Its been about 3 months since I have sent out a Netcast Update. On February 5th, Netcast moved to a new space since we were averaging well over 200 people in our services but only had 140 chairs. It was a pretty exciting problem to have.
Our new facility has really helped us to enhance every area of our ministry. Since we are renting a middle school auditorium on Sundays only, our expenses are still minimal and our space has gone from being able to fit 150 people comfortably to about 600 people comfortably. With the move, Netcast has seen another explosion of growth. At one time had almost 360 people in a single service. Our Children's Ministry went from about 20 kids on average, to at one point we had 70 kids in there. Almost all of this latest growth are by local families. This means that Netcast is really impacting our community and is becoming a more stable ministry.
With all of this excitement, we have also seen some real challenges. Because so many of the people are new, we have had to spend a lot of time and energy keeping our vision at the forefront of the church. Starting in February, I was taking the church through the Gospel of John, but to help keep a clear mission / vision and unity within the church, I recently started a series called "Netcast Identity" that will clearly define who we are as a body to all of the new people. As a church planter, I feel like I am in the core group phase again.
Another challenge has been that assimilation and pastoral care has been a growing difficulty. The difficulty of pastoral care has been hard because there are just so many people to care for and so little workers. The assimilation has been a real challenge because the way people are assimilated into a small church is drastically different than how people are assimilated into a medium sized church. Although we have a great number of people in community groups and serving positions, we need to continue to do better. Because of this, the majority of my time right now is being focused on organizing the internal structure and systems, leadership development and the preaching and teach of Gods Word.
Financially, Netcast is still doing very well when it comes to actual dollars. However, right now about 10% of our church is providing for 70% of our budget. So, in essence it seems we have about 30 people who cover the majority of our ministry expenses. I praise God for them, however we need to mature in this area as a church. We currently have very low fixed expenses and ZERO DEBT!! This has allowed us to continue to create a very generous culture within Netcast as we are giving away a high percentage of our budget to the Kingdom and are able to meet financial needs of our community when necessary.
Beth and I are still fundraising for about 66% of our annual income. At the beginning of 2013, I am hoping that that number will significantly decrease. Hopefully down to about 33%. In the past year a few of our supporters have stopped sending in support and honestly, I have been so overwhelmed with ministry responsibilities that I have not even followed up with them. I am looking to the summer as a time for me to refocus on some of my fundraising.
I praise Christ for all of you. You have been such a gift to my family and the Netcast Community. Please stay in touch and check us out at www.netcastchurch.org
Netcast Church - Lead Pastor