July 1st began our new fiscal year as a ministry. So what are my main objectives as we enter the 2006/2007 fiscal year? There is one that tops the list.
The very first priority is staffing. Over the past 2 years we have seen great growth as a church. However, we have not really added much in the way of ministry staff to help carry the load that this growth has provided. As a result, I have communicated to our present staff and to our Elders that we have made staffing the main priority of this year’s budget increase. Adding more and more ministries without adding strategic areas of staffing could actually make us weaker rather than stronger as a church.
This staffing need will become ever greater beginning September 1st as Pastor Snow, who has been our Executive Pastor over Adult Ministries, will be taking a major step toward retirement by moving from full-time to part-time. He will no longer be over Adult Ministries but instead will focus his time on leading our PEP group (our Senior Adult ministry) and our church Missions program. Pastor Snow will also continue to make our initial follow-up phone calls to those who visit Grace Church or who mark a desire on their registration card for more information regarding their spiritual life or a ministry within our church. This part-time position will last for one year.
As a result, one of our staffing priorities for this year will be to fill a position that will work with all of our present adult ministries (Adult Bible Fellowship Classes; Men’s Ministry and Women’s Ministry) to formulate a strategic assimilation program. We have been so blessed with the many people that God is bringing to us. However, at this point we have no real strategic method of assimilating these new people into our ministry so that they are getting connected; getting cared for and getting involved in ministry. This position will make this assimilation program a priority so that people are not just coming and finding Christ, but they are also getting discipled and assimilated into our ministry.
We also want to continue to make children and youth ministry a priority here at Grace Church. As a result, we will be increasing our current youth intern position to a part-time position which will belong to Doug Kegarise and we will be adding an additional part-time co-director of Children’s Ministry (Lauren Pierce) to work with Jodi Miller and Beth Kachel. This now gives us the equivalent of a full-time and a part-time position over each of these crucial areas so that we can continue to reach families for Jesus. Rick Bernhardt will also be officially starting as our full-time Senior Administrator that will be over our daycare and school and whose position will focus on the future development of our educational ministries; the merging of our daycare and school into one unified ministry; and connecting our educational ministry more closely to our church.
We will also be adding some needed support staff positions in order to be able to more effectively meet the needs of those whom God is bringing our way as well as allowing us to continue to reach as many people as possible through the ministries of Grace Church.