God's Mission, Our Vision, Christ's Call

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God's Mission, Our Vision, Christ's Call

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Knox Presbyterian Church 2017 Vision Plan

Achieving the Vision

We, the people of Knox, can continue this good work that God has started in us. As a community of believers who, enabled by His grace, generously give of ourselves, and our treasure, we can play our part in furthering the kingdom of God. This is made possible by committed stewardship of Knox’s budget and the continued financial health of our church home.

Our bold plan is enabled by a 10% increase in the amount pledged by the community of Knox, to support a $1.76 MM general fund budget, up from $1.6 MM in 2016. For 2017, prayerfully consider how you will be a part of this vision. How can you contribute to furthering the kingdom of God? Can you imagine what God WILL do with your treasure?

Our general fund budget serves three primary purposes:

1. To provide meaningful, life-changing worship every week of the year.
2. To continuously nurture each of us in our faith journey.
3. To enable us to witness our faith in service beyond the walls of our church.

This document outlines our plan in the coming year to achieve God’s purposes through worship, missions, children’s ministries, Children's Day Out, youth & young adult ministries, adult education, congregational care programs, our staff, and our campus.

Vision for Worship

In 2017, we plan to add a regular Saturday evening service to create more worship options for the Knox congregation and to reach new people in our community. This is one way to achieve our church mission to “learn, grow and serve as followers of Jesus Christ.”

One research study indicates that 80% of churches that introduce an additional service experience growth of 15% or more in attendance, giving and conversions within in 2 years.

Our Saturday service accommodates both outreach and evangelism objectives at Knox. In a 24/7 world, people are looking for alternatives to Sunday services due to family, sporting and other commitments that prevent them from actively participating on Sundays, or simply due to preference. The purpose is not to draw from Sunday services, but to provide options for those unable to worship on Sundays and to attract new-comers from the community.

The Saturday service format is distinctive and more contemporary than Sunday services. From welcome to prayers, Knox News to Good News announcements, we emphasize the good news of the Lord in our lives. Lay worship leaders actively engage with the congregation in a casual manner and with an emphasis on music. Technology is used to appeal to social media oriented attendees.

The team has conducted four successful Saturday services, one each month beginning in June. Feedback has been positive, with attendees describing the experience as: “relaxed environment”; “informal”; “personable”; “like the music”.

The lay leaders, Kate Noreen, Sara Egan, Ken Ancona and Brian Hicks, lead worship. Ministers contributing so far are Jenny Hubbard, Rev. Deb, and Rev. Robert. Keith Hoggatt leads the music on acoustic guitar with voice accompaniment from Jonathan Sadler and others.

For 2017, the team is developing a staffing and budget plan for Session to review and approve. The Saturday service will continue monthly with the goal of moving to weekly services around March.

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Personnel

The Personnel Council, with God’s guidance and with the congregation’s support, works to provide for Knox’s needs by employing a permanent staff that includes pastors and support staff. Knox is growing, but it is also evolving as we address the needs of new members and the needs of the mission of Knox.

Next year, the Personnel Council’s goal is to enhance the ability of staff to lead and sustain our growth in the following ways:

Hire four new staff positions: 

  • A Congregational Nurse & Care Coordinator (see Congregational Care section)
  • Music Team Lead for Saturday service (see Worship section)
  • Communication Administrator to improve and increases communication across the congregation and to free up pastors to focus on counsel, guidance and internal mission services within the Knox Congregation
  • Audio-Visual Lead to improve coordination and creation of audio-visual materials and to potentially assist with future online streaming of services.

Provide for continuing education for staff, both administrative and pastoral, to maintain and update knowledge base.

Maintain adequate compensation and health benefits for paid staff, reversing the recent trend of declining pay and benefits. 

For everyone that we see, work, and celebrate with at Knox, there are many people we don’t see, but they are there. The prayers, planning and activities, the group meetings, one on one conversations, emails, phone calls, cooking, cleaning, packing, decorating, all depend on people. Some are on Knox staff, but many are volunteers. All need the tools and resources to accomplish the many tasks behind the scenes to support our teachers, musicians, pastors, administration, facilities management, and many others. As we do God’s work, we thank Him for all the hands and hearts, whether staff or volunteers, he has provided to further the mission of Knox.

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Mission

Knox has always been conscious of the fact that Jesus said, “Go into all the world.” We see ourselves as servants and laborers in a vineyard that does not belong to us. In the past year, we joined with many of our local churches and organizations to support missions locally, regionally, and worldwide.

The Mission Council is looking at our general fund giving through a different lens as we manage the Mission budget in 2017 and looking forward to 2020. We see each Mission as serving needs in one or all of four different ways:

1. Mercy or compassion,
2. Relational or person-to-person
3. Evangelical or sharing the Gospel
4. Prophetic or justice

They also vary in geographic scope:

1. Local
2. Regional
3. National
4. International

Currently, our Mission Partner Distribution and the distribution of our mission dollars are equal at local and regional level, with lower contributions for national and international outreach.

Long-term plans are to intentionally adjust the distribution of Knox’s Mission Partners, mission dollars and gifts towards targeted needs within the four different geographic scopes. This will enable us to not only support missions financially, but provide opportunities for the members of Knox to participate in them personally.

The following missions are supported financially by Knox through Mission Council in 2016: YMEN, Intervarsity, DuPage Pads, Hesed House, Scott Moreau Fund, Samaritan Interfaith, Teen Parent Connection, Dakota Partnership/Sisseton, Loaves & Fishes CARES Programs, Wayside Cross/ Lifespring Ministries.

An expanded Mission budget would mean more resources to help people transform their lives and build a better future for themselves and their families.

Mission Council is also looking for members of the congregation who want to share their talents and time. There are several Knox missions that would benefit greatly from your time and talents. To mention just a few:

  • Prepare a meal or work a volunteer shift at Hesed House 
  • Tutor and help a young man or woman at YMEN to reach their potential 
  • Share your scrapbooking talent with {insert your name here}? 
  • Volunteer at Lifespring Transitional Living Program
  • Build relationships with Native Americans in South Dakota and Montana through the Dakota Partnership. Summer trips are organized each year and the annual Angel Tree program serve these communities
  • On Tuesday nights, Knox is home to the young moms, dads and their kids of Teen Parent Connection. Sign up to prepare and serve a meal to the young families.

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Buildings & Grounds

Our mission is to maintain the Church and its properties so that our congregation, and others who we provide facilities for, have a safe, clean, dry, and comfortable place to meet. We are responsible for managing all the costs of the building and grounds, including utilities, maintenance, repairs, custodial personnel, and capital improvements. We supplement our paid staff with volunteer help from our council and other Knox members.

Knox hosts up to 37 meetings on a weekly basis. Uses include Sunday services, Youth Club, Children’s Day Out, weddings, Bible studies, and meetings of church sanctioned outside groups. Each meeting requires a unique set up for tables and chairs, which then have to be torn down, and the areas cleaned up for the next event.

In addition to our main building, we maintain the two rental properties and our manse next to Knox, which provides rental income and future expansion opportunities should the need arise for more Knox owned parking.

We maintain a capital budget as well as a reserve fund to cover both planned and emergency capital projects like the new steps on the Basswood side, new more efficient lighting, fixing roof leaks, the elevator, and AC failures. Since we had a multitude of unexpected projects in 2016, we drew down our reserve fund and need to refill it to ensure we’re able to deal with the demands of Knox’s buildings and grounds in 2017.

For 2017, we plan on kicking off the following projects, subject to budgetary constraints:

  • Replacing the carpet in the church - estimated cost $45,000
  • Expanding our storage short-term - estimated cost $12,000
  • Expanding our storage long-term - estimated cost $40,000

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Children’s Ministry

Knox’s dedication to Christ is made clear in the energy and prayer put into seeking ways to help everyone in our community grow in their relationship with the Lord, whether they are three-years-old or ninety-three years old.

The Children and Family Ministry Council consists of the following key areas of ministry:

  • Sunday School (both school year and summer sessions)
  • Middle School Fellowship
  • Dance Ministry
  • Arts Camp
  • Family Ministry
  • Wednesday Night Youth programs
  • Vacation Bible School

As careful stewards of God’s provision, we review and reuse materials, reordering replacements only when necessary. However, our current Sunday School curriculum has been discontinued by the publisher, and we are reviewing new curriculum options. This as an exciting opportunity to refresh our Sunday School programming. We will use the remainder of this year’s Sunday School budget to begin ordering new curriculum materials, but will likely need to allocate funds in 2017 to complete the process.

Our expenses to replenish Children’s Ministry supplies have increased over the last year as we have made a deliberate and focused effort to build our Family Ministry through added events such as Easter Fest. With the success of Easter Fest and growing attendance at Trunk or Treat, we foresee a need for increased funding in this area.

Other ministries, like the Middle School Fellowship, outreach activities, youth lock-ins, Arts Camp and dance ministries continue to grow, bringing more children and their families into the community of Knox. As we grow, so do our needs and we anticipate that 2017 would be no different. Our needs include teaching and art supplies, marketing materials to the congregation and the larger community, childcare, signage, costumes and many other items that help make our ministries successful.

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Children’s Day Out Ministry

Within the Christian community, the main link between what this generation knows and what the next generation will know is the church, congregation and parents instructing the next generation about the good news of Christ's love. One way Knox bridges the generations is through Children’s Day Out, an amazing ministry that was sparked from the imagination of a member of our congregation 28 years ago. It is a prime example of how our stewardship at Knox is channeled toward families and God's community of faith.

Children’s Day Out is a Christian-based community pre-school program that operates on the Knox campus as a separate entity. We strive to provide a nurturing atmosphere in which each child can grow and:

1. Learn about his/her world
2. Learn to be in community with others
3. Develop a sense of independence
4. Grow in Christian Fellowship

Because CDO is a school environment, it has different needs than what is typically associated with a church. With your support in 2017 and beyond, we hope to complete some important capital projects:

  • Install landline phones in every classroom with intercom capabilities for the teachers and office to have contact during the day and in case of an emergency.
  • Replace the playground mulch with an appropriate and safe play surface
  • Replace the playground with an age appropriate play space
  • Assist Buildings & Grounds in providing consistent heating and cooling throughout classrooms to provide for a comfortable learning and work environment
  • Purchase locking and non-locking storage furniture in every classroom to aid with organization for both CDO and other users of the room like Sunday School

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Knox’s Youth and Young Adult ministry covers a wide range of activities amongst high-schoolers, including twice-weekly fellowship and learning, two retreats and an annual mission trip, called Go & Serve, to underserved communities in the US. In addition, Young Adults participate in an annual mission trip to Mexico to build a house for a family that does not have a safe, permanent structure to call home.

An important ministry that aims to keep youth connected to Christ and Knox is the eighth-grade Confirmation program, with classes culminating in them being confirmed by the end of 8th Grade. In addition to teaching our youth about the love of Christ, we continue to build community and outreach, making Knox a safe and caring place where youth come for respite from the pressures of their increasingly stressful lives.

Knox’s Lean on Me program teaches youth to be good listeners and to practice outreach to their peers. The Awakening, the youth version of the Great Banquet, is an annual event in Indiana and is also supported by Youth and Young Adult Ministries.

As we look to the year ahead, we are considering hiring a seminary intern or part-time employee to assist with our Youth and Young Adult ministries - Brian Tanck and Katie Hartwell are examples of people who have served in this role in the past. A paid intern would help with our current programming, offer a different voice and ideas, as well as free up time and opportunities to implement new activities.

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Adult Education Ministries

The Adult Education Council provides programming and speakers for the adult membership of Knox. The Council also works with the Pastors planning the Church-wide fall study programs, the latest of which is The Psalms: Praise, Passion and Power, and Bible Study groups. Adult Sunday School programs are consistently popular with a faithful following. The Council has established a regular Sunday night speakers program and the Curious Christian travel events.

These programs have been successful in terms of interest and participation. There is much more the Council can do and plan. Speakers’ schedules often aren’t quite flexible enough for Sunday nights. This program can be expanded as part of a general outreach to the Naperville community. Perhaps even including speaker events at larger venues available at North Central College or elsewhere. This would take partnering with others in the community, taking a risk with such programming, but reaching out to a new audience in Naperville.

The Council should also be exploring the options available for teaming with other Knox Councils to learn about community involvement and opportunities to serve.

The Curious Christian program has vast potential, just in the Chicago area with churches and temples of religious and historic significance. There are also numerous regional sites for consideration.

The Council has historically operated as a self-sustaining ministry. With an expanded budget the Adult Ed Council can also expand the horizons of Knox members and also be reaching out to the surrounding community.

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

Vision for Congregational Care Ministries

The Congregational Care Council provides caregiving and ministry to between 15 and 20 individuals and their families at any given time. Many are in independent living or assisted living facilities. Monthly visits may include prayer, laughter, hymn singing, and opportunities to receive communion from the pastors.

This council also partners collaboratively with other groups in our church, assisting the Church Life Council with Sunday Coffee Hour and serving meals for TPC (Teen Parent Connection).

Lastly, this council oversees and supports our Stephen Ministry Program and our Prayer Team. Our current budget helps to support the Deacon’s Fund and the purchase of cards that are sent to parishioners during times of loss, illness, or celebration.

Congregational Nurse & Care Coordinator: Our goal for the near future is to add a Congregational Nurse & Care Coordinator to our staff. The faith community nurse (FCN) will be a registered nurse specializing in faith-community nursing, who is knowledgeable in two primary areas – professional nursing and spiritual care. With an intentional focus on spiritual health, the FCN primarily uses the interventions of education, counseling, prayer, presence, active listening, advocacy, referral, to deliver a wide variety of resources to the Knox community.

The Ministry of Faith-Community Nursing is designed to build on and strengthen the capacity of individuals, families, and congregations to understand and care for one another considering their relationship with God, their faith traditions, and the broader society.

A Faith Community Nurse is:

  • Someone who will come alongside the ill or grieving to provide physical and emotional support
  • Someone with the medical background to help the ill or elderly coordinate their health care
  • Someone who can provide community resources for those questioning or searching for alternatives to their current health care
  • Someone who will work collaboratively with the Deacons and Stephen Ministers to address the needs of church members
  • Someone who will visit regularly to help monitor basic health needs (i.e. blood pressure, oxygenation, prescribed medications)
  • Someone who can plan and help implement wellness/prevention programs in the church in conjunction with clergy and church leaders (i.e. blood pressure screenings, monthly newsletters)

Imagine what God WILL do with your contribution!

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