First Baptist Church Gainesville. Family Forum Action Path Conclusionary Statements Transition Team Report

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1 First Baptist Church Gainesville Family Forum Action Path Conclusionary Statements Transition Team Report February 22 th 2015

2 The Transition Team began work on the Heritage Phase of the Intentional Interim process by introducing a Family Forum Night on September 28 th, 2014 in which all of our members were asked to participate in a large group small groups "Coming To Terms With Our History" dialogue session. From that, we received over 300+ comments from our members. The Transition Team classified each of these comments into either actionable items (comments based on observable factors that are easily detectable) or non-actionable items (reflective comments that are based on assumption or non-evidential resources). Then, after careful review of the submitted comments, we composed 22 actionable action paths. The Transition Team has worked tirelessly to have these items in progress to be resolved by the end of January Below are the results of each of the 22 action paths. 1. Desire for fulltime Children's Minister: The Personnel Committee met on 11/30/14 to discuss this issue. First, they recognized and applauded the contribution and involvement of the current part-time Children s minister Kim Brasher. The Personnel Committee looks favorable upon this position and recognizes the need for a full-time position. The Personnel Committee agrees that children are an important key to the growth of our Church and that to attract families with children, FBCG needs to provide and support children programs throughout the Church. It is the Personnel Committees position that they will not be hiring a full-time children s minister until after the Church secures a Senior Pastor. 2. Youth Minister Enlarge/Evaluate Ministry: The Personnel Committee supports the growth and improvement of the overall Youth Program and its leadership. The Personnel Committee highlighted the importance of involvement by the Youth Committee to help balance the effectiveness of the Youth Program. They realize that together with the Youth Committee, the Youth Program is equipped to plan, organize and promote all banquets, parties, and other general youth activities to help promote growth. They believe that the facilities are currently conducive to the amount of children at this time. It is the Personnel Committee s position that the current youth facilities are adequate and that the current Youth Minister Staff position is in the process of being evaluated on a 20 point evaluation system and that further measures may come as a result. 3. Adult Ministry Literature choices/ Guiding Documents: We are very grateful for the faithfulness of our Sunday School teachers. We have great confidence in our teachers and at this time we are relying upon their judgment to follow the customary practice of ordering all literature through the church office. 2

3 The contributing factors to a lack of clarity regarding the selection of literature are: Absence of paid staff charged with such coordination. Lack of funds available to the church caused some adult classes to take steps to supply their own literature. Given our current conditions, it would be most helpful to enlist a volunteer Sunday School Director under the Education Committee and by way of that structure could provide this coordination, including the policies or practices by which the literature question would be addressed to the satisfaction of the church. As of this writing, it is also important to note that the Education Committee has been reactivated for further council regarding this topic. 4. Senior Adult Activities: Coordination through J.L. Williams, Interim Pastor of Congregational Care. Senior activities include Prime Time, seasonal events, and fellowship outings (ex. Camp Copass, Canton, Falls Creek) 5. Reactivation of Church Council: The Church Council was last active in The Church Council has been reactivated as of October, The Church Council and Deacon Officers collected nomination forms on December 14 th and privately enlisted the 6 nominees that received the highest number of church nominations. The new members began service on January 1 st Along with the new 6 nominated; the remaining members are: Interim Pastor, Interim Worship Pastor, Congregational Care Minister, Youth Minister, Children s Director, WMU Director, Ladies Ministry Director, Deacon Chair, Finance Chair, Committee on Committees Chair, and Missions Chair. 6. BGCT VS. SBTC: The Pastor is currently educating our church on the two different state conventions through a sermon series on Sunday morning/nights and a Wednesday night Q&A. The Church Council will bring a recommendation to be evaluated by the Missions Committee and Deacon Body before bringing to the Church for a vote. 7. Business Meeting Protocol: The Church Council met on January 25, 2015 and reviewed a proposed FBC business meeting procedures document. The document outlined Moderator, Parliamentary Rules, Agendas and Notifications & Voting. Roberts Rules of Order allow business meetings by majority vote to adopt standing rules for specific business sessions. These standing rules are not debatable, but rather are simply stated or presented by the Moderator at the onset of the business meeting by majority vote they are accepted or declined. Such rules are often accepted as a means of expediting the preannounced matter of business included in the printed agenda. 3

4 The Church Council will adopt standing rules for the FBC business meeting. Published agendas, Voting procedures, and Specific attention to matters of presentation will be presented to the church as our desired format. The procedures will be published and placed in the church bylaws or policy manual. The procedures are already being practiced by the FBC in our regular and special business meetings. By recording the procedures we will be able to refer to the agreed upon document for future clarification. 8. Bylaw Revision: A Constitution and Bylaw Committee was proposed at the 1/25/15 business meeting and it was voted in favor of. The Committee on Committees will recommend 3 individuals to serve on the newly created Committee. 9. Committees Guidelines: The Committee on Committees has proposed a Committee Manual in the 1/25/15 business meeting to help manage all committees. This manual was originally a handout at the January 10 th 2015 committee training day. They anticipate the proposal for the February 2015 business meeting. 10. Committee on Committees Duties/ Power: The original comment (from the Family Forum) was that the Committee on Committees has too much power. At the 1/25/15 business meeting, the Committee on Committees recommended to the church that we form a Constitution and Bylaws Committee. The recommendation passed and will soon be formed. The committee is set to have 3 members (not yet chosen as of this writing). 11. Training of Committee Members: The Church held a Committee Workshop on January 10 th of 26 committees met with over 100 members participating. Several committees decided to refer to themselves as a team, as opposed to a committee. It was a very successful and encouraging event. A workshop handout of 23 pages in addition to each committee job description and a list of all members was reviewed. This material is scheduled to become a Committee manual proposed to the Church for continued management of our committees. The goal is to have this completed by February 2015 Business meeting. 12. Church Decision Making: The Personnel Committee is constructing a Personnel Handbook with policies and procedures to guide personnel decision making in the future. The Church Council is working on constructing Business Protocol guidelines. The Committee on Committees will be working on constructing a manual and a Constitution and Bylaws Committee is being discussed to review and interpret the Bylaws. 4

5 Together these documents should vastly improve our Church s ability to make collective decisions through documented processes and procedures. 13. Communications/ Availability of Guiding Documents: Holly Bozarth (Ministry Assistant) is continually working to improve the Church website and thus over time, provide guiding documents and communications to our church body via the web. Holly is also getting out the business meeting packets via one week in advance, and hardcopies can be picked up the morning of. As the church works through this transition and creates/re-works some of these policies and procedures, they will be made available to all. This is a work-in-progress at this time. 14. Financial Audit: The Finance Committee extensively reviewed the 2014 credit card receipts and are now reviewing 88 pages of Best Practices for Church financial management. We should have an update from the Finance Committee very soon. The 2015 Finance Committee stated that a comprehensive financial audit provided by a 3 rd party would be unproductive. 15. Oklahoma Baptist Foundation/Debt: The Finance Committee is communicating the OBF debt amount in each business meeting and the church is meeting the principal and interest payments out of the current operating budget. Our hope and desire is to retire the debt note before the agreed terms. 16. Property - Purchase/Sale: During the 1/25/15 business meeting, the Properties Committee presented an offer before the church for consideration of $175,000 sale of church owned property (formerly known as the Powell Property ). After a detailed presentation on what this might bring to the church, the church voted for a sale of the property. Upon closing, the sale proceeds would be applied to the Oklahoma Baptist Foundation Note. After voting, it was then mentioned that the purchasing party of the Powell Property would make a contribution to the Church in the amount of $125,000 approx days after closing. 17. Deacon - Qualifications & Selections: On Sunday, November 23, a committee of deacons appointed by Deacon Chairman Sparky Flint, met to discuss two items concerning the Deacon Body of First Baptist Gainesville. The recommendation from the committee is as follows: Response to Transition Team Action Path 17 & 18: The FBC Deacon Body will adopt a Deacon Manual that will outline the duties, expectations and process involved in becoming a deacon. A FBC Deacons retreat will be scheduled for new deacon training and planning. 5

6 18. Addressing Church Matters (members who are Deacons): On Sunday, November 23, a committee of deacons appointed by Deacon Chairman Sparky Flint, met to discuss two items concerning the Deacon Body of First Baptist Gainesville. The recommendation from the committee is as follows: Response to Transition Team Action Path 17 & 18: The FBC Deacon Body will adopt a Deacon Manual that will outline the duties, expectations and process involved in becoming a deacon. A FBC Deacons retreat will be scheduled for new deacon training and planning. 19. Personnel Policies / Accountability Procedures: The Personnel Committee realized the importance of our monthly business meetings and that getting information to our congregation beforehand is essential. Holly Bozarth (Ministry Assistant) is already getting out the packets via one week in advance, and hardcopies can be picked up the morning of. The Committee is working to construct a new binder with detailed information on the responsibilities and duties of the committee for each committee member. All committee members have attended a training workshop on January 10 th 2015 With the help of Dr. Eckeberger, a 20 point evaluation system was implemented for all staff members and the committee is also working on creating a Personnel Handbook to improve overall consistency on policies and reviews. The Personnel Committee remains devoted that any staff changes regarding FBCG will be thoroughly detailed in business meeting agendas. The best way to stay informed about what the Personnel Committee is doing, is to attend our monthly business meetings. 20. Public Ministries - Hope on Broadway/Center of Hope: The goals of our public ministries (Center of Hope and Hope on Broadway) are to assist with the spiritual and physical needs of those in our community. The Finance Committee has $5,500 in the 2015 budget for these programs; however, these programs are currently being evaluated. 21. Worship Bulletin: Members had different opinions concerning type and print of the bulletin as well as the information included. Some suggestions were: Would like for the bulletin to include a space for notes Would like to see a listing of staff Larger print Improvements in the bulletin have already been made. 22. Music Worship: The Music Committee should consist of 6 rotating members & 7 ex-officio members (3 of these do not presently exist). The Music Committee is in the process of being reactivated. 6

7 What is most important is to honor God with our music, not to be overly concerned about the different types of music. The hand bells are safe in storage in our Church. To have an active hand bell choir we would need the hand bells to be refurbished and need special tables with foam. Our budget does not currently allocate funds for these things. It will require 12 interested people to commit once a week practice for the hand bell choir. Conclusion: The Transition Team realizes that the above mentioned issues will not resolve all of the issues the Church currently faces. It is vital to make time for healing within the congregation. There must be a time of letting go and for discarding old expectations, wounds, patterns, and baggage of the past. Only when the congregation has let go, can a new minister be fully accepted. Please join us as we celebrate and work on these things that have made our Church strong and significant in the Kingdom. 7

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