As we move to the end of 2016, the Elders are eager to share an update with the congregation regarding our activities since our last report to the church. We have continued to meet regularly to lift our church up in prayer, hear reports from the executive pastoral staff on various activities and initiatives, and perform oversight duties. Highlights from the past few months include:
The church is in a healthy and fruitful place. We have seen growth numerically, financially, and in discipleship that produces gratefulness to God from all our leaders.
As prescribed in our bylaws, approved in November 2015, we have divided the Elders into teams to help derive specific expertise from them, while we continue striving to partner with the staff in leading our church well.
- Finance Team: Collaborates with finance committee to produce and review church budget and financial activities.
- Ministry Team: Collaborates with ministry pastors to provide counsel, care, and church discipline where needed, on specific church campuses.
- Administration Team: Oversees selection and rotation of Elders, among other administrative tasks.
We are grateful to have now completed something that has been a goal for several years — the entire cycle of Elder board rotation. This fall, the Elders who reached the end of their terms have been thanked for serving well, and a slate of new Elders have been welcomed to the board — including several former Elders who had cycled off the board and have rotated back onto the team. This priority of maximizing the number of participants and graciously giving over authority to other qualified individuals as seasons change, is a credit to the health of our church, and we are grateful for this significant achievement.
Our Elders have commended Pastor James and other ministry pastors for excellent leadership in the Fall 2016 Breakthrough Prayer Emphasis. This call to prioritizing the ‘important’ over the ‘urgent’ is paying dividends in the personal lives of our Elders and the ministries of our church.
Over the December 17-18 weekend, we saw more than 150 individuals make professions of faith in Christ. We commend to the congregation the practice of not taking these miracles for granted, but rather to receive them with great thankfulness and joy for what God is doing.
Pastor James often tells us, “Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living.” To that end, as the Elders reflect on 2016, we are so thankful for our Senior Pastor, ministry staff, and the men and women who serve and further the work of the church by shouldering weekly kingdom responsibilities. The Executive Committee of the Elders has completed its annual review of Senior Pastor performance, based upon anonymous staff interviews and personal observation. That encouraging report will be summarized in writing for the entire board at their January 2017 meeting.
As we look to 2017, we are asking our church family to “bring all the tithes into the storehouse” (Malachi 3:10), getting up to date on tithes and offerings by December 31 as an act of obedience and worship to the Lord. Spending for 2016 has been held under budget, and we prayerfully anticipate an accelerated mortgage reduction payment early in 2017. A more detailed report on 2016 ministry and spending will be forthcoming early in 2017, and our 2016 audit will be posted online when completed late this winter. The 2017 budget will be reviewed for Elder approval early in 2017.
With grateful hearts,
The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel