Goals for Missions
Life by the Book—for folk to read what the NT says about the church, to look up and see a 21st century version of it at Hampton Park. Because our Big Why (reason for existence on earth) is to proclaim and to display the good news that God is calling out a people for His name from every nation, kindred and tongue through the only Savior Jesus Christ, our local church body has been devoted to furthering missionary work for a long time. We enjoy the benefits of many years of labor and focus on this important area. But we also know that fulfilling our biblical mission as a local church is more than just sending funds for someone else to make disciples somewhere else. What we do for missions is part of life by the Book and needs to be as comprehensive as our Scriptural mission is. I want to share some areas the pastors, deacons, and staff have been praying about and working on.
Increase congregational familiarity with our missionaries.
Create and maintain well suited help and encouragement beyond just financial support.
Improve accountability on and off the field.
Thoughts: Technology like Skype enables face-to-face communication—even with the whole congregation (include more mission focus in the Sunday services month to month). We would like to create a team of veteran HP missionaries whose ministries God has blessed to advise and guide us in how to help and encourage our missionaries better.
EQUIPPING & SENDING OUR OWN PEOPLE
Continue to foster a missionary mindset starting with the person next to us and reaching to the uttermost part of the earth
Improve how we prepare and equip our members for specific mission fields
See to it that we can supply their support needs when they are ready to go
Thoughts: Increase our commitment to sharing the gospel in thought, prayer, and action. Learn through strong relationships built with current missionaries. Invest in the next generation of ministry leaders (TIM, internships here and on the field).
Make room in our missions budget to send our own members. Not everyone will need standard support—stateside church-planters* need more up front with a 3-5 year end to financial support; tentmakers (only way to get into many restricted access countries) do not necessarily need as much or any financial support, but need prayer, counsel, accountability.
*Church planters, whose support is heavy and short-term (3-5 years), need to be distinguished from pastors of mission churches, whom we support at a standard rate over many years. Planting more new churches increases the base for reaching more people and sending more missionaries.
Insure that we can sustain our missionary commitments through undesignated tithes and offerings
As in all other budget categories, the missions budget includes the cost allocation of man hours and other resources used for missions in addition to missionary support itself.
Would like to have a pastor on the team whose main focus will be to oversee missions
Update missions philosophy and policies to reflect improvements
Evaluate and rank current missionaries and mission organizations.
Greater responsibility toward committed member missionaries
Greater responsibility for faithful, hard-working, effective missionaries
Greater priority to persons
Get input from veteran missionaries about what missionaries most need on and off the field.
Hampton Park Christian School has long been an important part of the ministry of Hampton Park Baptist Church. Our commitment to providing students an excellent education is part of the larger mission: to display and to proclaim the good news that God is calling out a people for His name from every nation, kindred, and tongue through saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of God. This overarching reason for existence drives how and why we deliver education as we do. It is what makes it Christian education, not just private education versus public education.
We want our students to be strong academically, spiritually, socially, physically not as an end in itself, but to advance this mission to the glory of God. So with Christ as our focus and gospel realities shaping our process of teaching, we strive to prepare students well for real life, helping them develop their gifts out of love for Christ and love for others. We believe this mindset serves Christian parents and their churches as they disciple their young people to follow Jesus. It also serves to help students who have not yet put faith in Christ to see how important their relationship to Him truly is to all of life.
417 students—19 ahead of this time last year; this year we had an early enrollment discount on registration fees, so we’re not sure how it will track from here on
Fees and Tuition Increases
Because we believe HPCS is an important part of our church ministry, we had to assess how best to keep it strong and viable for years to come.
Part of what we concluded is that we needed tuition to cover more of the cost than it does currently. Regionally, our rates are significantly lower than the norm.
Tuition Assistance Program
We were really concerned that the rate increases did not cut out students whose families really wanted them in the Christian school. For that reason we created this program, administered by a third party and assigned by a committee of men in the church. 21 students have benefited so far, and there are more in process.
One of the challenges of a multi-faceted ministry is accurately reflecting where the costs should be assigned. The school cost is not just teacher salaries and school supplies, but administrative assistant hours, pastors hours, hours of utility usage, etc. Each year our financial team tries to assign costs to the part of the ministry creating them. But there is a symbiotic relationship. The buildings the school uses are used for Sunday school and other events, too. So while the hours of usage by the school is significant, the school is assigned that percentage of cost. If we were using those facilities only on Sunday and Wednesday, there would still be significant cost that today the school is helping to defray.
Completing the Entrance Road
When Hampton Park (Hampton Avenue then) moved to State Park in 1970, the auditorium and offices were in the Collins Building near the entrance. But as the congregation grew, the new auditorium and offices were placed up the hill toward the back of the property. Our challenge is to create a clear and direct route to get to the part of the campus most people need to access.
In 2004 the congregation approved building a new entrance road from State Park Road to the upper campus by a 93% vote. Shortly thereafter, we completed Phase 1 of the project, including a new stone sign and an entrance that stops at the top of the hill but connects to a driveway into the lower parking lot. Phase 2 was to continue the entrance road directly to the main auditorium, church offices, and classrooms on the upper campus. Last year Mark Miller presented the need for completing the second phase. At that time we opened a fund for the project, but because we did not yet have definite numbers on what it would cost, chose not to promote it. Nonetheless, the fund currently stands at $24,363.
As we prepared the 2011-12 budget, we concluded that we had accrued more emergency funds than our 3-month operating reserve, so we allocated the overage to various capital project needs, as follows: $150k for Collin’s renovation (spent $126k), $30k for playground (spent $22k), $45k for wayfinding (in progress), $50k for campus security (in progress), and $225 for road continuation.
Because of the weak economy, we believed it wise to wait to disburse the $225K for the road completion until we got closer to the end of the fiscal year. We thank the Lord that because of your faithful giving, we are right at the year-to-date budget goals. The engineering drawings are done, and we have received solid bids on the project, including grading, rock removal, road construction, landscaping, and lighting. We are happy to report that the projected cost is coming in at a total of $253K, which is about $100k below our earlier estimate. That means that we already have on hand all but $3,636 to complete the entrance road project. Of course, whatever designated gifts come in now will reduce how much we use of the overage funds saved in the past so that they could be used for future projects as needed.
The Building and Grounds committee (tasked with prioritizing capital and maintenance projects) ranked this project number one for the following ministry reasons, and the deacons concurred in their vote last Wednesday night:
- Safety: our current traffic patterns take a lot of traffic through an area heavily congested with small children. At a time when the safety of our children is front and center, we have an obvious daily risk that we have not corrected. Both of our current access routes are congested, indirect, and often unsafe.
- Sunday Services: every Sunday many who attend Hampton Park waste a combined total of many hours in unnecessary traffic back-ups because of poor traffic flow design.
- School Ministry: mornings and afternoons 5 days a week school parents face safety concerns and traffic delays that our current road system creates.
- Community relations: our traffic congestion impacts not just us, but also our neighbors every day but Saturday, forcing them either to wait in traffic or circumvent our property in order to get where they need to be. Our people trying to find an outlet through their neighborhoods adds to their understandable frustration.
- Love to visitors: It is important for all of us to be working at new relationships and inviting guests to church with us. When our visitors come, we don’t want to create obstacles for them. Getting to our main buildings ought to be first-time user friendly. Because people new to the area often go to the internet to look for a new church home, we have a good number of visitors who have no personal connection yet. We want people like that to come, along with those we invite, and we don’t want to discourage any of them. A direct, easy-to-follow entry road to the upper campus communicates in a tangible way that we expect and welcome first-time guests. Currently, all who visit our church, whether because of website, drive-by, or relationship with a church member, must figure out a “secret” driveway off Hall Road or an entrance to “nowhere”—a parking lot on the lower campus, rather than being able to see for themselves the direct route to the auditorium or offices.
- Timing and stewardship: The current question as we think about proceeding. Ironically, the sluggish economy has created a shortage of construction jobs and thus reduced the cost. With current quotes $100,000 under the initial estimates, now may actually be the best time to get the project done in the most frugal way. If we want to get the project done this summer, we need to award contracts by the end of April.
I know the economy is tight, but the Lord has provided for us to get the road finished. I do not consider an entrance road a luxury, but a normal way of getting people where they need to go. We are not proceeding recklessly, but have waited 8 years. Completing the road will not solve all our ministry needs. It is just part of the big picture as together we try to serve the needs of all the people who use our campus, whether long-time members, school families, or first-time guests.
A healthy ministry has both trellis and vine—infrastructure and spiritual disciplines. I believe that completing the road will not in any way interfere with achieving other ministry objectives in the church or school, nor hamper meeting maintenance needs and making other capital improvements important to our ministry. Rather I see it as contributing to the whole ministry nearly every day for many years to come.
Child Safety Initiatives
Training: Church-wide safety training for Sunday evening, May 27, 2012.
Focused on training ministry volunteers and parents
Implementing annual training for 3 groups of people: workers, parents and minors
Providing parents with critical printed information regarding sexual abuse and schedule annual training/education opportunities.
Developing age-appropriate objectives for educating children on the safety policies of the church as well as on the topic of personal safety.
Paperwork: We are revamping all paperwork associated with child safety.
Zero tolerance policy
Statement of No-Retaliation
Two-Adults present policy
Identification Badges: We are Finish the identification badge project quickly; institute another identification system, such as weekly (dated) printed name tags for approved workers, until permanent badges can be made and distributed.
Electronic Check In/Check Out System
To be implemented in the new budget year
Will require training of volunteers and parents
Communication from ministry Leaders to office staff:
We prepare an updated “approved worker list” weekly
As part of training, we will provide “approved to Work with Minors” list to all employees, volunteers, and church leadership, including ushers, safety patrol, and Sunday School department heads.
Volunteer Recruitment: Children’s safety is the responsibility of every adult. Appropriate supervision requires the eyes and ears of many. We need help. All qualified, able –bodied parents should seek to have an active part in children’s safety through one or more of the volunteer opportunities available.
Consultation: We have been consulting with experts to have guidelines and procedures reviewed by someone who specializes in ministry safety
Cameras: We have been installing cameras on the campus for additional precaution.
Additional safety measures:
Updating pickup and drop-off procedures
Working on having dedicated children’s wings and bathrooms, where no unauthorized adults are allowed
Hall monitors to help ensure our children are protected