee of the Elder board met for two hours, followed by a second two-hour meeting with the entire Elder board. Reports were given on the church’s numerical growth in giving and attendance that were very encouraging. Further meeting highlights included:
- A discussion of existing church plant partnerships and a decision to explore partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention for the purpose of world evangelization. This partnership is voluntary and, as with our other partnerships (e.g. Salem Radio, TBN, Moody Bible Institute, Life Way, etc.), will be evaluated based on how they increase our impact in church planting around the world.
- We reviewed the announcements made about the Risen for the Nations offering which fell short of our more than $1-million annual commitment to church planting through Harvest Bible Fellowship. While the offering did not increase our giving to missions, it did provide the congregation with the opportunity to express their heart for giving directly to our worldwide church planting efforts, which, as announced, was the primary goal. Some of this offering will go toward the needs in Nepal, and the remaining need for budgeted giving to missions will be made up from general fund giving during the remainder of 2015.
- An update from Steve Huston on by-law revision currently under way. The deadline for presentation of a first draft is the June Elders meeting.
- A report from Pastor James on the Risen for the Nations series and tour.
- A report from Pastor Scott Milholland on staff transitions and progress.
The meeting was opened, closed, and frequently interrupted for times of fervent prayer about many specific matters. A wonderful spirit of unity and camaraderie among the Elders was observed by all. Our next meeting is Tuesday, June 16.