I’m scheduled to have surgery on my knee this Thursday (2/28), so I’m planning to take it easy on Friday and Saturday with the hope and expectation of being in the pulpit on Sunday. At the moment I’m doing battle with sinus congestion and am praying that the surgery won’t have to be postponed due to fever or infection.
Not knowing what lies ahead can complicate the setting and achieving of goals. We try to take into account all the factors we can see. We try to make allowance for contingencies should they arise. And we make a plan and do our best.
That’s what the Finance Committee and the Church Council have done. The 2014 budget represented a 4% increase over the 2013 budget, and the 2015 budget represented an 8% increase over 2014. And based on the success that we have had in recent years, we have proposed and passed a budget for 2016 that represents a 6% increase over 2015. I believe that this goal is attainable given the faithfulness, generosity, and sacrifice this congregation has demonstrated over these past few years.
At the State of the Church dinner last week, I chose to highlight some of the goals from 2015 that we achieved and to share some of my goals for the coming year. Please understand: These “State of the Church” addresses that I’ve shared at our State of the Church dinners over the last four years have not been political speeches full of campaign promises. I’m not a huckster. I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’m your pastor. My intention for those evenings together is to be as honest and forthright as I can be about where we are, where we need to go, and how we can best get there.
The United Methodist Church is not congregational in structure. When we make decisions, we don’t typically put the issue to a vote of the whole body; instead, we work through committees, the Church Council, and an annual (or called) Charge Conference. This is, I believe, a wise and healthy way to govern ourselves. I also believe it is valuable at times to invite the church body together and, to whomever chooses to come, to lay out how things are in the church and where I see things going.
I want you to know what I’m thinking. I want you to know where my heart is. The State of the Church dinner is a chance for me to share all that with you. My hope, in so doing, is that you – armed with that knowledge – will be in a position to help us achieve those goals; and will choose to do so. Some pastors (and other leaders) opt not to do that out of fear that, if they articulate a goal and fail to meet it, such a failure will be used against them or thrown back in their face. I understand that fear; but I choose to believe that the benefits outweigh the risks.
I believe in the Salem church. I believe in you. I am eager to see all that God will accomplish through us. I’m pleased by the goals we’ve achieved. I’ve not given-up on those which remain, as yet, unattained. And I’m excited about the newly articulated goals which are now before us.
Dan has been the Pastor of Salem UMC since June, 2017. He loves preaching, the Atlanta Braves, beach vacations, and precious time with his wife Brenda and their grown sons. Read More . . .