Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Encouragement for Pastors

I got to spend some time today with some pastors and church leaders. We talked about leading during seasons when you are spent, empty, and depleted. It's very clear to me that lots and lots of church leaders are in the red zone, and I know many pastors who are ready to get out of the game. Most of these are gifted leaders, communicators, coaches, counselors, and pastors. Most should remain in ministry, but they simply have nothing left. They're burned out and completely fried, as the demands of ministry have depleted their resources. Some are angry and deeply hurting. Their families are sometimes a mess. Their spiritual lives are often shallow (I know this is particularly a surprise to all non-pastors). They regularly ask, "how could happen to me?"

Overwhelmingly, the average person has no idea why vocational ministry would create such a scenario. But almost every person who works for a church and EVERY senior pastor knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Pastor, God didn't lead you into the ministry so that he could hurt you. He led you there because He called you. He gifted you. You don't have to live this crazy, nutty, insane life anymore. But to get there, you also don't have to leave the ministry. Getting healthy will require significant changes in the way you the way you live. These changes will be painful initially, but they will lead to a more effective leader and pastor in you, AND a more healthy result in the people you lead, teach and serve.

Be encouraged. Ministry doesn't have to hurt you. God wants you to be whole and healthy.

  • I strongly encourage you to read Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro.
  • Get back to Scripture. Read it every day. Pray until God is finished speaking.
  • Take a Sabbath. Not just this week, but Every Week. Exceptions happen, but they should be rare.
  • Take ALL of your vacation. Don't leave a single day unused or given up.
  • If you've been in ministry for more than 6 years, take a Sabbatical (6 weeks to 3 months). Don't say it cannot happen. Don't say the church cannot live without you. They can. Even if they don't know it...they need to learn how, and they will if you'll let them.
  • Get with some other people who really 'get' you...where you can vent, unload, and let your hair down (for me, that's strictly figurative). If you don't have any idea who that might be, email me at
People are counting on you. Your family is counting on you. And you are NOT alone, even if you feel that way.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Steering Team nominees

The Steering Team is one of the most critical roles here at PCC. From our earliest days, I knew that we needed to gather a group of leaders who could help guide (steer) the church through good times and challenging series. I was smart enough to know that I'm not that smart! The Bible makes this clear:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!...Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12, NIV)

I personally assembled the original Steering Team, and since 2003, the Steering Team has carefully and prayerfully considered and selected the new additions. This is the only elected position in the church, and they serve for 3 year terms. It is so important to get this right, because the Steering Team sets the tone for unity in the entire church. My experience with this group has been extremely positive, and they have done their job - rising to the occasion during the critical seasons at PCC.

This year, we
asked Tony Tomandl and Sarah Wagner to join the team, and the church is
scheduled to vote on them on November 6 at the Annual Meeting.

Here is a little about each of them:

Sara Wagner grew up in Powhatan, and starting attending PCC in 2002. Sara serves in First Steps (with some of the cutest kids in Powhatan), and helps with drama stuff, and sometimes leads small group. She likes to do active/outdoorsy stuff, and she loves ZUMBA! Currently, Sara is at MCV in Nursing School, hoping to eventually work in pediatrics. She grew up in church, and says "God has always been a truth in my life" - but she is discovering more deeply what a relationship with Jesus looks like. We baptized Sara in September, 2009.

Tony Tomandl (the one in red) is a former CPA with 20 years of public accounting experience. He is married to his best friend from the 3rd grade, Cheryl, but he says they waited until after High School to actually tie the knot! They have 1 daughter and 2 sons. Tony and Cheryl came to PCC in 2008. Let me allow Tony to describe his spiritual journey in his own words:

"I was brought up in a home lead by godly parents who were faithful to take me to church and lived their faith. For me, I never doubted the existence of God – he was just irrelevant to me. Life was all about me, my wants, my pleasure, my career, my everything. There was nothing I withheld from myself and there was no price too high to pay for my success. I was an elder in the church we attended, while just under the surface I was as an alcoholic, destroying my marriage and totally miserable. In 1985, Cheryl and I attended a “spiritual” retreat that I really didn’t want to attend. It was at that retreat that I met Jesus in people that loved me and in the middle of the night I prayed “God, I have made a total mess of everything, please take my life, I give it to you.”

This journey is challenging, never boring and I have so far to go. There have been times of growth and set back, victory over sin and failures and exhilarating highs and discouraging lows. This I know for certain; that God is good and his loving kindness is for ever. One critical thing I am missing and my desire at this time is to develop a true friendship here."

We are very blessed to have these two high capacity and dedicated leaders willing to serve on the Steering Team!

It is NOT about you...but it IS about you?!

Anna Holland, one of our staff members who heads up PowerJAM at PCC, sent this really cool article. Since I occasionally get some flack for using the statement 'it's not about you', I thought the perspective here was helpful to me, and might be for others as well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Survey Says...

As our church continues to grow, we are carefully considering the implications for the future. One area we are investigating is service times.

We'd love to hear from you, so we put together a quick survey for your input. If you attended this week's service at the Powhatan campus, you had a chance to fill out the survey; but if you missed it and would like to weigh in, you can!

Click here and follow the directions. The survey will only be open for a few days, so don't delay!

And thanks -your input is very helpful!


PCC Members Meeting and Agenda Forum

Every year, PCC has ONE 'business meeting'. If you've never been to this event at our church, and right now you are having painful flashbacks of other church business meetings, let me encourage you to take a deep's all good.

When we started our church, we wanted to facilitate great, healthy discussion that leads to unity of purpose without promoting unhealthy division. So, we have our business meeting in 2 parts.

Part 1: The Agenda Forum. That is tomorrow evening at the Powhatan Campus at 7pm. You can see more about the agenda by clicking here. At the Agenda Forum, we simply discuss and address questions about items on the agenda. No 'voting' is done. That is saved for part 2.

Part 2: Annual Membership Meeting celebration. That is Saturday, November 6, at 6pm. YOu and your family are invited. We will have a great meal (the church provides this catered dinner), some good music and a unifying theme. The voting takes place in the opening of our evening and literally lasts about 1-2 minutes, because the discussion has already happened at the Agenda Forum. Most of the night is a celebration with good friends and great food!

Please email Lori at to let her know you are coming to the Annual Membership Meeting so that we can have a count for dinner.

Now, here are some notes about the budget, which you can see by clicking here:

Some notes about the 2011 proposed budget:

1. What we sent to the church was a master budget that is based on an increase in attendance and, therefore, giving. In addition to that budget, I have also given to our Staff and Steering team a scaled down version of the budget that we will operate under effective January 1. Attendance and giving has improved in recent weeks, and as that continues, we can move more and more towards the full budget. In the meantime, we’ll operate under an important rule: we don’t spend what we don’t have. If you’d like to see the ‘January 1’ operating budget, you can go to this google doc. I have highlighted in YELLOW the operating January 1 column.

2. I put the 2010 YTD income on that google doc for general offering, as of 10/17/10.

3. The staff expense line is actually not being reduced from what we actually spend today. In fact, there is an increase there. What you see for ‘budget’ was before we made some reductions last year. We are not planning on any cutbacks or salary reductions.

Please feel free to email Chauncey, Dennis or me if you have questions.

Thanks for your commitment to PCC!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Cage of Guilt

It was a great day at PCC today. We offered a very good experience, God moved, we chased the Goose, and I think some folks finally were freed from the cage of guilt. The drama was especially powerful. I know it was a hard subject...heavy and difficult for some to engage. But for those who struggle with guilt and who stuck it out, I think we were able to give them some answers.

Here are some of the notes and scriptures that I used, in case you want to do a little more study:

I referenced the condition called "superior autobiographical memory" and specifically mentioned Brad Williams and Jill Price. Those who have this rare condition remember ever detail of their lives. One of the statements I made was, "When it comes to confessed sin, if there’s one thing God doesn’t have, it’s superior autobiographical memory."

The message was based on the story of Judas Iscariot. You can read about Judas in Matthew 26-27 and Luke 22.

There were 3 things I encouraged folks to do who are in the cage of guilt:

Confess the sin. 1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Psalms 103:12 (NIV) as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our [sins] from us.

Commit to God. Romans 6:22-23 (NIV) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Claim the New You. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Hope this helps!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today was an Exceptional Day

I just got home from one of the best days I can remember having at PCC in a long time. It really feels like we have a lot of momentum right we're firing on all cylinders. Here are some of my thoughts from the past week:

  • Powhatan Campus was different today! It was quite a surprise to most folks who came to Powhatan today. A portable stage was assembled in the middle of the floor, and the chairs were in 'the round'. From my perspective, it was very, very effective. I felt like I was having a great conversation, connected and fully engaged. I thought our music was high energy, the sound was awesome, the lights were cool, the video work was as good as I've ever seen it. I would love to do that arrangement again...but I would also like some feedback. So, let us know what you thought.
  • PCC's Westchester Campus continues to really grow and shine. The quality of the picture and sound is exceptional, the band there is very good and has a lot of energy. We have more and more folks who are settling there - many who have only been to that campus and consider it 'home'. It's a good crowd (over 100) and growing. The core team there is especially dedicated and has an incredible attitude. I was at a WC Core Team meeting Thursday evening and I continue to be so impressed by the hunger and tenacity of those leaders.
  • Midlothian Festival. I was on a Steering Team retreat Saturday, so I couldn't make the Midlothian Festival. PCC's Westchester Campus had a booth, some games and movie tickets to give away. Dennis Green said that he thinks we must have talked to a thousand people. That will bear fruit in the coming weeks.
  • Care Team. Katherine Ramsey, Rachel Huff and I led a Crisis Care Training today for about 20 folks from the Care Team. Rachel started, trained, led, and grew the most effective care ministry of any church I know. Today's training led to fantastic conversations and I'm so impressed by the dedicated and high capacity folks on that team.
Incredible things are happening at PCC...stay tuned. Greater things are still coming. God is up to something!

Monday, October 11, 2010

10-10-10: A Break in the Routine

Yesterday, PCC did some things it had never done before. It was a true break in the routine, and based on the feedback I've gotten, I think it produced the desired affect.

The Powhatan Campus. For the first time, I was on a screen at the Powhatan Campus for the message. I mean, I was only on the screen. I had recorded the message earlier from the stage, and then we showed it Sunday morning. As we planned for talking about the Cage of Routine*, we wanted to disrupt the routine. We did get some good, technical feedback that is very helpful. But the experience for most was positive. And the point was made: When your spiritual life becomes so routine that you don't have to think about it, it's time to disrupt the routine. God built the Sabbath into the routine to break the routine. We wanted to break the routine that we have at PCC.

The Westchester Campus. Also for the first time, I taught live at Westchester. It was a ton of fun, and I really enjoyed meeting some folks I've never met and seeing some familiar faces and old friends who have made the Westchester campus their home. The music was a 10+! The attitudes of those who are there serving early in the morning - setting up, tuning up, etc. - was awesome. They smiled and cheered and you almost got the impression that they loved being there...even at 7am. I was personally overwhelmed by the spirit that this group of folks.

Break the routine this week in your spiritual life! Or maybe it's just time to step it up by reading the Bible every day, getting a new devotional book and using it every day, praying with your spouse or kids, joining a small group (yes, there are many that you can still join), getting a new Bible, listening to some different music...the list of ways is endless!

*The Cage of Routine comes from Mark Batterson's book Wild Goose Chase, which we're studying together now. You can get the book at our resource table or at

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Breaking the Cage of Routine

I mentioned that there are several things you might consider doing to break out of the cage of routine. What we're talking about here, of course, is routine in your spiritual life. If you find your spiritual life is stale and suffering from the consistent dullness of steady routine, you might try:
  • Fasting. Fasting is a way of focusing on God by not eating or by not doing some kind of activity. People fast from sweets or soft drinks. I've heard of people fasting from sex (though this really needs consent from your husband or wife). But the most effective fasts I've ever done were ones that involved all food of any kind. My fasts have only been 24 hour fasts, but they have been powerful for me spiritually and definitely helped me break from the cage of routine. I highly recommend Bill Bright's tiny booklet on this called 7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting & Prayer. This was the roadmap for me to fasting. You can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.
  • Pray in a different way. For a while, I would walk by myself around the neighborhood and pray while I did. It was fresh and different. Recently, I started writing one prayer every day (see the next item on my list and you'll see what I'm talking about)
  • Daily Devotional Time needs a fresh look. I found my daily time with God to be stale recently. So, I adopted a short-term technique that I read about in Wayne Cordeiro's book Leading on Empty. In it, he suggests that - since there are 31 proverbs - You should read one every day, which ever one corresponds to that particular day. Today is the 10th, so I read the 10th proverb. And then I'm journaling using the acrostic SOAP: I write key verses from the Scripture, I write any Observations I note about the scripture, I write the practical application to my life from the Scripture, and I write my prayer - which has to do the Scripture, but also goes beyond that.
  • Read a different translation of the Bible. I normally read out of the NIV. Sometimes, when I feel stale, I read the Message, the New Living Translation, or occasionally the NKJV.
  • Worship in a different way. When I was in seminary, one of my assignments was to go to some churches outside of the norm for me (I think I had to go to 3) and write a paper on them. It was fascinating. I gleaned a lot about what kind of church I felt called to be a part of. But more than that, I learned to worship in new ways and ways that were even uncomfortable for me. It was a healthy break from the routine. You don't have to go on a Sunday or necessarily miss a PCC service (though I think we could forgive you :-) ) You could find other service times or go to one of the early PCC services and catch an 11am somewhere else. Just a thought.
Do you have some ideas, too? Or some experience of breaking free from the cage of routine? Post a comment here and help us learn from your experience!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Helping others at Thanksgiving

A couple of folks have approached me recently asking about helping families at Thanksgiving. They also mentioned helping families at Christmas.

We are aware of a few families connected to PCC who are really struggling this year and will have a hard time putting together a nice Thanksgiving meal. If you are in a position and feel led to help, drop me and email or a FB message and we'll try to make some connections. This kind of work really helps people and it says something about God knowing of their strife and caring enough to act.

Thanks to those who've already reached out to help. Let me know if you would like to do this, too. And if you happen to be a family in need, let me know and we'll go to work on getting you some help this Thanksgiving.



Saturday, October 2, 2010

Update on Thematic Goal

Updating our Progress
By Sammy Frame, Associate Pastor

PCC's Thematic Goal (to prepare our church for a January average attendance of 1,500) continues to take shape and grow. Our staff continues to make progress and move forward on implementing a strategy outlined by our 5 Defining Objectives that we believe will prepare us to equip, connect, and serve such an increase in attendance. We will spare you the detailed discussion that happens and continues to happen, but we hope your interest is spurred enough to ask questions and get involved in helping us meet this important goal.

So a quick overview of our Thematic Goal's Defining Objectives:
Defining Objective #1: Answer Interim Financial Questions (team lead: Chauncey Starkey)

Summary and Updates: This team has done a good deal of analysis to understand the current state of PCC's finances and how that relates to resourcing the Thematic Goal. This team continues to brainstorm ideas and implement the most realistic of those in order to adequately support PCC and our Thematic Goal efforts as we prepare for increased attendance.

How you can help: Chauncey is currently working to put together a team of highly motivated, creative, resource-motivated individuals who could lend their ideas, support, and time to accomplishing this objective.

Defining Objective #2: Addressing Critical Building Issues (team lead: Dennis Green)

Summary and Updates: Obviously, the building remains unfinished with much work to be done (small and large projects). Yet progress is apparent and happening. Many of the larger projects here require licensed contractors and significant resources to accomplish. We continue to work toward additional funding to accomplish these tasks. Here are some items currently completed or being worked on:
  • Cove base (similar to base boards) are being put down (even as you get this e-mail).
  • Ceiling tiles are largely done, though some spaces still need to be finished with cut tiles.
  • Interior doors continue to be finished.
  • An Atrium Decor Team under the leadership of Lori Wheeler has begun meeting to put together a more welcoming, comfortable, aesthetically-pleasing space.
  • New signage is being designed.
  • Consultations with PCC Kids is happening to determine additional space for a burgeoning number of kids.
  • Additional floor tiles in the stairwells will be laid in October.
  • The partitioning of the Multi-Purpose Room has been planned and waits on resources to turn half of it into a family room for Sunday morning services.
  • Grass is growing around the building.
o Here are some big ticket items that continue to wait on additional resources:
  • Parking Lot - a plan exists for an additional 80 spaces on site. An estimated $17,000 would enable us to generate those spaces.
  • Sound in the Auditorium - our Audio/Technical teams have done a masterful job of providing great sound on Sunday morning, but do not have the necessary equipment to make it the best it can be. An additional front-fill sound system would help us remove the holes and dead spots which currently exist in our sound.
  • Landscaping - a good bit of work remains for the Powhatan campus (the Westchester campus has immaculate grounds) including adding trees, additional grass, and mulching. With additional resources we plan to have a volunteer day to work toward making the Powhatan campus more aesthetic.
  • Sidewalks and Portico - Driving beneath the front portico remains a priority for our guests and sidewalks helps everyone, especially those who have a handicap. An estimated $12,000 would put a drive beneath the portico and cover the cost of sidewalks on the front of the building.
How you can help: First, volunteer. Many items at the building are small and would require minimal training to complete (doors, ceiling tiles, etc.). Second, join Chauncey's Defining Objective team (see above). Third, support financially.

Defining Objective #3: Reevalute Services/Scheduling/Programming (team lead: John Starkey)

Summary and Updates: This team has worked hard to assess the current capacity of PCC's services (especially with a growing children's ministry) and the need to go to a 3rd service or an alternative form of programming. An online campus as well as a live-feed option to the Westchester Campus remain under the purview of this team. They have also developed a survey to gather data and input on the need/desire for other service opportunities.

How you can help: Ensure that you take the survey that you will receive in the coming weeks. Your input will help us determine the need for additional services and programming. Volunteer to help process and analyze the survey results. Connect with John, Angie, or Beth with ideas or suggestions.

Defining Objective #4: Leadership Development (team lead: Beth Brawley)

Summary and Updates: The Leadership Development team has already put into place a "Leadership Essentials" small group that will work toward preparing and equipping future PCC leaders. Additionally, this team remains focused on identifying potential leaders, equipping them, and putting them into a new tier of leadership at PCC that will expand our capacity to include, connect, and equip more people. Finally, they are developing a plan to change the culture of PCC to an "ICNU" environment where leadership development is the norm.

How you can help: If you consider yourself a leader, would like to grow in leadership, or would like to expand your leadership role here at PCC, sign up for the Leadership Essentials small group. If you're not already serving somewhere at PCC, get involved by signing up for an Impact group at PCC. Encourage folks with leadership potential by letting them know you see that in them ("ICNU") and encourage them to use their gifts at PCC.

Defining Objective #5: Developing a Clear Connection Pathway (team lead: Susan Hughes)

Summary and Updates: A growing church requires that we clearly, efficiently, and effectively help people connect to the vital ministries and discipleship opportunities at PCC. This team continues to develop and refine a pathway that helps people move from just attending on Sunday to investing and growing in a relationship with God. The team has outlined a rough scheme already and continues to think through problems and issues it might pose. They also have researched other churches and continue to gather data on PCC to better shape a pathway that works for our church.

How you can help: Share your experience of connection here at PCC, whether good or bad. Help us evaluate how effectively or ineffectively we have communicated the opportunities to connect. If you have creative, artistic, or communication gifts, volunteer to assist us with designing and unrolling a unique pathway that clearly communicates how to connect and grow at PCC.

Finally, the staff's work of team-building from the summer's staff retreat continues. On Wednesday, September 22nd the entire staff spent a day at Carter Mountain near Charlottesville to build on the foundation we laid this summer (no, we did not go apple-picking). Team unity and transparency remains our goal and so we have purposed to set aside one day a month to continue that work. Following up on an exercise we did together on the staff retreat, we spent the day evaluating the progress of each staff member according to their own goals. Additionally, we collectively evaluated our church on 12 points made in an article (related to the Thematic Goal) that Brian handed to us in advance. Wednesday, September 29th's staff meeting continued this work by building on Patrick Lencioni's talk from this year's Leadership Summit. Lencioni challenged each individual to create a "stop-doing list" that would clearly identify items one needs to stop in order to be more effective. The staff has agreed to submit their own lists at an upcoming staff meeting.

Many thanks,
Sammy Frame
Associate Pastor
Small Groups and Guest Services

Thoughts from Dennis Green

From Here to There
By Dennis Green, Executive Pastor
(written on 9/26/10)

A couple of hundred PCC’ers gathered together tonight at out Powhatan campus. We had a great time of worship, information and inspiration. (If music at PCC is your main thing, you will want to come to these quarterly meetings!) Brian laid out for us what the next six months will look like and invited Lindsay Harris to the stage to take us through our Thematic Goal. (More on Lindsay and our Thematic Goal below).

In his presentation, Brian talked at length about getting “from here to there”. Maybe that language is familiar to you. We just finished a series by the same name. The premise is simple, but, at the same time, powerful. As an organization- WE ARE HERE and we believe God wants us to GO THERE! Brian asked a compelling question. Why not stay “here”? After all, “here” is good. “Here” is helping some folks. We like “here”.

Circa, Spring 2006. PCC is “here”. Growing like crazy, baptizing people, great music, lots of energy and excitement – Why do we need to leave “here” and go “there”? Yet, that is exactly what Brian was feeling. The need to move PCC “from here to there” became paramount. PCC could provide a powerful and meaningful Sunday morning experience, but there needed to be more.

Enter Sammy Frame. A smart, good-looking (in an Eastern European kind of way) guy PCC hired to bring an effective and vibrant Small Group ministry to PCC. The metamorphosis has been remarkable. PCC went from a church WITH small groups to a church OF small groups. Small Groups permeate every part of who we are at PCC and who we hope to be.

About eighteen months ago, Lenny Harris began attending a small group. Lenny was struggling in his personal life and in his marriage. He found a safe place with this small group. His small group embraced him, loved him, allowed him to share and ask questions at his own pace. He began to heal. He began to allow God to transform him. Soon, Lenny was not the same person he had been just a few months earlier.

His wife Lindsay noticed.

She came to check out this small group too. Transformed, too, you ask? PCC baptized Lindsay this past June.

Why was Lindsay on stage and what is a thematic goal anyway? Thanks for asking. Thematic goal is a term used in some business circles and describes an overarching corporate theme or goal that is used to help organizations focus and be unified in their efforts. Our staff recently spent some time working together to identify our thematic goal for the next six months. (For more on specifics of what our thematic goal is, click here)

Lindsay was on stage walking us through the details of what we are doing and how we are getting it done because Lindsay is on our staff now. You already know she has been leading Worship at Westchester since our opening Sunday. She still does that. She works closely with Beth Brawley Stoddard each week to develop and deliver excellent worship experiences at both campuses. But she does so much more. Our staff asked her to use her education (MBA) and business experience (Project Manager) to lead us through this thematic goal experience, and she readily agreed. She often says that she will do and serve in anyway she can. Oh yeah, did I mention that Lindsay is UNPAID staff. Working for PCC full-time since March – unpaid. Did I mention that her life was transformed?

Finally…made it to my point. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Lenny works hard every week, sacrificing, so his wife can work persona non grata ( free of charge) at PCC. Brian said tonight that Lindsay was a “gift from heaven”. They both are. It’s a team effort. They are both such a huge blessing, and, they received huge blessings because of…a small group…because of…the work of Sammy Frame and his Small Group Leadership Team…because of…PCC’s willingness to leave the comfort of “here”, and go to “there”.

If experience is any indicator, this journey “from here to there” will be exhilarating and exhausting; maddening and motivating; incredible and indelible. The “Lennys” and “Lindsays” we don’t know yet are counting on us, and they don’t even know it.

Join us, won’t you? It will be worth it!

Finances and Attendance

One of the questions that came from our CORE meeting last Sunday had to do with our Thematic Goal and our church's finances. For the next few months, PCC's staff and other leaders are working on positioning our church so that we are ready for an average Sunday to have 1,500 people attending at our two locations. This goal is not about getting 1,500 people, but rather is about being ready for them. That many people have already come, but we didn't have some of the things in place that we needed for them. Our children's area was very crowded when we opened our building and we don't have a full children's program at the Westchester Campus. We don't have a clear connection pathway to help assimilate people into the church. Our facility at the Powhatan Campus wasn't complete. We don't have a systemic leadership pipeline.

So, we're working on these things because we believe (and the data obviously shows) that these folks are coming, we just need to be ready for them.

One of the questions raised was about finances. When we get to 1,500 in average attendance, giving obviously increases. This is not the goal, but it is a byproduct and helps relax some of the burden we feel now to more fairly compensate our staff and pay down the debt on the building as well as fund ministries. I do not think that we'll have excess money or that we'll not feel some pressure financially. That's a reality for us. But I do think that it will ease up a little as attendance rises and giving goes up.

By the way, the 2011 budget looks much better than 2010 did...which isn't saying a whole lot, but we'll take any relief we can get!

You can see more about PCC's finances through our website or by clicking here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Building Finish List

At the CORE gathering on Sunday, there was a lot of interest in our building and how we had prioritized what was left to be done. Here is a list of the priorities. There are many things that we would like to do that are not on this list, but this is the 'short list'.

  • Complete Septic System.
  • Additional 80 gravel parking spaces installed on-site.
  • Student Trailer handicapped ramp, siding, foundating skirting and sidewalk so that we can get a CO on it and start using it.
  • Sound and lighting systems completed.
  • Repair lower parking lot.
  • Landscaping.
  • Cove Base (trim at the bottom of the sheetrock).
  • Concrete Apron and handicapped sidewalk.
  • Snow Diverters for roof.
  • Wood trim finished in office suite.
  • Welcome table finished/coffee table constructed to match.
As we discussed the other night, we also would benefit from paving the rest of the parking lot. It would add a lot to have a playground and a grand piano (yes, I'm serious).

The bottom line is that we have to work with the funds we have, and we have to pay our bills along the way. I know that everyone does not get excited about these details, but there seemed to be a lot of interest, so I hope this sparks some ideas. Thanks for being so faithful to PCC!