What are we doing?
Pastoral Staff Expansion Questions
Sanctuary/Physical Plant Improvement Questions
New Updates (10/24/2021)
New Updates (11/7/2021)
What are we doing?
1. What is the goal of the campaign?
Our goal is to expand Good Shepherd’s mission and ministry work—to get us moving out into our community to love and serve our neighbors and play our part in the Great Commission. We need to move beyond our walls in order to share Christ and change lives.
The pandemic forced us individually, and as a congregation, to put many plans on hold, to limit our activities. The campaign is an opportunity for us to begin moving forward again, to recommit ourselves to the work we’re called to as the Body of Christ.
2. How will we accomplish this?
The plan has three components: mission expansion, pastoral staff/ministry expansion, and facility improvements.
I. The first priority is mission expansion, so our “first fruits” from the campaign will go to new missions. Specifically, we will commit 10% of the offerings of the campaign, a tithe, or at least $50,000. The first new mission will be helping Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County build a new home in Canandaigua. We will give $30,000 to Habitat, as well as our service. We’ll reserve $20,000 until we have a new pastor. In this way our new pastor will have an opportunity to shape new missions that allows us to use his strengths and experience.
II. The second priority is the pastoral staff expansion. We know that Good Shepherd can’t grow in mission and ministry without expanding our pastoral staff. One pastor can only do so much—lead only so many services, do only so much pastoral care for members, be involved in only so much outreach in the community, offer only so much leadership in missions and ministries, and attend only so many meetings!
If we’re going to make more disciples, if we’re going to share Christ’s love with more of our neighbors, we’re going to need more shepherds to care for them. This is why several years ago we approved Council’s proposal to call another pastor before Pastor Don retires. Our goal is to grow enough that when Pastor Don does retire, we will be able to support more professional staff.
So, our second priority for this campaign is to have the funds to support a part-time pastor (Pastor Don) for five years and any additional expenses above our current costs for the pastoral office.
III. Our third priority is to make some physical improvements in order to accommodate more professional staff, to better serve current Good Shepherd members, and to better welcome new neighbors.
This, as you can imagine, entails a number of different possibilities. We’ll be talking more about this area in the next FAQ.
3. What is the Congregation’s role? What do you need from me?
Nothing happens if we aren’t working together. We are the body of Christ and every part of the body is important.
First, we need to pray. We each have to discern what God is asking us to commit. This isn’t a decision to be made lightly or quickly. That’s why we’ll be talking about these plans, asking and answering questions, meditating on the Word, and listening for the Spirit’s direction for a number of weeks.
Second, once we know how much we as a congregation have committed to the campaign, Council will put together a specific proposal, based on the priorities outlined here. That plan will be offered to us as a congregation and we will then vote on whether to approve that plan.
4. What is the time frame? How long will this run?
The campaign will run for three years, but the funds for pastoral office expansion would be spent more slowly, over five years.
5. How does the Habitat mission fit with pastoral expansion? Why are they both part of the campaign?
The purpose of each part of the campaign is to fulfill our mission of sharing Christ and changing lives. If we have a larger professional staff, we can minister to more people. How will we meet more people? By going out into the community and showing our neighbors Christ’s love in action—by being the hands and feet of Christ.
Good Shepherd has long included helping the homeless in the prayers of the congregation. Working with Habitat will allow us to help a family who may be currently in substandard housing to have a new home. In serving these neighbors we are living our faith, but we’re also showing our community how God’s love changes us, that faith leads us to love and serve others. In this way, and in other missions, we will draw more people to Christ.
6. What is the priority level for things to be done?
Please see the answer in Question 2 above in this section for that information.
7. When does the capital campaign kick-off?
This is more of a mission and ministry campaign although, as you’ll see in the answer to Question 2, we do plan to make some physical plant changes. Regardless, the campaign kicked off on Launch Weekend, which was October 2 and 3. The campaign itself will culminate on Commitment Weekend, November 19 and 20. We will begin to receive the gifts committed on December 18 & 19 in our first fruits offering. That part of the campaign will conclude on the third weekend in 2024.
1. When would we start working with Habitat?
Habitat hopes to break ground in early spring of 2022. They generally have a blitz week and we would hope to be involved at that point.
We are in a discussion with Habitat for a ceremonial groundbreaking this fall. Stay tuned for that date. See question 5 below in this section for more information
2. Will we have signage at the build?
It is certainly our plan to have signage at the build. The one question we have to get answered is what the city will allow.
3. Can we link Family Promise to Habitat?
Habitat was willing to consider a family from Family Promise. Unfortunately, Family Promise was unable to find a suitable candidate in time for this build.
4. What can the physically challenged do to help with Habitat?
You don’t have to be a builder or interested in construction to participate! First, everyone can pray. We hope that everyone will pray for the family, the builders, and the mission. Second, organizations often provide lunch on Saturdays for the volunteers and we hope to do that. So, anyone who is willing to make sandwiches, etc. can work. And other ideas will be discussed. We’d like to make sure that anyone who wants to help can.
5. When are they breaking ground with Habitat?
Habitat actually does two groundbreakings. The first is a ceremonial groundbreaking that will happen this fall. That will be planned at the convenience of Habitat and Good Shepherd as the major sponsor. We will be coordinating between Council and the Campaign Team to set up a date and then make that date available to anybody who wants to join us.
Habitat is actively working on the physical groundbreaking for the basement this fall. That date needs to be under their control and is really subject to the availability of one of their partners who may do this as a contribution to them. They believe we would have at least two weeks’ warning. Once again, we would make that information available when we have it.
6. Are there commitment cards we can give to non-members interested in helping with the Habitat donation?
A number of members have asked this question and we have provided them with commitment cards. What we are suggesting is that the friends who want to make such a donation write the word “Habitat” on the commitment card and those funds will go to the Habitat project.
7. Are they taking wood donations?
If you have a substantial amount of new lumber, which has never been used, they are more than willing to accept that donation. Habitat has not been involved with reclaiming lumber and the process for doing it is time consuming. Because they don’t have those resources, they would have to decline that donation.
8. Will Doc lead the labor in our building for Habitat?
Habitat has their own way of establishing labor teams which will be discussed in question 10 in this section. Doc has already indicated that he is interested in working on the house but he is not involved with Habitat in Ontario County. Therefore, he would not be leading any crews although his expertise and abilities would certainly be useful.
9. Does Habitat have a set crew?
The typical Habitat work week is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with an occasional Saturday, typically about once a month. They do have some retirees who are very involved but they do not have a set crew that works each day. They are trying to keep their crews limited to eight people because of COVID. Please consult #10 in this area for a more detailed explanation of how we will sign up and be involved.
10. How much advance notice will we get to help build the house?
Habitat uses an on-line sign-up schedule so that anyone can sign up when the build is in progress. Because we are the major sponsor, they are more than willing to establish special dates when we would be given exclusive access to sign up. Those would need to be decided by the team of people who are organizing the build. If you are interested in being part of that team, please contact Maggie Wiegand, who is our Mission Team Leader. We are not sure how far out that schedule goes, but once it is established, we’ll let you know.
11. Was the land donated?
Yes. Capstone Construction purchased the lot as part of the former Daily Messenger property on Buffalo Street. Don Lasher of Capstone then donated the Habitat lot at 59 Buffalo Street. Habitat is grateful to Mr. Lasher and Capstone Construction for their donation. Habitat has paid for the land to be rezoned and is now in possession of the land.
12. Are there any other local sponsors?
At this moment, we are the only sponsor. Habitat has a number of organizations that assist them, but they are not sponsors. Nash Bock, Habitat’s director, does not believe there will be any other sponsors.
13. Do we need to come up with our own financial support?
From the funds gathered in our Go! Campaign we will provide $30,000 to Habitat. That is our financial commitment to them. Those funds will come from the gifts offered. On Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, you will return your Commitment Card that will be provided to you. That will establish how much money we expect to be raised.
On Saturday and Sunday, December 18 and 19, we are asking families to bring their first fruit offering with them to worship. This is the beginning of the gathering of our offering. Oftentimes, people bring a substantial part of their gift to offer at that time in order to kick off the campaign, although that is not a requirement. On your Commitment Card you will be able to give us an estimate of your total donation and how you want to offer it. These gifts are over and above your regular offering you currently are giving. There will also be options for the method by which you make that contribution.
If you are more than 70 ½ you may want to consider making your donations through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). If you are going to make your donation in that way, we strongly encourage you to contact your financial advisor or broker and arrange for that gift by mid-November at the latest. It sometimes takes a while for those gifts to be processed from your retirement accounts and provided to us.
By law, if you want this to be counted as your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year, it has to be the first distribution you make and it must be received before December 31, 2021. There are other requirements, so you may want to contact your financial advisor, who will be able to give you more guidance.
14. Is it my correct understanding that the Campaign Team is a short-term team that is focused on completing the goals of the campaign? If so, what team/teams will oversee the actual initiative of GS with H for H in both the short term and the long term? Do you see the existing Missions- Outreach Team expanding to add this to the already existing mission- outreach activities?
Yes, this is definitely the purview of the Mission Team and we’ve spoken with the chair. Pastor Don also volunteered to be the liaison between the Mission Team and Habitat.
15. How will the mission-outreach initiative dovetail with the team oversight by the Vision Team?
Because the campaign is not meant to continue on after the gathering of the offering begins, except with limited staffing, the mission part of this initiative would become a responsibility of the Mission Team here. The current relationship is between the Vision Team and the Mission Team is already established.
16. Is the $20,000 reserved for the next pastor’s project of choice or will it be adjusted based on the amount of money pledged through commitments?
When the campaign came to the Church Council, we knew that the estimate was about $500,000 that we were looking to raise. We are asked to give a tithe of that to a mission project, therefore reaching our campaign goal of $550,000. Because we wanted to be able to announce the partnership with Habitat we needed approval of that from the congregation. At the same time the campaign consultant explained that we don’t want to announce such a big thing until the launch, so we asked the Council, acting on behalf of the Council to make this allotment.
We’d like you to think of this as part of the first fruit gift that we’re offering out of the Campaign. We are trusting that God will provide all that we need to accomplish what He wants us to do. It is our hope that no matter what we raise, the congregation would honor that commitment of $50,000 to mission. We see mission as the engine that drives ministry here, therefore that commitment is very important.
We see it as a commitment to God, trusting Him to provide it. If we were to reduce that amount, we would in a sense that we don’t really trust you God to provide what is needed. We think that would be a poor decision on our part.
Notwithstanding that, the congregation does have the power to change that amount because it always has the power to review what the Church Council decides. We would hope and pray that the congregation would honor the leadership of the leaders that have made that decision as a way of placing our trust in God to whom they prayed before they made that decision.
17. Will the congregation be asked to give a special Christmas offering on top of commitments this years? If not, can CCIA due without our support this year?
Because we are gathering the funds for the Ministry Campaign, the decision has been made that we will not have a Christmas Offering this year. That seemed to us to be a poor decision on our part, asking people to give to both at the same time. Because our gift to CCIA and Lutheran World Relief are not based on some formula, but on gifts offered, we will trust that God will provide for these organizations just as He has in the past. We do not talk to CCIA about whether this will create a problem for them because this is not a commitment set in stone. It has been our free will gift to them.
That is not to say that if some of our members wish to make a gift to CCIA to help that ministry forward, that church would not help facilitate that gift for you.
1. How will the pastoral transition affect our regular budget?
One goal of the campaign is to enable the pastoral transition to have as little effect on the budget as possible. The expenses for the part-time position, the additional expenses for health insurance, because Pastor Don is on a Medicare-based program, will be covered in this way. There will be other, smaller increases which will also be covered by the campaign. This will give us the time we need to grow into those expenses.
2. If this is a three-year campaign and the pastoral transition is five years, how will we fund years four and five?
The campaign will receive gifts for three years, but will allocate gifts for five years. We have begun using the term “pastoral office expansion.” As conversations have gone on we realize that there are a number of areas where we are not really adequately staffed now. The transition will help us to cover them, but if we only look that far forward, at the end of it, we’ll be back to not having enough staffing for ministry or outreach.
3. What about our debt?
There is not a planned increase in the debt we are carrying at this time. There may be some instances where we choose to take on short-term debt as a tool to enable us to carry out the mission God is calling us to do.
4. Will campaign contributions coincide with the pace of implementing our plans? What if they do not coincide?
Most parts of our campaign don’t have timelines, so we’ll be in the position to deal with them as necessary. We have made a commitment to Habitat that our contribution, $30,000, will be available to them in the spring.
As in most campaigns we have done, we expect that the majority of gifts will come in during the first two years. If there is a shortfall at a critical time, we could explore a short-term loan, assuming future contributions ensure we could repay it.
5. What are the priorities if we do not reach the campaign goal?
I. THE MISSION COMMITMENT
We believe this is the centerpiece of the next chapter of Good Shepherd’s life, helping us to move out into the community to share Christ and create relationships that change lives. We believe being the hands and feet of Jesus is exactly what God is calling us to do.
II. PASTORAL OFFICE EXPANSION
Without adequate staffing, we will not be able to care for those who are already here or for those we hope to bring to Good Shepherd through our mission and ministry.
III. SANCTUARY AND PLANT
In our plan, the flooring, stage, and wall on the south side of the sanctuary would be renovated. All older windows would be replaced. We do have some funds set aside for flooring and windows, but we are planning for the total costs to come out of the campaign. We believe this is good planning because in a renovation, there are always surprises that come up.
If there is a shortfall, the Council would come to the congregation with proposals for how to deal with it. The congregation would make the final decisions. However, because we wanted to share what we think is the most exciting part of the plan for Good Shepherd, we asked the Council to approve a grant of $30,000 to Habitat from the Mission part of the campaign. That would insure that we are the major sponsor of the home to be built. Acting on behalf of the congregation, as our constitution allows, Council has taken that step and approved it.
6. What if we exceed the campaign goal?
That would be a wonderful blessing from God and a sign that we need to consider other opportunities that might be available. The council would offer recommendations and the congregation would need to approve them.
7. How do I make a non-cash gift, such as securities or property?
Our long-term relationship with Canandaigua National Bank enables us to receive gifts of securities. If you are interested in doing this, please speak with us first. We’re also willing to speak with your financial advisor, if you so wish.
For those over 70-and-a-half, there are some special rules that can benefit you and our congregation as you consider your gift. We’ll be providing you with that information. Once again, we’re glad to speak with you and/or your financial advisor.
If you are interested in donating property, please contact Jenny Tessendorf Khan and she will put you in touch with someone who can assist you.
8. Can I set up electronic, recurring payments?
You will be able to make offerings electronically. The payments can also be set up on a recurring schedule of your choosing. Our provider is making a change in their giving app in October. Any member who is using that app should have received an e-mail explaining the new program. If you are using that app and have not received an e-mail, please contact us. If you want to begin using the new app, please contact the office for information.
9. Does my gift have to be weekly? Can it be monthly or annually?
You may make your donation on any schedule. You can do it weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. On the campaign commitment card, we will ask you how you plan to make your payments. We think it is important to set up a schedule for your gifts. This will enable you to remember to make your gifts, as well as keep your commitment.
10. How is financial gift information confidentiality maintained?
Your gift will be recorded in Church Windows, which is the same program we use for recording your regular giving. The only person who enters that information is our Financial Secretary, Greg Trost, and he will continue to do so.
For those contributing electronically, the app provider conveys giving information to Greg Trost, and he records it in Church Windows.
11. Will the congregation vote on how to use campaign funds?
Yes. When the campaign concludes, the Church Council will set a congregational meeting for mid-December. At that meeting, the campaign funds will be allocated to our specific campaign projects. The congregation will then be asked to approve that distribution.
12. How do we account for giving and expenses?
Both giving and expenses are entered into our church management software, which is where all financial records are kept. It is the plan of the Church Council that the expenses for the campaign will come out of the campaign. That will impact the monies available to carry out the goals of the campaign. However, we are not in a position to cover those expenses out of our regular offerings.
13. What are first fruits?
First fruits hearkens back to the Israelites and their agrarian life. As the harvest began to come in, the Israelites were required by God to give of the first fruit. Offering the first of their produce to God acknowledged that everything comes from Him and He will provide all they need in the rest of the harvest
14. Is there a goal in mind?
Yes, our financial goal for this campaign is $550,000. That goal will provide the funds for the mission project, the professional staff expansion, and renovations in the sanctuary, Gathering Space and various repairs in other areas. Our non-financial goal is everyone to recommit to the Covenant promises we make when you become a member of Good Shepherd, which are all based on our commitment to Jesus as Lord. Our ultimate goal is the Great Commission—to go and make disciples.
15. How are we doing on the mortgage for the church?
We are current on all mortgage payments with LCEF. Each week Lisa Baley, our treasurer, forwards a check to LCEF in the amount of $1,575. That money is put into an account at LCEF from which the mortgage payment is withdrawn each month. We try to maintain a balance of between four to five (4-5) mortgage payments in that account so that there is never a question that there will be enough money in the account to pay the mortgage.
A number of years ago, when it was offered, the congregation made the decision not to extend the life of the mortgage in order to decrease our payments. Even during the pandemic, we never had to ask for a release from mortgage payments or to make interest only payments. We were able to continue to pay the mortgage because of the great stewardship support of the people of Good Shepherd by providing their offerings regularly and immeasurably more.
16. When are we saying we’d like you to donate?
We will receive commitments on Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, at all worship services. These are not the beginnings of the offerings but rather the commitment of what you would like to give over the next three years along with recommitting yourself to the tenets of our covenant.
The weekend of December 18 and 19 we will begin receiving gifts as a first fruits offering of our commitment to God and Good Shepherd. If you have funds you want to donate prior to that date, please contact us. The offerings for the campaign will not be commingled with the General Fund offerings in order to ensure that all funds go to the intended purpose.
17. How do we donate (designate) where we want our donations gifts to go?
Depending on how you are giving, whether electronically, by checks from your bank, or personally placing your offering in the plate, we want you to understand a few things.
Donating by a check which is sent from your bank: If you have your bank sending us a check, you have to also have them designate which funds are to be credited. (i.e.: General fund, Go Campaign, etc.
Donating by a check which is sent by you: Because this is handled differently, we would really appreciate it if you would send a check for each individual donation account. That decreases the danger of a donation being credited to an incorrect account. Please note on the memo line how each check is be used.
Donating by check in person: There will be envelopes available for your use. Please only put donations for the “Go Campaign” in these envelopes to avoid mistakes. Please do not include regular giving in these envelopes.
Donating by our app: The new Vanco Mobile Faith app has a separate GO! Campaign option, so you can use the app both for your regular offerings and for giving to the campaign.
Donating by a digital withdrawal from your bank account: If you are one of our worshippers who uses the Vanco program to have your donations withdrawn from your account, we’ll need you to update your paper form to make a contribution to our “Go Campaign.” Please contact the office, Monday – Thursday and Lisa Serron can assist you in accomplishing this.
18. Does the commitment giving start this year or in January?
The first fruits gifts (offering) for this campaign will be received on December 18 and 19, 2021. That is the official beginning of the campaign and it will end on the third weekend in December 2024.
19. Since it is a three-year commitment will the church send out reminders each year of what we have left on the pledge?
Yes, you will get periodic updates on your gifts. You will also get periodic updates on the progress of the projects in the campaign.
20. If we choose to pledge an annual gift rather than weekly, does it matter if the gift comes at the end of year, since that works better for our investment situation?
You may make your gift at any time of your choosing. You might want to keep in mind that the first fruits offering will be received on December 18 and 19, 2021. That would accommodate your schedule, if you wanted to make your first offering at the end of this year. Just for your information, on your commitment card the choices for giving gifts are weekly, monthly or other, just so it doesn’t confuse you. You will also be asked to tell us how you want to give those gifts. That will determine what we supply to you.
21. What is the breakdown of the three areas in terms of finances and what will be accomplished?
Our total goal is $550,000. That sounds like a lot of money because it is. However, to put it in a different light, almost twenty years ago, with a much smaller congregation, we raised $475,000. Based on our current giving, our campaign consultant says that that goal of $550,000 is certainly within our capability to reach.
Priority 1: Mission – Monetary goal $50,000.
$30,000 of that will be provided to Habitat as a major sponsor for the build we are doing at 59 Buffalo St. $20,000 will be reserved for the new pastor to in conjunction with the congregation, make decisions about mission opportunities he would like to see us pursue.
Priority 2: Professional staff expansion – Monetary goal is $250,000.
We are covering the expenses of a part time pastor, Pastor Don for up to five years. In addition to that there will be additional costs for medical insurance because the new pastor will not be covered by Medicare. There will be additional costs for travel expenses. There will be additional costs for a secondary staff person along with equipping that office. There will also be additional cost for office staff because you now have two people generating work for them rather than one.
Priority 3: Sanctuary work and facility work – Monetary goal is $250,000
We have tried to get two estimates for the sanctuary work. The planned sanctuary work includes replacement of the flooring in some manner, replacement of all of the older windows in both the sanctuary and the two back classrooms, installing installation in the outside walls of the sanctuary and putting dry wall over them. Replacement of the temporary stage with a permanent stage. There are a number of these items where we are not exactly sure what we’re doing at this point because we’re not planning this work immediately we have some time to scope it out but we have good faith estimates of what contractors think it might cost.
In addition there is concrete work on the outside of the building at the north end where the air handlers are, electrical work inside and out and lighting issues that we want to address through this campaign. Finally we will bring electricity to the garage which has been greatly desired by those who have to work in it and use it. We were also asked by LCEF to set aside an amount of money that we believe will cover the need for repairs during this ministry campaign so that we don’t have to come back to the congregation in order to ask for more money at that time. There are an awful lot of variables in this area so we are not able to give you exact prices because we are not sure when the work is going to be done, exactly what the scope of the work will be. We are trusting that the preliminary work we have done to provide some idea of scope and that God will lead and guide us to provide the resources to accomplish the task that we have before us will put all things in order.
Pastoral Staff Expansion Questions
1. Why are we waiting for the new pastor to develop specific ministry plans?
Whoever our new pastor turns out to be, we want to make sure that he can use his skills and abilities to the fullest. We want our new pastor to have input regarding what role he plays in Good Shepherd’s ministries based on his interests and strengths.
2. How will specific ministry activities be determined?
This was discussed by our congregation’s leadership and they determined that Pastor Don and the new pastor will have to discuss this and decide between them how to divide workload, based on each person’s interests and strengths.
3. What happens if Pastor Don retires before this campaign is complete?
Nothing changes. We decided as a congregation to expand our pastoral staff in order to better fulfill our mission of sharing Christ and changing lives. That mission is bigger than any one of us. Our goal is to ensure that Good Shepherd is playing its part in the Great Commission for generations to come, not just while Pastor Don is here.
4. Why the change in terminology from pastoral transition to pastoral expansion?
In order to answer this question, it’s probably best to give a bit of background. A few years ago, the leadership of Good Shepherd held a retreat to consider the future of the congregation in light of Pastor Don eventually retiring. One of the ideas that came out of the retreat was the possibility of calling a new pastor before Pastor Don retired.
Church Council then appointed the Transition Team to consider different possibilities and then make a recommendation. The Team recommended calling a new pastor before Pastor Don retired for a number of reasons. One was to ensure that Good Shepherd didn’t go through a period of interim pastors, during which congregations typically lose momentum and membership. The other reason is that this would allow the congregation to have a period of expanded pastoral staff. This would give us the chance to grow enough to support more professional staff permanently, and thus increase mission and ministry. And, as you know, the congregation then voted for this model.
We realized that the term “transition” doesn’t fully capture why we, as a congregation, chose the path we’re on. Pastoral expansion better describes our goal to increase our ability to support increased ministry and mission.
5. Will we have one pastor, then two, then back to one?
Our goal is to grow enough while we have two pastors that when Pastor Don retires we can support another professional staff member. We will have permanently increased our ability to support our mission of sharing Christ and changing lives.
6. Should we be doing a campaign now since the first pastor we called declined?
Absolutely! The commands to love our neighbor and to go and make disciples is much bigger than one person. Even if Good Shepherd had no pastor, we are still obligated to love God by serving our neighbors. Even without a pastor, we are still the body of Christ, his hands and feet. And our church family has the commitment and the love of service that will enable us to do this.
And, thinking about that new pastor, what better way to show him our commitment to mission than to start a new mission and share Christ by changing lives right here in our local community? And what better way to show him our commitment to growth than to raise funds to support that pastoral expansion?
7. Isn’t it true that the goal will lead to a bigger congregation?
The goal of the campaign and the goal of Good Shepherd is always the Great Commission—to bring more people to Christ. That is why we believe that it’s important for Good Shepherd to get out into our community so that we can share our joy in Christ’s love with our neighbors. If we’re meeting and serving and witnessing to more neighbors, Good Shepherd is more likely to become a growing congregation.
8. When Pastor Don retires, are we looking for a second pastor, deacon, etc. Who will be added to staff?
The short answer is, we won’t know until we get there. When Pastor Don retires, our new pastor (although he won’t be so new by then) and our leadership will have to think about what kind of profession would best suit Good Shepherd’s needs at that time. It could be another pastor, but it could be a deacon, a DCE (Director of Christian Education), etc. There are a number of different degrees and programs that equip people for various aspects of helping to shepherd a congregation. It will also be important to find someone whose skills and abilities complement the pastor’s in order to expand our ministry and mission.
9. Will the need for additional professional staff once there is a new pastor and Pastor Muller retires be assessed at that time?
Certainly we would always assess the need for additional staff. However there are some factors that we want you to understand. There are various ways of figuring out the ratio of members and staff. Tom Rainer, a noted Christian leader in staffing, suggests that for every 75 people in attendance you should have 1 professional staff person. Another congregation here in our community uses the figure of 100 persons at worship for each additional staff member. Another recommendation is that for every 150 members, you should have a professional staff member.
Prior to COVID we were worshiping 173 people per week and we have over 300 members. By any of the standards, we have been significantly understaffed for a number of years. Many members of our congregation have helped to fill that void but it has still left us in a position that there are many opportunities we have to pass up and people’s needs have fallen through the cracks because there was no contact made on them to know that they have that need. Follow up on guests and especially follow up on members who have been sick or discontinue worshiping has not really been adequate. That results, oftentimes in a decrease in membership and activity of those people.
Will providing additional professional staff ensure that we grow back to 173 or 200 at worship, is impossible to answer. COVID has changed a lot of things in the world, church attendance is among them. On the other hand, if we choose not to provide the proper staffing for our congregation we can assure you that we will not grow. There won’t be enough professional staff to take of the needs of people. When that happens people look elsewhere for their needs to be met. If the congregation were to grow smaller, there will be less resources to provide professional staff, which will result in the cycle of reducing the pastoral staff. Congregations in the United States on average, have decreased their attendance by 20% in the last 20 years. There may be many explanations for it but our congregations has not seen that decline. We think understaffing would be a serious mistake.
10. Will the new pastor have input as to whether he needs, desires to work with additional to work with additional staff?
We can’t tell you this for certain but that may have been one of the reasons why Pastor Bode declined the call. At the point we were talking with him the discussion revolved around he coming to work full time and Pastor Muller working part time, diminishing the amount of time he works each year until he is no longer employed here five years from the arrival of Pastor Bode. That meant that he would have to shoulder the whole work and as we pointed out in question 9, we have been seriously understaffed.
We’re really changing the direction a little bit in what we’re saying. We’re not necessarily saying that we want a pastor and a half. We’re saying that we do need to look at professional staffing. We believe that will be a better presentation to our future pastor so that he will already be on board for the need to find additional staff. He would help to guide the decision of who and what that professional staff would look like, therefore we would assume that this question has really answered itself in his acceptance of the call.
Sanctuary/Physical Plant Improvement Questions
1. What are the specific sanctuary plans?
We have been considering replacing the existing carpeting in the sanctuary, as well as the AV Room and Prayer Room. This could include carpeting all of the aisles and putting vinyl plank flooring under the pews. Both types of flooring would go over the existing tiles.
We are also looking into new, more energy efficient windows for the sanctuary, including the sidelights in the chancel, as well as the AV Room and the Prayer Room.
We are also considering new drywall and insulation on the south wall of the nave and of the AV Room. This would reduce our heating bills.
Finally, we’re looking into repainting the sanctuary, as well as the AV Room and the Prayer Room.
2. When will the sanctuary improvements be done?
It would be up to Church Council to determine when to begin these improvements.
3. Are we hiring people to do work in the sanctuary?
Yes, the plan calls for all of the work to be done by professionals, rather than trying to do any of it ourselves. This will minimize the disruption to worship.
4. Have we identified all the large capital items (that is ones not typically budgeted for) that will likely need to be addressed in the next ten years to make sure we don’t have to have another campaign until then?
In our partnership with LCEF, they have asked us to identify the capital needs for the next three years. That is the span they believe we can reasonably look at and be pretty accurate about what our needs are going to be. The Church Council has talked about doing longer range planning but that is not the scope of this campaign nor the responsibility of the campaign. We will pass this question on to the Church Council for their consideration and planning.
5. Doesn’t our sanctuary really need a complete update?
Yes! Please see the answers to Question 1 in this section.
6. Do we have the equipment and trained staff/volunteers to keep us abreast of the digital age?
Right now, we have a pretty skilled set of people who are working very hard as volunteers to help us come pretty far in a pretty short time into the digital age. We have not been able to stump them when a need has arisen.
The one concern may be that, because they are volunteers, there is a greater risk that their lives may change or they may not be available at a time we need them. This is something we probably should keep in mind so we are at least aware of that issue.
As our digital presence continues to grow as a necessity, it is going to call into question our staffing in terms of that digital area, including social media and other digital communications.
7. Where will a second pastor reside in the building?
Some discussion has been that the new, full time pastor will take the current Pastor’s office. When we were only talking transition, thought was given to converting the library into a small office for the part time person and expanding the library opportunities into the prayer room. Because we are now talking about professional staff expansion we probably need to revisit that discussion or at begin to have that discussion in the light of the fact that we are talking about this staff being more than temporary.
8. What would it cost to put soundproofing roof tiles in the gymnasium?
We haven’t considered this, but we could ask our Building Coordinator to get an estimate.
9. Why don’t we add power to the garage?
When we were doing the build for the addition, we did lay electric conduit out to the garage, planning to hook it up. Those of you who were here might remember that there were RV’s at the back of the lot, where the Laborers for Christ lived, during the build. They were hooked into the electrical system at church in order to provide power to them. Unfortunately, when they were unhooked, that cable got buried and we were never able to find it, which is why there is no power in the garage. For those of you who have been asking that we get power to the garage you’ll be glad to hear that is one of the items the campaign has looked at, and there is agreement that it needs to be dealt with now. It is in the proposals for the physical plant side of the ministry campaign.
10. What other physical improvements might we make to our facilities?
We have asked the Building Coordinator to look into work that might need to be done to other parts of our building.
As a result, we are considering raising concrete that has settled on the north side of the building as well as some painting and caulking to the exterior. We are also looking into extending power to the garage and adding or improving some exterior lighting.
For the interior we are considering replacing carpeting in the gathering space, Andrew’s Room, the nursery, the hall, and the front offices. We are looking into repainting the library and the nursery. We will finally have the offices and kitchen painted.
Finally, we would like to include an allocation for maintenance for the next several years for HVAC, plumbing, and electric.