October 2 - 4, 2015
- Pastors Dean and Rosalie Brown: Dean and Rosalie are leading this congregation to continued health as evidenced by the congregation’s commitment to the Great Commission, numerical growth and healthy, blossoming relationships between individuals and groups within the body of believers that constitute Vantage Pointe.
- An Inviting Church: Congregations grow as individuals within the congregation continually invite neighbors, friends, relatives and those with whom they work. Such is happening with regularity.
- Commitment to the Community: The congregation is outward focused and committed to serving the community. A large portion of resources (people, money, energy, and time) are committed each year on serving those who do not attend the church (yet).
- Giving: While still lagging behind other congregations in giving, this congregation is growing in Jesus’ teaching to give financially to His church and its ministry. Many of the people are modeling generosity with their finances in obedience to Jesus Christ.
- Ministry Focus: As a young congregation, Vantage Point has not tried to do everything other congregations do. Instead, it has prioritized and focused its ministry efforts in doing a few things well. It conducts excellent worship experiences each Sunday morning, serves babies and children well and focuses on helping new people get connected. Such focus reflects great wisdom.
- Connecting to the Body: While many are becoming new disciples of Jesus Christ, relatively few people are being baptized, connected to the congregation and mobilized for ministry.
- Communicating the Mission and Vision: While the mission and vision are clear to some of the leaders, its communication is not mobilizing the majority for effective ministry.
- The Pastor’s Role: As the congregation grows, the role of the lead pastor needs to change or he will become an unintentional hindrance to what God wants to do through the congregation.
- Finances, Staffing and Facilities: Growth brings with it good problems. The current problems relate to the use of the facilities and staffing. Such problems must be addressed now while there is still time or growth will be hindered and eventually stopped.
- Making Disciples. There is no clear definition of what a disciple of Jesus looks like in 2015 and no clear path at the church on how to become one.
- Connecting to the Body: The Executive Staff and key persons from the Pointe Team will make several field trips to Fusion Community Church in Cobleskill, N.Y. The purpose of these trips is to observe and learn the Fusion approach to assimilating people into the life of the church. In addition, the team will learn how baptisms are conducted and how people are more quickly connected to the congregation through service opportunities and teams. The pastor will contact Andrew Fetter, Pastor of Fusion, to establish dates and times for these observatory trips.
Some of the Fusion behaviors and practices are only slightly different when compared to the Vantage Pointe behaviors. However, these small differences can produce more effective results! Staff member Jeff Leland will be reassigned to become the Director of Assimilation and Small Groups. By taking this additional key responsibility, Jeff will relinquish the duties of church treasurer. The Executive Staff will determine the changes required for Vantage Pointe to implement behaviors that will fast track the assimilation process. Calls to establish the schedule for learning trips will be completed by November 30, 2015 and the entire project, including the appointment of a new treasurer, will be completed by February 28, 2016.
- Communicating the Mission and the Vision: The Vantage Pointe congregation is falling into the same rut that multitudes of other congregations are experiencing; namely, a handful of people carry the major part of ministry responsibilities. Ultimately, the lack of volunteers and the lack of commitment from the congregation is a mission/vision problem. This lack of clarity and communication also affects the giving. The problems are first addressed by stating the vision in a brief statement that focuses the congregation on how the mission and vision is going to change the community.
The leader will begin to create urgency for the vision. This will cause people to be dissatisfied with current reality. As urgency grows, the pastor will help the congregation understand the needs of the community as perceived and communicated by community influencers.
The lead pastor will interview 12 of these influencers by August 1, 2016. As he hears the stories of need in the community, he will present these stories to the congregation and show how God wants to use the congregation to address these needs. The pastor will tell these stories by video and other media by January 31, 2016.
- The Pastor’s Role: If the lead pastor’s role does not change as the congregation grows, the congregation will stop growing. And, more importantly, the mission and vision will become lost. The following is a description of the pastor’s major responsibilities:
· Spiritual Leader: Preach the Word and Promote Congregational Spirituality
· Oversee the Mission, Create Urgency and Cast Vision (such requires the pastor to be in the community with community leaders)
· Lead Staff and Hold them Accountable
· Ministry Architect
· Develop Leaders (those who are currently leaders and new leaders)
· Develop Ministry Resources
· Meet with Four Kinds of People
· People New to the Church
· Leaders and Potential Leaders
· People within the Community
The above will become the pastor’s job description by January 1, 2016
The lead pastor must create and sustain a culture of leadership development. His first assignment is to identify and develop a group of three to four adults to lead the youth ministry as volunteers. These youth workers will be identified by December 15, 2015 and the pastor will meet twice a month during 2016, to train them in leadership and youth ministry skills.
The leadership development aspect of the pastor’s role is crucial. The lead pastor will make sure that goals, responsibilities, authority and accountability are a part of all leadership team meetings - no exceptions. During the Point Team and Executive Staff meetings, leaders will report the stats and stories of the lay leaders they have met with that week or month. Growth cannot and will not be sustained if leaders are not developed and challenged to develop other leaders serving their respective ministries.
- Finances, Staffing and Facilities: The pastor will challenge the congregation to examine its stewardship in order to adequately fund the mission and vision of Vantage Pointe. In addition, he shall lead the congregation in a capital stewardship campaign to raise $100,000 for staffing and facilities.
The following staffing adjustments will be made going forward:
· Hire a part-time administrative assistant by January 15, 2016
· Reassign Pastor Jeff Leland to Director of Assimilation and Connection by December 1, 2015.
· Remunerate the Director of VP Kids for two days a week to enable her to commit more time to her ministry commitments by January 1, 2016.
· Adjust the job description of the Director of Worship Ministries by December 1, 2015
· Set aside funds for training lay ministry teams by March 1, 2016
In addition, the congregation will borrow up to $100,000 from WIF to add to the capital campaign funds to upgrade the facilities. Some, but not all of the upgrades, will be:
o Remove the balcony, kitchen and storage closet
o Add a modern kitchen/café that serves both the foyer and worship center
o Expand the current rest rooms
o Replace flooring throughout the building
o Add modern accent colors
o Develop an Adirondack theme throughout the building
o Expand the VP Kids wing
o Install a restroom in the VP Kid’s wing
o Add a portable check-in station for children
o Add decorative lights to the foyer and worship center
o Expand and raise the platform
o Cut trees that hinder visibility
o Remove the flag pole
o Landscape the front of the church
o Add modern banners inside and out
o Modernize windows
o Address the ice dam issues
- Make Disciples: the leaders will, in the next twelve to eighteen months, establish clear expectations of what a disciple of Jesus Christ is at Vantage Pointe. Once these criteria are set, the leaders will develop strategies to help people effectively implement these expectations into their daily living experiences. The leaders will then establish ways to evaluate and track the effectiveness of the strategies. The entire process will be initiated by September 1, 2016.
THOSE WHO REGULARLY ATTEND THE SERVICES AT VANTAGE POINTE WILL VOTE ON THIS REPORT AND ITS PRESCRIPTIONS BY EITHER ACCEPTING OR REJECTING THE REPORT AND ITS PRESCRIPTIONS. THIS VOTE WILL OCCUR BY NOVEMBER 8, 2015. IF ACCEPTED, THE DISTRICT WILL HELP THE PASTOR AND CONGREGATION LOCATE A COACH THAT WILL LEAD THEM IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRESCRIPTIONS IN THIS REPORT. IF REJECTED, THIS PROCESS IS OVER SINCE THE CONGREGATION WILL HAVE SPOKEN.
Dr. Paul D. Borden
Rev. Paul James
Rev. Andrew Fetter
Rev. Floyd McCallum Jr.