Here I am again, trying to establish the practice of blogging. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, again, and again I guess. I feel that the need to open up this important line of communication with members and friends of Crossroads. I hope that it can be an avenue for discussion and greater understanding.
Things around here are moving fast. We are already in the midst of our Fall programing. This month is filled with lots of events for both families and individuals. I will not mention everything that is going on, so please check the church website for full list of what’s going on.
We are really focusing on keep the website current. Sunday, we had our very first “official” meeting of our newly expanded eldership. I am really excited with the current make up of our leadership team. Each person brings a unique and valuable prospective to the table. As usually, we had some important decisions that we needed to make.
Dave Nance and I reported on a seminar we attended in Indianapolis on church compliance with the legal requirements of government. It was, as I anticipated, an eye opening experience for both of us. Basically, we learned that the government at all levels is looking very closely a churches and non-profits to see if they can get some revenue. As far as the federal government, they have created lots of new laws that we need to comply with or face fines, assessments, and even possible revocation of our non-profit status. This could mean that our members would no longer be able to claim their tithes and offerings on their taxes. In other words, these matters are serious issues that must be properly addressed.
In order to bring our congregation into full compliance with current law, the elders have made three important decisions I want you to be aware of. First off, the leadership unanimously decided to engage the services of StartChurch to assist us through this entire process of reviewing and updating our structure and processes. StartChurch is a company dedicated to helping churches deal with the increased scrutiny by the IRS. With over 12 years of extensively researching the laws that govern religious and non-profit organizations, they have compiled over 80 effective and user friendly manuals, using simple day-to-day language, and compliance software that makes church starts and management easier.
We have contracted with them to help us do a full audit of all our internal and financial processes, to incorporate our congregation, to update our constitution and by-laws, and resubmit our non-profit and tax exempt status to the state and federal governments. It will take the better part of year to complete this process. We will do our best to keep you informed as it goes forward. It is an expensive, but absolutely necessary process.
The second important decision dealt with our associate minister Dave Nance. Those of you who have been around here a while know the background. Dave has been an integral part of Crossroads for nearly a decade. He was our first paid student minister. A few years ago, Dave began internship with me preparing him for ordination. This included both practical coaching as well as intensive study program. We were extremely proud to ordain him as an evangelist and minister of the gospel.
I cannot tell how much I appreciate Dave’s work as our associate minister. He has been my right hand in the ministry here. The only difficulty has been that there is no provision for an unpaid associate minister in our structure or leadership. Dave has always been a voice on the leadership team, without an official seat at the table. We needed to correct this.
The leadership team unanimously decided to appoint Dave Nance to immediately begin serving as an elder of Crossroads until the December congregational meeting. At that meeting, we will vote on Dave as a congregation. I have no doubt that he will serve this congregation well in that capacity. Please keep him in your prayers as his responsibilities shift.
The third decision that was made in the meeting was the selection of a chairman. In the past, our leadership team was not formally structured with an official chairman. One of the lessons learned from the StartChurch conference was legal importance of such a structure, and need for such a position. This position is even more important now as we move forward in this process.
The leadership team unanimously determined that Dave Nance would be the best person to serve as our chairman this year. There were a number of reasons for this. One, he attended the seminar and is already up to speed on the process of review with StartChurch. Two, he is a detailed, high organized individual. Working through this process is going to require such person to keep it on track. Finally, Dave will have the time and availability to communicate and coordinate this process with StartChurch. He and I will continue to work closely with each other. The leadership team will also be greatly involved in this whole process as well.
As members of Crossroads, your participation in this process is going to be vital. We will keep you updated as things progress. I am certain that we will have some special congregational meetings to properly approve any changes made to our existing structural documents. I am equally certain that this audit and review is going to make us a better church as well as legally compliant with current law.
I want to close by encouraging you to consider your financial support of Crossroads. We are currently running nearly two hundred dollars behind our approved budget each week. Unless we see a significant increase in support these final months of the year, this shortfall will have to be reflected in next year’s budget.
If you have not signed up for e-give yet, please do so. The link can be found at crossroadschristianchurch.net If you need any assistance, ask Stephanie Guinn. She will be happy to help you. Try it, and I think you will like it. Even if you only use it to give a onetime gift, it will be greatly appreciated at this time.
I also ask for you to remember the leadership and the staff in your daily prayers. We live in exciting and challenging times. The key is going to be leaders guided by God's guidance and wisdom.
See You Sunday!