Family Meeting Recap

May 3, 2015: Family Meeting Recap

Financials :: As an autonomous church, The Church at East has existed for just over 9 months. When we originally budgeted our monthly expenditures, we estimated that we would bring in $5,000/month through in-house giving during the first year; however, that is not what has happened.  Outlined below are financial details:

  • In-house giving averages $7,000-$7,500/month.  That is $2,000-$2,500 more than  anticipated.
  • Since the end of 2014, this giving has been consistent indicating that our budget should be based on this number.
  • Austin New Church's contributions end July 30, 2015.  Based on the last 9 months, The Church at East will be approximately $2,000-$2,500/month short if we continue with our current structure.
  • Change is in the air.  Just as it would be irresponsible for a family to live above their means, it is irresponsible for us to do so.  We are not sure what that means but it could mean any of the following:
    • A change in our paid pastoral structure
    • A change of venue to a less-expensive venue
    • A total change of structure allowing us to be more free with our money
  • As a board and staff, we don't have the answer to what the change will be.  We have roughly three months to figure this out, so we are asking you, as partners of East, to pray through this summer, fill out the survey (mentioned below), and communicate with us.

Identity :: Finances are not the only thing informing possible changes. In fact, finances are just indicative of change; identity is the primary factor.  These are the questions we are asking:

  • Is our current structure consistent with who we really are?  
  • Does or should our identity or desired identity dictate a different structure?  
  • Does our current structure work against our desired identity?

We don't know the answer to these questions and are inviting you into praying with us as we seek answers.  No matter what change happens, our desire is that those changes reflect and are consistent with who God wants us to be in this city. 

Summer schedule :: It is not abnormal for a church to rearrange its schedule during the summer months.  Churches do this for several reasons, but mainly it is due to the expected decrease in attendance due to school breaks, vacations, etc.  The survey we have created proposes three possible schedules. Please take the time to fill out that survey and let us know your preference.  What we request is that your preference match your practice.  

Survey :: As stated in the meeting and many times before that, The Church at East is not "Matthew and Austin's church."  It is OUR church.  With that in mind, we have created a survey so that we all can inform the decisions being made for not only the summer schedule but any future changes.  To let your voice be heard, click HERE. 

Sabbatical :: Matthew and Sarah are going on sabbatical for the  months of June, July and August.  This sabbatical was offered 2 years ago, but they didn't take it due to being busy and other responsibilities they had on their plate.  Based on timing, current stress levels, burnout and the fact that we are all praying about the future, we feel this summer is a great time for Matthew, Sarah and their family to take a sabbatical.  Please pray for them as they take time to recover this summer. 

Next meeting :: We will announce our summer schedule and any changes we have for the on June 7th at another family meeting directly after our normal worship service.  We will not discuss any post-August changes (we won't know the answer to this anyway).  This meeting will address the summer schedule only.