As most of you know by now, our church staff configuration underwent a significant alteration in 2017. This change reflects some new realities within the life of our congregation, as well as the need to adopt a different paradigm of implementing our mission of developing new and maturing followers of Jesus Christ.
Whatever the configurations have been through the years, the main areas of programmatic staffing oversight have been children (Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, Wednesday Night Live), adult Christian education, and music (at one time we had six part-time staff dedicated to musical leadership!). For a short time we had a youth pastor. Administratively, our staffing model has included a church secretary, membership secretary, financial secretary, business manager, facilities manager, custodian, volunteer coordinator, and communications. In terms of clergy, through the years we have made use of part-time retired and a full-time Associate.
When we began living into the third phase of the Vital Church Initiative, I spent time trying to discern a configuration of staff which would enable us to effectively fulfill our mission if disciple-making. After considerable prayer, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee approved the creation of two new positions: 1) full-time Director of Children and youth; 2) part-time Music Director/Worship Leader. Programmatically, these address two of the three areas of ministry mentioned earlier.
Because these two new positions represent more payroll hours than the budget currently supports, the Finance Committee approved a proposal to utilize the Stan Smith bequest to seed these positions for two years, with the hope being that in two years we will be able fund them through the general budget. For the sake of transparency, this shift will increase the budget by about $70,000.
Clearly, this is a leap of faith. We have no guarantees that our giving will increase by $70,000 over the next two years. Even so, we have faithfully and obediently responded to what we believe is God’s call. If we knew we could easily come up with these necessary funds in two years, then it probably wouldn’t be a “God-thing”; it would be an us-thing. But as it is, we’re laying this God-size need before the Lord, and we’re making sure that you, the congregation, are fully aware of this need as well.
Personally, I’m very pleased with and excited about the impact that Chuck Hollandbeck and Yvette Stephens are already having on our church by way of their gifted leadership. But it’s not their responsibility to figure out a way to fund their positions. They’re simply being asked to do their jobs well and faithfully.
I for one believe we can do it!