Saturday, December 17, 2011

Venue Research - done in Sept 2007

Looks like going back into the old files can be very interesting. Found this about the venue research committee that I was in back in 2007 as we already sensed that the current location is not ideal for our church.
Apparently, we're still there and no idea when we'll be moving? Our lay leader hopes by June 2012.

Anyway, have put some of my comments down in the article in red

Venue Research

Objectives, options & plans, pros & cons
The objectives for us to have this task group to be done is aim to have a large enough venue for our congregation in the future time, either by long term lease or purchase. After a month research and discuss, few options have be selected.

First at all, we will look at current church financial capability. According to 2006-2007 financial statement, $18000 was allocated for property rent. Due to inflation fluctuation, + - 10% of current amount will be considered for this research. This will give more flexibility to conducting this research. <--luckily enough, our rent has been reduced however, we have also been moved into smaller spaces

After research and discussion, 3 options are listed as below,

Option 1
Remain the downstairs, but let go the upstairs. Estimate rental for downstairs might need $9000p.a.  This will cut down part of outgoing expenses.
As we still need to have office setup for doing admin paperwork and outreach new friend, two alternative options will be giving
1)     Residential property
Find a residential property in nearby suburb, perhaps 3 spacious rooms townhouse, convert it to office block and other room could be use for Sunday school, counseling, tuition or other purpose.

2)     Commercial property
The advantage to have commercial property is good exposure to outsider and non-believer. This enhances the effectiveness of missionary, maximum foot traffic. As it designs for commercial purpose, some possible usage will be consider such as tuition, photocopying, Fax (send/receive), office, internet cafe, pool, snooker. This also provides great opportunity to student to gain working experience by being admin, receptionist etc. But cost of renting commercial property have to take in consider, too expensive and it beyond budget.

Option 2
Keep existing rental agreement for 2 years and fully utilized the upstairs such as provide library facilities and tuition service. On the other hand, financial plan need to be prepare for 2 years later to accommodate the future expenditure as in property outgoing cost. Perhaps have AUD$12000 by July 08 and AUD $25000 by July 09 on church development funds. <-- As of today, I think we have over $55,000+ already for the church development funds, so good work to those who have give into this fund~!

- Current location is not fully utilised to its' financial spending
- It's a risk to be too comfortable at an existing place, lose heart to evangelise or grow more <-- I believe we have experienced this for the past few years. Not easy to wake up the sleeping giant!

Option 3
- Rent warehouse type of property
- Too costly
- Renovations will costs a lot too
- May not get permit due council zoning

Tasks delegated & report
- Raymond: City of Melbourne council doesn't have the list of properties available. Suggested we look at town halls. None available. Meat Market (North Melbourne) a possible alternative but unable to contact or look through the spaces. Has 3 rooms to lease now. Drove through North Melbourne, plenty of shops available to lease and sale. Recommends to follow up on Meat Market
- Lok Kiong & Daniel: 123 Little Bourke Street still under renovations, asked us to approach them at the end of the year (Oct, Nov) to see how things progressed. Welsh Church has been unreachable.
- Shawn: VicTrack has no property available near CBD or Docklands.
- Fund raisings are hoped to be done to raise funds for property use. Car wash, house cleaning, garage sales, dinner.
- Hope a longer term task group would be form to always keep in touch and look out for properties for church. Members have to have commitments and responsibilities. Do not need to meet every month. <-- often neglected, hopefully can improve~!
- In the short term, car parking is not an issue. Should it become a greater issue, we could negotiate with the commercial car parks beside to see if we can come up with an arrangement. <-- at least we had the privilege of using the car parks until recently. So that's nearly 4 years of free convenient parking! Amazing sometimes we can foresee problems earlier. Sad thing is this committee has not been ongoing to tackle the challenges we faced yearly. So we're stuck without a car park now! Ouch!

- Our comfort zone MUST NOT be build financially, rather on God <-- Still a big reminder today especially with DGR
- Our purpose must not be financially driven or profit driven.
- We must always aim to outreach to the lost souls (primary goal), the venue itself is a centre for outreach, not business.
- A lot of things are good to be done, but we must remember to do the things that are RIGHT. <-- Still agree to what i said in 2007 :P

- As the way current market is going and based on our financial capacity, it's recommend that we take option 2 with a clear saving plans in mind so 2 years later, our circumstances will be different than what it is today. <-- Thank goodness we chose this option 4 years ago! Our savings plan have given us about $55000+ to work on now. However, the journey is still long. Hopefully the venue research committee for 2012 can work out a better plan accommodating our church's needs!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Document From 2008

Was browsing through my old files and saw this. One of my proposals back in 2008 to cater for church's growth. Unfortunately, it was never approved or implemented. 

Still interesting to see if my ideology or principle has changed or not throughout the years.

Proposed LCEC Structure 2009
Purpose/objective: Current church administrative system is failing and hard coping on the effectiveness of our ministries. The present system is designed for 1 service church, we have 2 and it’s hardly working as we would want. When we had the opportunity to experience 3 services, “disaster” happened. We see a lot of disappointments, setbacks, confusions, and tiredness. In other words, we couldn’t cope and keep the church growing. So, we try to refine what we have to cope with the workloads that are involved. It’s nothing new, just re-arranging the positions & ministries structure to improve effectiveness & efficiency. In other words, separating administration and ministry related issues.

  1. Chairperson
  2. Vice Chairperson
  3. Lay Leader
  4. Stewardship & Finance
  5. Treasurer
  6. Secretary
  7. Pastor Parish Relations (consist of Lay Leader, Chairperson, Pastor Representative, Service 1 Rep, Service N Rep)
  8. Property Management
  9. Service 1 (Task Group 1)
  10. Service 2 (Task Group 2)
  11. Service N (Task Group n)

Brief explanations
-          The LCEC will be responsible mainly for the church as a “whole” rather than individual services
-          Task groups may be set up to manage issues involving only individual services or special groups
-          Under LCEC, there can be a maximum of 35 committees in total. Special exemptions apply. As above example, only 10 committees are used but we can look after at least 2-3 services efficiently.

Typical Task group for Services
  1. Task group leader (aka chairperson)
  2. Secretary
  3. Italics = subgroups
  4. Mission & Evangelism
  5. Social Concerns
  6. Christian Education
  7. Small group
  8. Activity
  9. Worship & Music

-          This is the typical task group to manage a service
-          This group will be responsible for their own service only
-          Any issue related to the whole church will be brought to the LCEC via  the Task Group Leader
-          Any purchase of properties/inventories will need to go via LCEC Property Management Committee and all assets belong to the church, not service or task group.
-          Each Task Group can have more or less subgroups depending on needs
-          The subgroups do not need to held separate meetings; their meetings are done in the Task group meetings. They however, can have subgroup meetings if they wish to.

-          Meetings to be held once in 2 months, the task group meetings should be done at least 2 weeks prior to an LCEC meeting
-          Pastor, Chairperson, and Lay leader are to attend task group meetings.
-          Task groups should consist of members of one service only. 
-          This structure allows more focus on issues and more appropriate discussion during the LCEC meetings. 
-          The task groups can have more detailed discussion regarding their specific issues and needs.

  1. Are you having 2 or 3 LCEC in the church?
    - No, just one.

  2. Does it mean we now have 2 or 3 LCEC Chairperson?
    - No, only 1 LCEC chairperson. The other is task group leader acting as a representative for a particular service.

  3. We only have 2 or 3 services max? Why the introduction of this structure? Is it really necessary if we have more than one pastor?
    - Short answer yes. In the coming 3-5 years, we can only see probably 3 services max, further down the track it could be 4-5 services in total.  As we see from the current situation (5 months trial), we are crying to go back to 2 because it’s almost impossible to keep up. IF we had more than one pastor, yes we still need a structure change. Having an extra one or two pastors does not mean that the current structure will work even smoother. It just means the pastor do not have to look over so many services. The workload of a pastor is reduced, that doesn’t mean the workload of the LCEC is reduced. We’ll still face with the same problem of human resource and ineffectiveness in dealing with 3 or more services. The new system will simplify a lot of issues.

  4. Won’t committee members have twice as many meetings?
    - Not really.  LCEC meetings occur as usual to discuss church issues.  Task group / subgroup meetings take the place of the previous subcommittee meetings. 

  1. Will we have problem of disunity among task groups if there are people from different services?
    - There’re many ways to show unity. Not necessary physical unity. We can be united in terms of visions, goals, policies, etc. We can show unity by providing assistance when required, able to compromise on matters that affects the church, etc.

  2. Will it create more trouble for matters to be brought forward?
    - There’ll be an extra layer or so to go through before it reaches the LCEC. However, Chairperson & Lay leader is always in the meeting to handle any issues.

  3. Are we in compliance with the Laws & Constitution of the Methodist church?
    - Definitely yes. It’s just a matter how it’s organized.

  4. Can a member of the LCEC be a member of a Task Group or Vice Versa?
    - Yes, except for the position of Lay leader and Chairperson. They would have to be from that “service” to be in that particular Task Group.

  5. Can any members of the church attend the meetings?
    - LCEC meetings, no as general rule of thumb. Task Group meetings; yes but are not eligible to vote.

  6. Previous year’s structure has always benefited the Chinese side more due to the majority of the LCEC members are from Chinese side. How will this one be different?
    - English side will have their own task group, which will be run totally by people from English side. This gives them the flexibility to plan at their own pace & style. If there’re matters regarding the whole church, they can always bring it up during the LCEC meetings.

  7. How about combined activities or services? Evangelistic events? Training seminars?
    - We try our very best to avoid combined services as it’s not good and doesn’t serve much point except for our own enjoyment or fellowships. There’ll probably be just one or two for the whole year. This will be set in the LCEC and delegate to a special task group or existing task group to organize. As for evangelistic events or seminars (should it be approved by LCEC), normally the party that proposed it will be given the priority to organize it. If they are unable to, then a special task group is to be formed or other existing task group to organize.

  8. I’ve always wanted to see a big church rather than “churches” within a church. It just doesn’t seem right! Why don’t we look for a place big enough for all of us and stay on the current structure & system?
    - In an ideal world, anything’s possible. In reality, it’s near to impossible to find a church or worship space big enough for it. We can look and look, and each time your results will be another disappointment. It can be very stimulating to say let’s go to the Town Hall, MCG or Telstra Dome, but we all know in reality, it’s not going to happen, at least we don’t have any glimpse of the possibility now! So, instead of dreaming & hoping to that way, we need to workout what’s best and a solution to welcome growth & manage it in our church. The world has changed; churches mentality needs to change too.