For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him, as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Motion from Council of Elders to Approve
Process and Trajectory of “Fill These Cities: 25 by ‘25”
Given the Council of Elders’ action at their April 5 all-elder meeting1, and believing that God is calling Bethlehem to embrace the budget priorities outlined in "Fill These Cities: 25 by 25"2 for the coming decade (summarized here) ...
- Build a facility in Lakeville that can be used seven days a week for worship, ministry and neighborhood outreach.
- Strengthen our core ministries to better equip more people for faithful gospel ministry among the families, neighborhoods, schools and workplaces of the Twin Cities.
- Call Pastor Kenny Stokes to a new position focused on church planting and church revitalization strategies.
- Expand and focus our Global Outreach ministry by sending to unengaged people groups (those who have never been targeted by missionary organizations).
- Invest in the Bethlehem College & Seminary students and church-planting residents who will be sent to plant churches.
- intend to integrate $23M needed for the 2017 and 2018 C&M budget3, and $13M needed to build a 24/7 South Campus facility4, and $2M needed in December 2016 to cover anticipated remaining 2016 expenses, into one $38M initiative (“One Fund”) over a 25-month period of time from 12/1/2016 through 12/31/2018.
Motion: We call the congregation to ...
- approve the process and trajectory described by "Fill These Cities: 25 by 25", and
- commit to praying5 about each of our roles in supporting and accelerating this vision
1 The motion the elders approved at April 5, 2016 All-Elder Meeting: The Elders intend to integrate $23M needed for the 2017, 2018 C&M budget and $13M needed to build the 24/7 south campus, and $2M needed in December 2016 to cover anticipated remaining 2016 expenses into one $38M fund.
2 Prayer: “Lord, cause church life on Bethlehem’s three campuses to flourish as we endeavor to plant 25 new churches and engage 25 unengaged people groups by 2025, for your glory and our joy.
3 $23M is approximately a 5% year-over-year budget increase for the next two years ($11.2M in 2017 and $11.8M in 2018), compared with our current 2016 C&M budget of $10.7M
4 $13M is the current estimate for building a 65,000 square foot South Campus facility on our property in Lakeville with sanctuary seating for over 800 worshippers.
5 From campaign brief: We commit to prayerfully consider a larger, two-year "Fill These Cities: 25 by 25" financial commitment to fuel a new decade of gospel ambition, deepening our core ministries and widening our outreach.