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LOOKING BACK TO  LOOK FORWARD

The Holy Spirit is moving at Aldersgate Abilene Methodist Church AAMC).  The leadership of AAMC is excited to see our church take the next step of faithfulness through sacrificing in order to minister in the name of Jesus Christ.  The Reflect75 Parallel Visions will help launch AAMC into mission and ministry well into the next 75 years.  Our Parallel Visions include simplifying our administrative structure as well as updating our physical campus.  There have been, and will continue to be, many questions asked about these Parallel Visions.  In this document we provide some answers to these questions.

  • What is Reflect75?
    AAMC will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in 2025. For nearly 75 years, the AAMC faith community has willingly sacrificed in order to minister in the name of Jesus Christ. We don’t want this to stop. In fact, we want to expand our reach as we enter into the next 75 years of ministry. AAMC leadership believes God is calling us to consider two Parallel Visions that will continue to propel us forward in the desire to spread the Gospel of Christ. These Parallel Visions are a Simplified Accountability Structure (SAS) and updating our physical campus.
  • Who is exploring the Parallel Visions?
    Each of the Parallel Visions (SAS and physical campus updates) are being explored by our Executive Team. This team is composed of the chairs of the Church Council, the Personnel Committee, the Trustees, and the Finance Committee as well as an at large Church Council member, our Lay Leader and Treasurer. Pastor Dustin and our Church Administrator, Samantha Spencer, also serve on the Team.
  • What are the Parallel Visions I’ve heard about?
    In January 2024, Pastor Dustin gave a State of the Church address where he celebrated the ministries of 2023 as well as cast a grand vision of our future. In that address, he laid out the Parallel Visions. Our leadership is now charged with exploring these Parallel Visions.
  • Are both visions definitely happening?
    We are currently exploring both Visions as the Spirit of God leads us. However, we are not certain yet if the Lord is calling us to implement both. The Executive Team is exploring the Visions and will report back to the Church Council in the fall of 2024. The Church Council will then determine what the next steps will be.
  • Are both visions happening at the same time?
    We are working towards both at the same time. If God calls us to move forward with both, the SAS will likely start sooner than the Capital Campaign/Renovations. Physical plant renovations will require architectural designs, building permits, financing, and more. It is possible that this could be a multi-year project.
  • Why is Aldersgate Abilene pursuing two significant visions at the same time?
    The Bible emphasizes that as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to walk by faith and not by sight. AAMC leadership knows that there is no way that we could accomplish either of these two visions by ourselves, let alone both simultaneously. That’s why we are in a discernment phase. We want to walk by faith while allowing God time to move us in the right direction. We are spending a great deal of time discussing both visions while also covering them in prayer. We have yet to hear the Lord call us to abandon one or both visions. We recognize that what we are pursuing is difficult. Yet we also know that faith is never promised to be an easy pursuit. If God does lead us into implementing both visions, there is no question that God alone will receive all of the glory!
  • How will the Aldersgate leadership give updates regarding Reflect75?
    AAMC leadership will give periodic updates in services as needed. Some updates will be found in this document as it is updated. In addition, we will utilize various forms of communication when an update is given.
  • As part of this faith community, what can we be praying for?
    Pray that everyone at AAMC will listen carefully to the Holy Spirit. Specifically ask God that the leadership and the church at large have these three things: clarity, conviction, and unity. Clarity from the Lord in what He is asking us to do. Conviction to do it. Unity in carrying it out.
  • What's the Current Timeline on the Current Projects?
    Please refer to the image above for the current timeline as of 4/23/24.
  • What is a Simplified Accountability Structure (SAS)?
    At its simplest, an SAS is consolidating the four administrative committees (Trustees, Finance, SPRC, and Church Council) into a single Leadership Board consisting of nine people with three year terms. The new board is nominated by the Nominations committee and by the members at the yearly Church Conference.
  • Is there really a need for Aldersgate to change administrative structure?
    While this certainly appears to be the case, in reality what this structure does is bring more accountability to those who are making important decisions for Aldersgate. Currently, there is very little accountability for any member of the leadership. When “everyone” is in charge, no one is actually held responsible. In an SAS, each member of the Leadership Board is held accountable by one another, by the pastor, and by the wider congregation.
  • What are the anticipated purposes and benefits of the SAS?
    The purposes and benefits include the following: Removes bottlenecks in the decision-making process (I.e. time, energy, resources, multiple committees/layers, silos, disjointed focus and priorities, etc) Systems, procedures, and policies in place that are flexible and adaptable More people released and available for ministry Leadership Board responsible for church’s faithfulness to AAMC mission (To Raise Up Deeply Devoted Disciples of Jesus Christ) Leadership Board aligns church resources to the mission and vision Guiding Principles in place for efficiency and permission-giving within healthy boundaries Leaders are held accountable at all levels Leadership Board is responsible for focusing on the areas of stewardship, strategic alignment, generative future-focus, and accountable leadership Missional focus, priority, and alignment are non- negotiables
  • What does the SAS look like compared to what the current structure is now?
    Please refer to the image above which illustrates the difference between the two structures. This has been updated as of 4/23/24.
  • Why are we considering a capital campaign?
    For the last several years, the leadership of AAMC has piece milled renovations, improvements, and repairs. However, one major repair has largely been ignored; the roof. Much of our campus is covered by a flat roof that has many places where leaks occur when it rains. These leaks have compounded problems on the infrastructure of the building. We are out of time and now must not simply "fix at” the roof. We urgently need to completely re-do the entire flat roof so no further leaking will occur and so we can repair all of the damage the leaks have caused. In addition, there is a growing list of other repairs and improvements that need to be made to our campus so that we can continue to do mission and ministry not only in Abilene, but across the globe as well.
  • Why did the leadership hire a fundraising consultant for the campaign?
    Capital campaigns are major undertakings. Our pastor, staff, and lay leadership do not have the skill set, time, or ability to run a successful campaign by themselves. While the pastor, staff, and leadership will be heavily involved in the campaign, Horizons Stewardship will be our professional counsel so that we run the campaign in a spiritually healthy and vibrant way.
  • Will other consultants also be hired?
    At this time, the leadership is still in the discernment phase. While there currently are no plans to hire other consultants, if the need arises, AAMC leadership is willing to do so. The leadership is dedicated to being good stewards of the resources entrusted to them by the congregation and will hire consultants who will make the best recommendations for our needs.
  • Are we just renovating or are we planning on building too?
    At this time, the leadership is looking at three important factors before this decision can be made. First, they are looking at a feasibility study. A feasibility study is a way to evaluate whether or not a project plan could be successful. In this study the leadership is evaluating the practicality of the project in order to judge whether or not AAMC is able to move forward with the full project. Second, they are looking at a building study. In this study, the leadership is looking at how our current building is being utilized and exploring whether new construction would enhance our ability to minister in our mission fields. Finally, AAMC leadership is considering a master plan. This plan will help our current leaders as well as future leaders make decisions that will help us fulfill God’s desire for us as we continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • What are the top priorities the leadership is exploring to renovate?
    The most important structural need we have is fixing the roof. However, the leadership is also looking at other needs our facility has. Some of these priorities include, but are not limited to, sound and lighting in the sanctuary, increased security features (outdoor lighting and cameras), a new digital sign, new flooring, and kitchen updates. As cost estimates come in, this information will become more detailed.
  • When will the capital campaign begin?
    Pastor Dustin is working with our consultant from Horizons Stewardship and a capital campaign timeline will be made available as soon as it has been established.
  • When will the renovations begin?
    At this stage, the leadership is still gathering information. The renovations will only begin once the campaign is concluded and the master plan has been adopted.
  • How will the renovations impact our worship, mission work, and ministries?
    Just like home renovations can interrupt a family’s daily routine, a church renovation can interrupt the life of the congregation. However, as the repairs are made and the space is renovated, we expect that our ministries and missions will have an opportunity to grow. In the short term we will all need to remain flexible and grace filled. In the long term we will be better suited to fulfill our missional strategy.
  • As the building committee begins detailed design planning, will other ministries and community members be able to give input?
    Every member of Aldersgate will have an opportunity to look at the master plan and proposals once they have been completed. In addition, there will be an opportunity for congregants to ask questions and to offer input on the design prior to work beginning.
  • Will conceptual drawings be shared with the church?
    All proposals will be shared with the Aldersgate congregation as soon as they are finalized. We anticipate this to take place in late 2024 or early 2025.

*This is a working document and is subject to ongoing change. FAQ was updated as of 4/23/24

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