End of Summer Letter
I hope you have had an amazing summer. I must admit, as summer comes to a close I am always torn a little between two sets of feelings; first the sadness I feel, because I love the long carefree summer days, bbq’s, shorts, and flip flops and second, the feelings of excitement I have for fall. The fall makes me look forward to family gatherings, football, cool days, hoodies and fires in the back yard.
As many of you know this year has been a series of eventful celebrations, and rocky roads, in the life of our Church. We have experienced the Spiritual High’s of seeing many people give their life to Jesus and follow him through baptism. But at the beginning of May, we were wondering if our church could make it financially to or through the summer.
We had to have several difficult conversations and had to make some difficult decisions. We cut several key staff positions and temporarily closed some great programs like the Good Samaritan Clinic and The Marriage Center. For those positions we didn't cut, we personally, asked each staff member to reduce hours through the summer. These staff changes saved the Church over $11,000.00 this summer and made me very proud of the personal commitment and sacrifice each individual made.
As a church we asked each of you to faithfully commit to giving regularly and generously as Romans 12:8 teaches. Almost 70 people made a monthly financial commitment totaling $17,596. Although this total is only about 50% of our monthly commitments, it is a good base and the Church has been very faithful in it’s giving since May.
Also, we have been able to regularly put money into savings for the first time in almost a year. Although we are not completely out of the woods, I am thankful to see the faithfulness and buy in of our church. The DTV Board has asked that we begin to set a financial goal of having $55,000 set aside by the end of the year. This dollar amount equals approximately 45 days of operational expenses. After we achieve this goal, we will continue to save until we have 6 months of operational dollars set aside. We currently have just over $40,000 dollars between the church’s operational account and savings account, which although is not a lot, it is much better than where we were in May.
Since we have returned to the Avalon Theater, our children’s ministry is up 30%, averaging nearly 100 kids each weekend. I think this speaks volumes to the necessity of kids having their own spaces. There is just something special about having and being home. Our Children’s Ministry Team has worked incredibly hard this summer going to great lengths to make sure kids have a safe, stable environment that is conducive for teaching kids about the love Jesus has for them and their families.
This fall we are working hard to rebuild our Student Ministry. We know that the average person gives their life to Jesus during these important years and this has to be our top priority this fall. We are really excited to have Sean and Shalea Moon join our team. They are a great addition and are putting a ton of energy into creating a place for Middle School, High School and Young Adults. We want the DTV Church to be the place where students and young adults find Jesus and prosper in their spiritual journey in Jesus.
Furthermore, since we returned to the Avalon Theater, we have also recently launched Life Groups & Social Circles. We know that in order for people to grow spiritually they need to be connected relationally. Life Groups are generally a group of people whom gather together during the week for a Biblical study and spiritual accountability. Social Circles gather around a particular activity or common interest like... (mtn. biking, hiking, running, coffee, movies, cliff diving, shooting, knitting, cigars, repelling, food, etc.). As a church we want to be biblical and relational, we believe that regardless if you’re 4 or 94, people need Life Groups & Social Circles.
As we get back into the fall we will begin to host an array of DTV University Classes. We encourage each member of our church to take a class or two this year. We feel it is vital as Christians that we grow in wisdom and spirit. We know that one of the things God uses to grow our faith is growing our knowledge. Information is for application, not inspiration. DTV University is one of the processes we use to help people grow spiritually.
Finally, starting September 21, we will begin studying the book of “John” on Sunday mornings. The first thirteen chapters all are based on the hope of Jesus. I believe this is an important theme for our church and our lives. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Downtown Vineyard Church and as the Senior Pastor of the DTV Church, I want to say thank you for your commitment..
May The Lord Bless You And Keep You,
Pastor Paul B. Watson