Two Years to Continue a Legacy
Pathfinder has a long legacy of ministry in our community–a ministry that predates the Civil War by a decade. Even with such a rich history, we’re always letting God do a new thing in us.
In the next two years, our Path Forward Ministry Plan centers around three levels: organizational sustainability, empowering the next generation, and ultimately bringing more people into the Whole Life of Jesus and into the vibrant life of our congregation at a time when our world needs it most.
Our Path Forward
We are in a season of new growth. We are investing in a growing community of new people, seeing an influx of new families, children, students, members, and baptisms on the rise for all ages. Meanwhile, our existing members are choosing to deepen their walk with Jesus by connecting in the various opportunities that are offered here, like Action Teams and Pop-Ups.
From an outreach-perspective, we are in an amazing period of growth!
In large part, we have the Pathfinder staff to thank, as they have pushed and stretched themselves to quickly offer, and now greatly extend, our ministry offerings at a time when many churches have not fully returned to pre-Covid ministry operations.
As many know, with new growth, you experience an onramp (or slow incline) towards engagement in giving and volunteerism compared to what you see with existing members. This is to be expected, and we are not exempt from this.
We find ourselves with a plethora of ministry opportunity, yet a shortfall financially.
We want to continue to see ministry growth occur at Pathfinder and in our community–increasingly so. Yet, this is only possible with additional giving from the families and individuals who call Pathfinder “home.”
READY TO MAKE A COMMITMENT?
Ministry Plan Levels
Level 1: The Path to Sustained Excellence
At the current annual giving rate, the ministry at Pathfinder Church is simply not sustainable. However, we can act now to sustain the exceptional ministry that Pathfinder has come to be known for.
$11,100,000 • 2-YEAR GOAL
- Base operating costs
- Appropriate staffing levels
- Obligatory Capital: addressing on-going needed maintenance for a 20+ year old campus each year
Pathfinder Church is a place of continued growth! People are finding community and pursuing wholeness in Jesus here. Yet, as new members become integrated into our church family, we are seeing a slower incline in giving than our operational needs. Simply put, we find ourselves in a financial shortfall.
This primarily impacts our base operating expenses, affecting our dedicated church staff who have admirably extended their efforts to sustain and expand our ministry. Since COVID, we have balanced budgets by leaving vacant staff positions open and deferring overdue capital projects. Eventually, this will catch up with us. Staff will burn out, our ministries will slip, and our campus will show signs of neglect and fatigue. It is imperative we make key hires to reach appropriate staffing levels for the needs at hand and address the ongoing obligatory capital investment needed for this aging campus that serves as a hub of Whole Life and outreach to West County.
In order to be good stewards of our finances, we’ve increased our our debt principal payments, with a goal of paying off our debt in seven years (2031). Even though our ministry has grown, we’re operating with a smaller budget than 10-years ago, when adjusted for inflation. We need increased giving to continue the excellence of ministry at Pathfinder. Achieving this level of the plan is only possible through the collective contributions of every individual and household. A 20% increase in giving—by current givers and additional new givers alike—would enable us to sustain our excellence in ministry.
Level 2: The Path to Next Generation Impact
Pathfinder has seen tremendous growth in our Next Gen Ministries. We will strategically invest to see greater reach and discipleship of the Next Generation.
$800,000 • 2-YEAR GOAL
- Remodel and reappropriate Student Ministry spaces in Cornerstone
- Reconfigure restrooms in Sanctuary hallway into Family Assist standards
- Update outdoor playground (our school community is funding this project)
Pathfinder has seen tremendous growth in our Next Gen Ministries! In fact, this is a major area where our staff has stretched themselves. Beyond staffing, we need to strategically invest in key spaces to see greater reach and discipleship of the Next Generation.
Specifically, we are planning to reimagine the 3rd-floor area in the Cornerstone building, creating a dynamic environment for youth to gather, have fun, connect with one another, and ultimately pursue a Whole Life together. Additionally, to ensure our existing facilities are accessible for young families, individuals with special needs, and those requiring assistance, we intend to update the sanctuary restrooms and establish Family Assist Restrooms benefitting both our church and school.
Finally, our school community is taking on extensive outdoor playground renovations to create a safe and fun place for kids and families to enjoy.
These aspirational goals will only be pursued if we meet our Level 1 goals.
*Renderings may not be fully representative of final plans.
Level 3: The Path to a Whole Life Hub
Pathfinder believes we are called to pursue our mission to reach people who don’t know Jesus through weekend ministry and Whole Life programming.
$2,750,000 • 2-YEAR GOAL
- Re-envision Cornerstone 1st Floor to be more open and available for Whole Life Action Teams and community use
- Arrange spaces in Cornerstone 2nd floor that could support specialized Whole Life support services
- Design and install a new sanctuary altar and baptismal font
We want more people to seek Whole Life growth! Our vision is to expand and create a ministry hub for Whole Life, serving our greater community. To help facilitate these connections, we need a more open, available campus.
As wise stewards, we intend to tailor the existing 1st and 2nd floors of Cornerstone to better accommodate events, community groups, and Whole Life Action Teams. We will refresh our spaces to support Whole Life in all six areas, which includes updating our layout for physical Whole Life growth, as well as creating safe places for mental health pursuits, such as outsourced counseling. Improvements also include updating the 2nd floor student ministry worship space and creating gathering spaces for larger groups such as Bible Studies.
In remaining attentive to God’s guidance to reach our community, we anticipate an increasing number of individuals across all ages seeking baptism. As part of our Path Forward initiative, we plan to create a new dedicated baptismal area to provide a sacramental experience designed to accommodate infants, children, teenagers, and adults.
These aspirational goals will only be pursued if we meet our Level 1 & Level 2 goals.
*Renderings may not be fully representative of final plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a ministry plan and why is this necessary?
For years, we’ve used 2-3 year ministry plans to help direct our work. Ministry plans keep us aligned, inspired & accountable to what we feel God is calling us to do.
Is the amount we need to raise on top of existing support or does it include current giving?
$14.65 million would fund the entire work our ministry will do over the next two years, which includes the ongoing operating of our day to day ministry AND the aspirational projects we have listed. If current giving remained the same, we’d be at $9.2 million for the next two years, still short of meeting our level one goals of sustained excellence.
What if we don’t reach our goal, will we take on debt to complete it?
No, we do not intend to take on debt at this time. We will fund what we’re able to, starting first with making sure we sustain our excellence by fully funding ministry operations. Additional giving, as God provides, will enable us to take on the aspirational goals of levels 2 and 3.
What is our current debt level?
We currently have $5.25 million in capital debt. We’re scheduled to have our debt paid off on 1/1/31.
I’d really like to see an item from level 2 or 3 happen regardless, is there any chance the prioritization could be changed?
Our leadership has been thoughtful and prayerful about the prioritization of the plan, although we always will stay open to moving in a different way, if God directs. However, we do not intend to start into the aspirational projects of levels 2 and 3 until we feel confident our ministry will be sustained through full funding of level 1.
The Impact of Courageous Giving
Uncertainty and financial concerns can be major stumbling blocks to Courageous Giving. However, the Finke Family experienced first-hand how much like it says in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Hear from Matt Finke (Pathfinder BOD and Finance Board member) on how taking a leap in his generosity journey ultimately impacted his faith.
The Path to Another 175 Years of Ministry
At Pathfinder Church, we believe that generosity is at the center of a Whole Life. Generosity is the heart of God, it’s his plan for everyone as a way by which we grow in faith and is about what God wants for you not from you.
“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NLT)
Pathfinder wouldn’t be the place it is today without the past generations who gave fearlessly, by designating Pathfinder as a beneficiary in their estate. Is God calling you to establish a legacy of generosity by supporting God’s work for future generations?
The LCMS Foundation can guide you through the process, options, and the documentation of estate planning. These services are provided for free, in order to assist more people with blessing the ministries they care about.
For more information, you can contact Gift Planning Counselor, Erich Faulstich at 314-779-6494 or [email protected].
We believe that when we let God guide our lives, we can begin to live out an adventure that leads us to greater measures of wholeness that nothing else can deliver! We are imperfect people, but we want to follow Jesus because we know his way is better.
Is He calling you to deeper generosity in this season?