Annual Financial Report
My Good Shepherd Family,
Rachel, the girls and I are so thankful to you for wrapping your arms around us and making us a part of the Good Shepherd family. While it has been just over a year, the first six months were incredibly challenging. As a family, we moved away from family, friends and everything we knew to come to the Northwest. There were many tears and discussions month after month in our home. Yet, from day one, God continued to bring Good Shepherd people into our lives at church, and you invited us into your homes. The tide began to shift over these last six months, and now I hear the rest of the Bryant family vibrantly sharing how it was God’s will for them to move too. Thank you for loving on our little family. We know we are loved and experience your care daily.
Change is Difficult
Throughout this past year, Good Shepherd has experienced a lot of change. Change is incredibly difficult. While some are exhilarated by renovation, others are stunned by it. Because it is so challenging for many people, we only want the change that is truly needed. During my interview process, the elders and staff leadership shared their desire for strategic change. The changes they shared included: (1) a desire to unify the church by moving away from multiple worship venues, (2) a desire to take new ministry efforts toward the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s – the generation rapidly leaving Christ’s church, (3) a church-wide local outreach strategy, and (4) a new leadership style for our staff.
The Speed of Change
With these goals in mind, we discussed the option where the lead pastor would come in and not change anything for 12-18 months. This is sometimes an approach in churches and corporate entities alike when new leaders take the helm to allow more time to learn and understand internal processes and procedures. This extra time brings its own set of challenges to the mix. The elders and executive team disagreed with this strategy as they were firmly feeling the Lord’s urging for forward movement. With much prayer and complete unanimity among the thirteen elders, we asked the Lord to guide each of our steps.
Changes We’ve Made
To begin, the Lord led us to one unified service with two styles of music. Secondly, we have taken many advances toward the 20’s-40’s; some of those steps have been fruitful while others we have learned from. We have been quickly building momentum around creative discipleship opportunities, and we are seeing the Lord invigorate many in their 20’s-40’s. We have been piloting or experimenting with these creative discipleship efforts with a more limited group, yet God willing, it appears that we may be ready early in 2019 to rollout a broader discipleship strategy.
Thirdly, as a church, we observed, prayed and discussed the possibility of focusing some of our local outreach towards Rockwood. We received overwhelming support from the Good Shepherd family as well as many leaders from Rockwood to focus our efforts there. This summer, the Lord gave us the grace as a church to surpass our goals to love Rockwood in many ways.
Finally, the staff has done a fantastic job this past year. I’m coming in with outside eyes, and let me tell you what you already know – Good Shepherd staff is uniquely gifted by God and experiencing tremendous fruitfulness. It has been a complete joy to get to know the team.
Before I arrived, there were a number of pastoral positions in student ministry and operations that were unfilled. The elders wanted to wait for the new lead pastor to speak into filling those positions. We first considered all of the Good Shepherd candidates, and then our executive team reached out to people we knew who were people of extraordinary faith and giftedness. Because of my previous pastoral position, I had the privilege to work with more than 300 staff as well as people from around the nation. The people we invited to move across the country are people I can personally vouch for. I know their walk with the Lord as well as how God has gifted them for Christ’s church. I hope you have had the opportunity to get to know them as well. Would you help them to also feel the warmth of Good Shepherd? Please spend time with them to help them know our church history and culture.
The elders are extremely pleased and thankful to our Lord for all He has done in us and through us here at Good Shepherd this year. God blessed us with offerings nearly $300,000 more than the previous year. Thank you for your faithful obedience in giving to Christ’s church! We began our new fiscal year on July 1st, so we are providing the budget for ministry for this year. Your elders and pastors take seriously the responsibility to carefully and prudently invest the funds you have so faithfully and joyously given for His kingdom. If you have any questions regarding the budget information, please feel free to reach out to Tom Lancaster, Pastor of Operations, at email@example.com or 503.663.5050.
I am so thankful for the commitment each of you has to knowing God’s Word and living it out. You are serving people in your neighborhoods, communities, on one of our short-term mission trips, and you are a blessing to our global missionaries. You have given so generously. Thank you!
As you read through this Annual Report, let me encourage you to give God praise for all He has done this past year. Let us also look ahead to next year in prayer with eager anticipation of all God is going to do. People everywhere desperately need Jesus. This weekend, we will be sharing our final value – Freely Receive, Freely Give. It is our prayer that you would spend time with the Lord asking him to lead you in how you give your time, talent and finances to His church.
Download the Annual Report here. Physical copies will be available in the lobby, at the Welcome Center, this weekend.
On Behalf of the Elders,