Thom Hackett presented the idea of making a small change to our Mission Statement to make it clearer and give God His rightful place – right in front. It was unanimously agreed to and the revised Mission Statement will now read: “To worship God, to serve our fellow man, to reach the lost, to grow as a family of God, and to do all this in a spirit of unity.” You will begin to see changes in the bulletin, the website and the banners in the church soon.
Robert Appling, Ministry Leader of Missions, was unable to attend this week’s meeting. Gene Pearson spoke in his place at Robert’s request. Colonel and Kelly Pratt are in an extremely remote area of China and they have very little contact with other Americans. We would like for our members to email Colonel and Kelly to encourage them while they are abroad. However, no communications should mention the religious nature of their mission, nor should there be any mention of God. China is still a communist state; the Chinese Government has the right to search their flat (home). They have done so in the past. Their email and other communication is also closely watched. Please use ultimate caution when emailing them. Please communicate with Robert Appling, Danny or one of the Elders for guidance. They need our support, letters and emails. Just be careful.
Dave Embry, also speaking on Robert’s behalf, informed the meeting that a Chesterfield County Police officer would like to offer his services to Southwest, providing ”Active Shooter Preparedness” training. It was agreed that this would benefit our leaders, teachers and any member. Among the questions that need answers before we decide to do this are: “What is the length of training?” “What Cost, if any, is there for the training?” “When should we hold the training?”
This discussion led to a question in regards to Concealed Cary Weapons (“CCW”) Permit Holders; there are many members who are well trained, disciplined and hold the proper certification for a CCW Permit. Federal law forbids CCW on Church Premises, without the express permission of the Elders.
Addendum: The Elders at Southwest do not intend to grant permission for any person to bring a firearm into the building. This was reiterated at the most recent Elders’ Meeting of July 23.
Dave Embry told us that contributions are “up” compared to last year. However, measured against the 2014-15 Budget for the first quarter, we are falling short. Expenses are up but on schedule for the First Quarter as well. June was a weak month in contributions; about $2,000 short of budget. In May we found ourselves $3,000 short of budget. Dave has not been able to find any seasonality in the budget itself.
Steve Simpson commented that we, as leaders, don’t do a good enough job of reminding our members when on vacation to “make up” missed giving when they return home.
The Bus Campaign is not moving well at all. We are seeing only a few dollars added each week. Imposing a “deadline” to create some sense of urgency was discussed. It was also agreed we need to draw more attention to it overall. The money spent on rentals already this year is more than $3,000.00. Chris Weaver will head up working with Greg on bringing this to the forefront and on borrowing a Bus to allow members to see and touch a bus. There are many benefits to the Bus as not only would it benefit the youth events, but we could hold more events for our Life Groups, Special Outings, etc.
Bill Harkabus spoke to us about children being involved and it was agreed that this is a great way to involve our youngsters in training for service.
There are currently about a month’s worth of visitor packets left. Bill is getting ready to redo them as they need revision to reflect the changes in the Eldership, the Communications Ministry, Celebrate Recovery and other general updates. Bill and Matthew Kimball will work together to come up with the next revision. If anyone has skills in layout, printing and cutting on a large format paper cutter and you would like to help, Matthew says he would be more than happy to turn this work over to another member.
Brent Archer has been working with the elders for the 201415 session. Brent is currently in review of our current format: One question he’s asking is “Should we move away from ‘Sunday Morning Sermon Recap’ format we currently utilize?” Life Groups should align to the 201415 theme and has been working with Danny on much of this as well. Brent expects to have a Plan Document to review with the Elders at the end of the month.
The most difficult aspect of Life Groups is securing Host Homes; Facilitators are easy to come by in comparison. So if you have the ability and willingness to host a Life Group, please let Brent Archer know.
The possibility of dispersing the Youth among all of Southwest’s Life Groups was discussed. There are many good reasons for doing this, but also many challenges that such a change would present to the Youth and their families. Tyler Mackall would like to speak with the Youth Group further about his experiences when he was a teen in which he found that being more “integrated” with the adults was good for all parties. Several other adults agreed that they have learned a lot from our youth when there was interaction. This will be discussed further with the Youth Deacon, Craig Anderson and Greg Ashmore, Youth Minister. While this discussion was broached last year, it was decided then that it wasn’t a good time to integrate. If you have any feedback, please see Craig Anderson or Greg Ashmore.
Steve Scates stated that the recent Projector Crisis worked out. Repairs to the unit were made as well as to wiring on the Remote Control End at the Media Desk (wires tend to come loose over time). Matthew will be filling the Connector with hot glue in an effort to stabilize the Wiring for the future; this process tends to work well. Steve stated that Matthew Kimball has taken the lead in maintaining a schedule of servants to work in the A/V Booth.
Currently there is a 60hz Transformer Hum coming through the new Mixer. We are still investigating this issue and are hopeful to have it repaired in the coming weeks. Steve made comment that he never knows what to call Matthew, either Matt or Matthew; therefore he has nicknamed him “Sparky” since he seems to be so good with electronics!
Matthew “Sparky” Kimball explained to the Leadership Team that numbers continue to increase month over year and average 300%. We added a church in Ivor and Mechanicsville last month and are adding 5 churches in Richmond this coming September and 2 in Western Virginia. There is a volunteerism ad running on “Spirit FM” in Lynchburg and on their national stream. (You can download the app on the Play or iTunes app stores). As we grow we continue to ad to our marketing campaign to reach out into the community; this month we served over 10,000 Tweets in Virginia last month as we have just launched our Twitter campaign.
The Brad Harrub DVD set has been slow in the making, but it is moving along. Matthew explained the individual he had completing the artwork fell through and he had to find another artist He’s hopeful it will be finalized by the End of the month. The DVD sets will be uploaded for final professional printing. Cost will roughly be $1.50 a disc plus shipping.
Matthew has been directing our Social Media Campaigns and has a media schedule in place to engage and draw in not only members but also the community. We started a new Twitter Feed: @SWCOCCR for Celebrate Recovery.
There was some discussion of some individuals’ receiving “too many” texts. The Twitter feed requires a steady balance of information sent out. However, we must also bear in mind the fact that some have moved to Social Media like Twitter as one of their main sources of communication. There are many ways to get information: Twitter Feeds, Facebook, our Church Website, the Bulletin, etc. All of these need more direction and members need to choose what they do/don’t want themselves. For example, if someone feels they are getting too many “Tweet” texts, then they only need to reply to that text with “Cancel @SWCOCNEWS” and they will be removed from getting the update. This will be added to the Twitter flyers throughout the church so people are aware of this opt out.
“The Sword” weekly e-publication needs Reports from Ministry Leaders and others from the church about Ministries, Events and opportunities for involvement in the Body. Send your updates to Danny Campbell or Matthew Kimball and they will ensure an update is made here as well as on the web.
Matthew spoke about a Technology Class for those who would like to learn how to use: Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you are interested; please see Matthew Kimball so he can schedule a class.
Addendum from Elders’ Meeting of Wednesday, July 23: Rhonda Sherman has volunteered, and the Elders have approved, her coordinating communication for the Southwest Church of Christ.
Tyler Mackall informed us he has treated the facility, interior and exterior for Ants (and other pests). A control treatment was completed throughout the facility. He needs the assistance of everyone with cleaning up after events etc. The floors and tables should all be clean. Food should be put up and kept in sealed containers and/or in the refrigerator or freezer. Your compliance will assist in the reduction of bugs we have seen in the recent months.
Steve Simpson asked Tyler to use Rick Catlin as a resource for HVAC issues going forward.
Celebrate Recovery (“CR”)
O.R. spoke about Integration of CR with other Ministries. O.R. Will work with each Ministry individually. Our recent “Home Run” Movie event was a success and we are currently expecting 4 to 8 on the first day of CR from the movie alone!
Because of the importance of this Ministry and because O.R. and Brenda are making a full-time commitment to it (O.R. focusing on men, Brenda on women), the Church has allocated an office in the white house for their use. They will require a desk, desk chair and other standard office equipment. A computer has already been donated. If you have an item the Ministry could use, please reach out to O.R. or Brenda.
Dale Lee would like us to agree on an Annual Theme to be rolled out in September. He suggested the theme of “Building Relationships”.
Dale is working on a “Head Usher” position. This person would be responsible for checking off on arrivals and finding replacements for missing staffers in an effort to make our Sunday Worship Experience run smoothly. The Goal is to have everyone involved in Worship to meet in a room before the service begins, to review the service and pray before beginning service. Dale stated that he continues to look at how we can improve and is making changes to make the Worship Service better. If you have any ideas on how to improve upon our worship to God, please see Dale Lee.
Harding University Matching Funds for Students
It has been discovered recently that, up to $500.00, Harding will match any contribution a church sends on behalf of one of their students. The question, “Should Southwest start a college fund where members could specify a contribution to aid children in need of additional funds for their college experience?”
Addendum based on the Elders’ Meeting of July 23
Harding’s Matching Contribution Program will be mentioned in the church bulletin. Any contributions by Southwest, to qualify for matching, must be published in the church bulletin.
Next Meeting on September 28
On September 28th the Leadership Meeting will be open to all Members’ attedance. Reports will be given from Ministry Leaders and Deacons covering all aspects of the work here at Southwest. In order to ensure that the meeting goes well, if you have any questions you’d like to ask a Ministry Leader or Deacon, please submit your questions in writing to the Deacon or Ministry Leader by September 21st.