Items filtered by date: July 2018 - Harris Creek Baptist Church

Elder Update

During this time of transition, the elders are committed to providing regular updates to the Harris Creek family to keep you apprised of important developments.

Recently, we asked the congregation to participate in an online survey to seek your thoughts concerning our efforts to identify candidates for our new lead pastor. Under Harris Creek bylaws, the task of identifying such a candidate is ultimately reserved to the elders; however, the final decision on whether to call such a candidate is reserved, to the congregation by a ¾ super-majority vote. The elders have wanted to gain broader input and have thus done two things in the recent weeks to obtain congregational input.

First, a survey was created as the initial tool to obtain broad-based input. As indicated when the survey was announced, we would share the survey results with you after it was completed. Accordingly, attached to this email are the results. The data mostly speaks for itself, but we had a few observations. To begin, we received 442 responses, which is a wonderful indication of the interest in this very important endeavor. We know how much our body cares for Harris Creek and is passionate about discerning God's choice for this role. Next, we have a very young church body with a majority of the church having joined Harris Creek within the last 7 years. We were also very pleased to note that nearly 80% of those responding are active members of a LIfe Group. This speaks to the health of our church body—there are a number of what many might refer to as aspirational churches in Texas that do not have this broad level of life group participation. Finally, while there were many variations in ranking the most important qualities of a proposed lead pastor, the top three categories were: A Heart for Others, Courage in Boldly Proclaiming God's Word, and a Clear Preaching Style.

As you probably recall, the survey also contained two open-ended questions at the end, one inquiring into whether there were any other qualities you felt were extremely important and the last question simply asking if you had any other advice or information to share with the elders regarding the search. In order to assure the promised anonymity of those who answered these questions, actual comments will not be shared. What can be shared are themes that emerged from the most frequent comments received. The most prominent themes are that the lead pastor: (a) be kind, loving, and approachable by the congregation, (b) have a sense of humility, (c) be transparent, (d) be committed to seeking the welfare of the city, (e) have a level of maturity based upon past pastoral experiences, and (f) have courage to speak about difficult issues.

The second approach the elders have used to gain front-end input from the congregation regarding the lead pastor search is the formation of a Pastor Search Advisory Team (PSAT). This team is designed to give the elders early input in terms of evaluating any serious candidate for the lead pastor role. The team had its first formal meeting earlier this week, and the elders are excited to begin receiving their input. The creation of the team provides a representative cross-section of the church body considering diversity of age, sex, life experiences, and even campuses; each person asked to serve further exemplifies consistent levels of spiritual maturity and steadfastness in their faith and service to God through their membership at Harris Creek. The team was announced in worship recently but in case you were not in attendance, it consists of the following members:

Taylor Bledsoe
Graham Cook
Meredith Miars
Caitlyn Remson
Katy Svoboda
Leah Teague (Chair)
Clint Watson
Nate Hilgenkamp (staff liaison)
Blair Browning & Stacey Smith (elder liaisons)

The elders, staff, and PSAT team members all cherish your prayers. In terms of your survey responses to the final question about general advice/information you wanted to offer, one of the most common sentiments expressed was that you had been and would be praying diligently for guidance and wisdom in selecting the right candidate to present to the church. Please continue to lift up this group. We are excited about what God has done at Harris Creek during the last decade and are equally excited about what God will do with Harris Creek in the future. As always, if you have further questions or comments you are always encouraged to email the elders.

In Christ,
Your Elders

 

From the Executive Pastor

Financial Update

The summer is always an exciting time for families as they look to make memories! I'd like to encourage you to consider implementing some tools to help you stay consistent with your tithes and offerings during this season of travel. I encourage you to visit our website. Here you can set up reoccurring gifts and even track your progress. If you forget to submit a financial gift, don't worry – we have an easy text-to-give option available for your convenience. Simply text the amount to 84321, and a series of text messages will walk you through a quick setup to give via your mobile device.

Why is this important?
The expansion finish line is just around the corner, and we'd really like to open the new space in early September. It will be an awesome day to celebrate! With this exciting new chapter for Harris Creek just on the horizon, we need to be aware of some important realities. Giving is typically down in the summer months here at Harris Creek. With the impending completion of the new building, we need to buckle down as a church family to insure we can open the building appropriately. Our staff continues to mind expenses and steward our collective resources well! But in order for us to press forward with ministry and expansion in a way that we all desire to, all of us must be committed fully to the mission of the church. I'd highly encourage you to review the financial summary for last month (May 2018) by clicking here. We will continue to post monthly financials in this manner to keep our entire church informed of where we stand.

You will note we are a bit behind from where we'd like to be at this point in the fiscal year. No doubt a number of things factor into this reality. Two easily attributable factors could be a collective Our Turn exhale and pastoral transition. We remain prayerful in these days, and I am confident that our church family can and will press on with great confidence in the Lord's plan.

Construction Update

As I wrote earlier, we expect an opening sometime early in the upcoming school year. We are incredibly excited! If you're curious, construction crews are busy with the outdoor baptistery and electrical architecture. The next steps will be installing the audio/visual equipment and the fixed seating. If you are interested in supporting this project financially, please contact me (jwhite@harriscreek.org) about how you might help us creatively finish out some last-minute needs.

The project continues to move along nicely, and I am thankful for our partners that continue to help to make our goal a reality. TFNB Your Bank for Life and K4 Construction have been vital to this project!


Elder Update

Church Family,

As part of our effort to provide our church family with monthly updates during this season of transition, we are presenting you with this July Update.

We hope you are having a wonderful summer! We are so grateful for your prayers for both our staff and Elder Board – we have an amazing collective team at Harris Creek including all of those in our Body.

As we continue our search for our new Lead Pastor, please continue to join us in praying for the right person and the right timing in this process. We pray for the Spirit to truly stir that person's heart for this role. While we will continue to have some gifted individuals speak with stand-alone sermons the remainder of the summer (and a few times this fall), we are thrilled to tell you about our interim plan for this fall.

Rather than utilize a single interim, we will have three primary communicators beginning with "Welcome Back Sunday" on August 19. We believe this plan to be the best move for our Body as it will bring more stability and consistency from the teaching role this fall. We are also excited to hear from these three individuals on a regular basis. The three speakers this fall will be:

Timothy Ateek "TA" – Executive Director, Breakaway Ministries
David Marvin "Dmarv" – Young Adults Director, Watermark Dallas
Nate Hilgenkamp "N8" – College Director, Harris Creek (we felt Nate needed his own nickname, too)

We feel enormously blessed at how God has given this group of godly teachers the desire to step in as co-laborers in Christ to preach His truth this fall at Harris Creek. As we pray with confidence and expectation for our new season as a church, we thank God for his faithfulness in times of transition.

Exciting things are happening at Harris Creek both now and in the near future with the completion and opening of the new worship center this fall. Thank you again for your prayers and as always, feel free to reach out to us at elders@harriscreek.org if you have any questions. We are humbled and grateful to serve in this capacity during such an important time in our church's life. More importantly, we are thankful that ALL of us are serving in important ways and that God has raised all of us up to be at Harris Creek during this specific time!

In Christ,
Your Elders

 

Executive Update

As our elder team continues to lead out in the search for our next Lead Pastor, our current staff team is busy at work preparing for an exciting fall! Our staff continues to assess and adjust how we engage people on Sunday mornings and are making changes to better mobilize around our mission as a church. In addition to these organizational changes, you can expect some facility changes as well in advance of the pending grand opening of the new worship space on September 30. Just about all of us will experience change this fall related to the campus growth. Though this will require some patience and flexibility, we know that in the end it will make for an awesome Sunday experience for everyone! Stay tuned for ways that you can join us in preparing our building for these changes. We will need your help!

I want to commend you for your continued financial support of Harris Creek! We continue to see guests visit each Sunday, a reminder that God is still moving through this place. Your financial commitment is key in helping us reach our collective goal to engage both new and existing families effectively. Our lending partner, TFNB Your Bank for Life, continues to serve us well! They have structured our loan in such a way that will help us conserve cash prior to closing on our loan early in 2019. In the mean time, allow me to challenge you to remain consistent and sacrificial in your support. Though we operate with a planned deficit related to our receipts and expenses each summer, we still have some work to do in catching up to our preferred financial goals. As always, you can track our financial progress in the "News" portion of our website.

Lastly, if your family would like to help us make the grand opening special, contact me about how you might partner with us to provide for some unique items that will make that not only that day, but also an ongoing memorable experience for our Body!

 

In Christ,
Joey White
Executive Pastor