McLean Bible held their congregational meeting on September 25, 2019. This blog attended and took notes about what was discussed. The meeting reviewed McLean’s financials and gave campus updates across the McLean Bible system in the Washington, D.C. area.
“As a leader, you must consistently drive effective communication. Meetings must be deliberate and intentional – your organizational rhythm should value purpose over habit and effectiveness over efficiency.”
In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
Acts 19:20 NIV
A souvenir from my coverage of the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal in Chicago that I thought I would share with the McLean Bible crowd.
The Wondering Eagle attended the September 25, 2019 McLean Bible Congregational meeting. The meeting started at 7:30 and all campuses -Loudoun, Prince William, Montgomery County, and Arlington were electronically connected. Larry Cooper led the first part of the meeting and started out joking about the extra seats in the front of Arlington. Everyone was sitting in the back of Arlington. At the time McLean Bible was still trying to get to a quorum. Here is the numbers that were presented on financials and attendance at the meeting.
According to Larry Cooper McLean at the Tyson’s location received a large donation of $850,000. Larry said that the books are sealed and they will not say who made the donation. But it was a large confidential gift. When he explained the numbers he said that McLean Bible is not growing but its also not shrinking. The church is exporting people to church plants.
Larry Cooper said that McLean has a $1.8 million dollar surplus, and they are under budget in on expenses. The under budget means they under spent. That said Cooper said that Central Operations was over and exceeds the budget. The surplus came from 2018. Cooper was walking people through the 2019 YTD actual expenses compared to budget. Live Production is $56,000 over budget. Global outreach is $279,000 and that comes form the Box Budget. The Box Budget is how Cooper describes the fund MBC can draw from. Administration is $136,000 over and that is due to donation to partners and life insurance premiums. Senior management is $117,00 over as well and that is due to personnel being shifted from one budget to another. Nearly $500,000 goes to the New City Network. The Lord has blessed McLean Bible as Larry Cooper stated.
The under budget means that McLean Bible didn’t spend what was budgeted. For example maybe they had more volunteers and that allowed the church to save money. Access is under budget by $91,000 and discipleship is at $154,000 under budget as well. AV engineering is under by $102,000 and kids quest is under by $216,000. While Larry was talking it was announced at 7:50 p.m. that a quorum was reached and then the McLean Bible elder continued discussing the numbers. The Rock is under $37,000 as is building services at $421,000. Larry stated that McLean Bible received a large refund from Virginia Dominion Energy. Technology is under at $142,000 and money was saved by data center hosting and equipment savings. Campus management is at $129,000 under the budget and capitol expenditures is $258,000 under. Capitol expenditures can be an expensive part of the budget but that is doing well.
As Larry closed down the numbers section he stated that they won’t open up the floor to question. But he encouraged people to approach staff, elders and more and ask questions. Larry even encouraged people to email him at email@example.com. After this they voted on the new members after a second by Marissa. Larry stated that those why became members take their faith seriously and go through an elder interview and a partial interview. No one opposed any of the members. Mark Gotley then read the minutes from the last congregation meeting.
David Platt Leads the Second Part of the Meeting and Updates from Individual Campuses
David Platt came up on stage and shared two verses from the Bible that he was studying. Those were Acts 19:10 and Acts 19:20. Dave stopped and pondered on what it means that the “word of the Lord prevails mightily.” David then started to go through the different campuses and people shared updates. Loudoun stated that they had 30 baptisms in two weeks time and many were living in covenant community. Mike Kelsey at Montgomery County told the story of Chris, a 23 year old who found life in the Lord. Chris conquered his sin, serves on Sunday and disciples teenagers in The Rock Ministries at Montgomery County. Arlington campus spoke next and Isabel talked about what the Lord was doing in her life. She shared about her experience in her small group.
David Platt got emotional and asked for people to pray for three things.
- Pray for people in worship settings to know Jesus.
- That those would develop the courage to follow Christ through baptism.
- Pray for people sitting on the fence who are half hearted that they would fully commit to Jesus.
Then Clint Clifton of the New City Network came up and spoke,. If you are interested this blog wrote about Clint Clifton in, “Who is Clint Clifton of the New City Network? Is the New City Network Prepared for the Issue of Sexual Abuse?” Then Clint spoke briefly about one of the new plants of the New City Network. Its Aaron Nichols and Tony Kibic of the Mosaic City Church. Aaron told explained about someone who came to the church who found the Lord through Mosaic. His name is Jake and he comes from a Catholic background. He shared as to what the Lord means to him and he spoke at the congregational meeting a few days before getting married. You can read more about Mosaic City Church in, “When a Church Plant is the Fruit of Sin. Looking at Aaron Nichols Mosaic City Church as Supported by Kenji Adachi’s All People’s Community Church” and “No Mosaic City Church and All Peoples Community Church Are Not Being Persecuted by a Blogger.” The next people to speak was Todd Peters from McLean Bible Prince William County. Todd who emphasized that Christians “are at war” introduced Nick and June. They are two missionaries deploying to Ghana through the International Justice Mission. Mike Kelsey of Montgomery County came back on and mentioned about Kate and Daniel McNeel. Currently they are spending time in Tennessee with family before heading out to Southeast Asia.
On a sad note it was shared that Larry Deberry had passed away. Larry was deeply involved in McLean Bible for years. He dealt with melanoma and it went in remission once. Larry was dedicated and having evangelism tracks in different languages with him, He brought backpacks to schools and worked in he Emery Ruckers homeless mission sharing the Gospel. He will be missed. The meeting closed at 9:00 and David Platt reminded people of what 1 Thessalonians 4:13 states.
As the crowd dispersed I made my way up to the front and shook the hand of Aaron Nichols of Mosaic. I swung by there are couple of months back to observe and watch. Aaron was surprised to see me at McLean Bible. In writing a blog like this it takes me up and down the East Coast and occasionally to the Midwest. I actually have the opportunity to travel to Chicago next month and meet with people who I have worked with in telling the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal. Then I saw Clint Clifford as i was walking out and called his name and introduced myself. Clint said that my writing was not correct and requested that I verify with him. He said that he sent an email and that I never responded. I was distracted for a second because I thought I saw someone in the corner of my eye that I knew. But what I needed to say to Clint is that I did email him. Perhaps the email ended up in the spam filter or so. Either way as I write about McLean Bible and the New City Network I am happy to meet with people.