Phase I – Strategic Planning
On the evening of November 15, 2012, a group of 18 Asbury members came together in Campus II. They were there to develop a master plan that will keep Asbury United Methodist Church growing as a Fruitful Congregation into the future. The group represented a broad range of the membership in terms of age, gender, and length of membership at Asbury.
This evening began a series of meetings with Mike Arnold of the Church Solutions Group. Mike is a professional consultant who leads congregations just like Asbury through the process of strategic planning. The team spent over 40 hours developing the framework for proceeding with “What’s Important Now” (WIN) activities.
The top WIN action item was our facility—”Attendance growth is capped by our facility size. We will see a decline in attendance if we do not address facility needs.”
During the process, the team also reviewed Asbury’s History. This was to help us frame who we are and what has led us to where we are.
Asbury’s Attendance has exceeded 1,100 three times in its history
A Brief History of Asbury
1986 – Rev. Mitchel Williams was sent to our area to start a new church.
1989 – Asbury built its first building – membership at 570 and worship averaged 400.
1994 – Asbury moved to the current location – Building Phase 1A
1995- 2000 – Pastor Jimmy Basham appointed – over 1,000 members – Expanded the worship space – Adult classrooms in trailers
2000 – 2002 – the Pastors Harper appointed – Membership reached over 2,000 – 3 worship services – Building entered Phase 2
2002-2010 – Pastor Mark Lacey appointed
2010 – Pastor Kip Laxson appointed – Attendance and Giving increased – Attendance exceeded 1,000 for the 3rd time in Asbury’s history.
What We Learned From Our History
- Asbury is a faithful community.
- We need to see a future and have a vision.
- Leadership is key.
- We are a mainline, inclusive church.
- We have been here before.
- God has provided us with great resources.
Phase II—A Capital Campaign
The Strategic Process Team finished their efforts in the fall of 2013. Key members of the team continued to work on transitioning from planning to implementation. Since the facility was the number one WIN item, preparations began for launching a capital campaign. Consultants were interviewed and a selection was made. We worked for almost three months with RSI laying the ground work for launching a capital campaign in late 2014 with a public campaign in the spring of 2015. Two teams were formed: a Lead Gifts Team and a Communications Team. These two teams work for over two months gearing up for the campaign.
In the late spring of 2014, however, Asbury faced challenges in meeting our operating budget giving requirements. The leadership team chose to delay the capital campaign. A key predictor of the success of a capital campaign is the faithfulness in meeting the ongoing operational financial needs of the church.
Asbury finished 2014 financially strong. We are now in a position to restart the campaign planning process.
“Without God we cannot. Without us God will not.” – St. Augustine