What’s Next at a Glance:
Here's a summary of frequently asked questions about what’s upcoming at First Euless
What started this conversation?
We listened to you, our members! You expressed your desire for our church to be stronger and to take steps that would lead to growth.
- We formed a growth team to help us lead the charge for growth
- We formed a Euless Campus Team to explore making changes to our Euless Campus
- We formed a Satellite Campus Team to explore launching a satellite in NW Tarrant County
What are some of the things that we’re doing to grow here?
- Focusing on developing leaders through an upcoming “Replicate” emphasis
- Launching a Serve Ministry with serve coaches, assessment tools, and more
- Starting new Connection groups that meet outside the walls of our church
- A continuing effort to develop staff leadership skills
- Becoming more family-friendly by bringing the preschool ministry together in one building
- Beginning a fresh, biblically-strong curriculum for kids
What will we do first?
- We’ve already begun to do things to help us grow here and will expand these strategies.
- The renovation project is vitally important but is much larger in scope, much more expensive, and requires a longer runway to prepare.
- Our plan is to move forward with the satellite, while still working toward Euless campus renovations.
- The satellite can be launched with cash on hand, can start quickly in a school, and can have an immediate impact.
- The time to launch the satellite is now because there’s a window of opportunity to reach/disciple new people with First Euless’ DNA in this under-churched area. An SBTC report shows only 5 churches in 5-mile radius (vs. 55 churches near Euless campus).
- About 10% of our people live there, and nearly 1 in 4 people in that area prefer Baptist churches.
- Both projects (Euless renovations and Satellite) will be moved forward concurrently. See below for the anticipated timeline.
What’s the plan for the Euless Campus?
- Refresh our facilities, which are currently aging and not family friendly.
- We are researching best practices and trends in ministry, and are working with an architect to develop a master plan.
- The Euless Campus Team hopes to propose a plan in March 2019 with a vote at a later date.
- The cost is TBD and will be based on scope. See FAQ below for various likely funding sources.
- We’re considering selling Campus West and moving student ministry to the main campus in order to be more family friendly. No offers are pending. No date on a possible sale, but we’re praying for discernment and talking with 6 Stones throughout the process.
What’s the plan for the Satellite Launch?
- The proposed location is Byron Nelson High School (Trophy Club). We would set up and tear down weekly.
- January 2019 is the proposed launch.
- The proposed Campus Pastor would be Kent Wells. There would also be a full-time worship/student pastor and part-time children’s minister/assistant.
- The campus would feature live preaching and band-led worship.
- Preschool and Children would have on-site Sunday morning Connection. Off-site mid-week connection for students and adults.
- It would cost about $300k upfront in equipment and associated launch costs.
- It would cost about $300k in net operating expenses in 2019 ($400k costs less $100k incremental receipts). Expected to be financially self-sustaining in 3 years (no payback for investments made).
What’s Next? FAQ
Frequently asked questions about what’s upcoming at First Euless
Your Questions Matter
We’ve sought your questions in town hall meetings, Q&A forums, committees, teams, connection groups, and more. Why?
What improvements are we considering? Why?
As discussed at town hall meetings, we have three priorities, in this order: 1) strengthen and grow here, 2) refurbish Euless campus and 3) launch a satellite campus in the NW Tarrant County area. There are four main reasons: 1) to fulfill the Great Commission at First Euless (Matt 28:19-20, Col 1:28-29, I Cor 4:1-2); 2) to grow and reach new people as
Why is strengthening/growing here the #1 priority? How? Why not focus outside the walls of the church?
In the last 10 years, First Euless has done so much to advance God’s kingdom. We’ve baptized 2,200 people right here, plus we’ve reached thousands more through mission trips, church plants, and outside ministries. Our focus has largely been outward – like few churches – to bless our community and beyond. For example, we’ve invested $16+ million in missions, launched 6 Stones Mission Network, and enabled non-profits to thrive (e.g., MCPC, Career Solutions, and One Conversation). While we should never stop reaching outside the walls of our church, it’s time to refocus on growing here in more effective ways.
As CT Stubb said, “The light that shines farthest shines brightest at home.” This year we’re: strengthening
- Roll out
newcurriculum for preschool through students that’seven more biblically strong and attractional.
- Launch a new serve ministry that puts people before positions, invests in a new assessment tool to help members serve better in all areas of life, and increases volunteers.
- Replicate and multiply leaders and connection groups.
- Wrap up a 3-week focus on generosity and move into “Replicate,” an ongoing emphasis on, and commitment to, replicating ourselves.
- Many other individual ministry efforts.
Why launch a satellite? And why now, before refurbishing the Euless campus?
Refurbishing the Euless campus is in
We have urgency because the gospel has urgency, and we see a window of opportunity to fill a void in this under-churched area of NW Tarrant County. The closest church is Mormon. And while there are other churches, we believe it needs one with First Euless’ DNA – e.g., our blend of evangelism, discipleship, biblical teaching, missional living, generosity, and community care.
What was the process to get to this point? Who was involved?
The 2015 church-wide survey with 735 responses provided a foundation. Town hall meetings were held. Deacons began long-range vision talks. A cross-section, 25-member Long Range Vision Team began a three-stage process of feasibility, planning, and execution for Euless Campus and Satellite. An architect gave feedback on current facilities and a master plan concept. A Euless Campus Team and a Satellite Team were formed (about 10 members each, primarily lay leaders). The staff recently held a “wins” retreat to begin defining long-term wins and possible immediate actions for each ministry area (Preschool/Children, Students, etc.). Next: finalize research, best practices, and staff recommendations with the Euless Campus Team.
The Euless Campus Team’s goal is to assess and recommend family-friendly facilities to maximize worship, attract guests, and connect people of all ages to this church body and community. The Satellite’s goal is to develop a plan to establish a satellite campus in Northwest Tarrant County to extend the ministry of First Euless to lead all people to follow Jesus.
Can we do all these things?
As Pastor John says, “Where God guides, He provides.” God has already provided cash reserves to pay for satellite upfront costs, with significant reserves remaining. The staff team is stronger and more aligned to tackle these challenges and opportunities. A focus on strengthening and growing Euless will enable other improvements. Scores of lay leaders have helped research and develop these plans. And countless prayers have been, and will be, offered up, for God to direct our steps as we follow His leading.
Would there be a vote? If so, how would it work
Have our committees been involved and do they agree?
Yes. Our Budget & Finance (B&F) Committee approved the preliminary satellite upfront and ongoing operating cost estimates. Our Personnel Committee has been fully briefed on proposed satellite personnel costs as a preview of 2019 personnel budget and will complete its normal annual personnel budget process. The same will be true for Euless refurbishments.
Why do we need Euless campus refurbishments? What would we refurbish?
As did the generations before us, we need to invest in the next generation of families. Our facilities are aging and not family friendly but can be adapted for effectiveness with a good master plan. The Euless Campus team is working with staff and an architect to develop plans to upgrade and reposition the Euless campus for more effectiveness. With assistance from design/construction professionals, they’ll examine the Euless campus and complete a facilities master plan.
We’ve seen growth all around us (new homes, new retail, and building refreshes), yet our facilities increasingly need renovations. We’ve kept them running, but not deeply invested in them. Our newest building is nearly 20 years old. This isn’t about being cool; it’s about being relevant, relational, and responsive... attracting and connecting with families of all ages, but especially younger families. For example, Guest Central volunteers see weekly the difficulties experienced by parents with children spread out in four buildings, including one across a busy street. Many families don’t return because it took 15-20 minutes to drop off children and another 15-20 minutes to pick them up after worship. One of our challenges is seeing our facilities through the eyes of those we’re trying to reach.
What are the costs for a campus refurbishment?
These costs will not be known until after needs and scope are set by the Euless Campus Team, in consultation with architects. The team’s recommendations will be presented to lay leadership (committees, deacons, etc.), and then to the entire church for review and vote.
Why would we launch a satellite?
We would launch a satellite in NW Tarrant County to reach and disciple new people for Christ. It’s not to copycat other churches, chase money, or react to concerns. It’s been a burden on Pastor John’s heart for more than five years to meet that area’s needs through a generous, gospel-centered culture with ministries like ours.
What would satellite services look like? Staffed? Live preaching? Connection groups?
The satellite would be an extension of First Euless—one church; two locations. One mission, vision, guiding principles, processes, and core strategies. Satellite worship services: onsite on Sunday mornings only. Preaching: strong and biblically based, primarily by Kent Wells, along with Pastor John and others. Worship: band-led. Onsite connection classes: Preschool and Children’s, and possibly Students. Adult connection: offsite (homes, etc.) and would begin meeting pre-launch to build momentum.
Pastor John believes, with
Why would the satellite be held in a school? In this school?
We began this process by considering many options—buy land and build, retrofit leased commercial real property, merger with another church, rent a school, etc. Not only were all other options far more expensive, but also there were no viable other options available. Lay leaders in this industry (Mark Skinner, Brenda Magness, etc.) said viable properties were either unavailable or excessively expensive. Also, a school provides great flexibility.
This area will continue to experience significant growth. For example, 90 schools are expected to have been built by NWISD within ten years for 36,000 children. (Note:
Also, this area is under-churched. There are about 5 churches within a 5-mile radius of our targeted location (with about 50,000 people), compared with about 55 churches in Euless’ 5-mile radius (with about 50,000 people).
What are the demographics near the proposed satellite?
We received a detailed 2018 detail report of key demographic data within a 5-mile radius of Byron Nelson High School from Percept Group (a company that has provided churches and religious organizations with demographic resources for over three decades):
- Religious preference of Baptist: 23.8% (vs. 16.1% US average)
- Faith involvement: Strongly involved with their faith: 38.2% (vs. 35.4% US average)
Somewhat involved with their faith: 31.3% (vs. 29.9% US average)
Not involved with their faith: 29.5% (vs. 34.7% US average)
- Likely faith receptivity level and preference for historic Christian religious affiliations: “somewhat high” compared to national averages.
- Estimated 2018 households likely to contribute to churches:
More than $100 per year: 66.1%
More than $500 per year: 37.4%
More than $1,000 per year: 23.4%
- Residents: 53,536 people residents, a 103.1% population increase since 2000 (vs 16.0% in the US). By 2023, another 5.454 people are expected to move in.
- Lifestyle diversity: “somewhat high” with 21 of the 50 US lifestyles segments represented. The top segment is Traditional Affluent Families representing 33.9% of all households.
- Racial/ethnic diversity: 78.1% Anglo; 10.7% Hispanic; 5.1% Asian, 3.9% Black; and others. We would hope to replicate and grow the diversity we enjoy at First Euless.
- Largest generational segment: Survivors (age 37 to 57), comprising of 16,580 or 31.0% of the total population in the area (vs, 26.9% in the US).
- Families: “extremely traditional” (above average married & two-parent families).
- Education: 96.5% of people age 25+ graduated from high school (vs. 87.0% US average). College graduates are 54.4% of those age 25+ (vs. 30.3% US average).
About 10% of our members live in this area. We anticipate 100 members helping begin this satellite with 300 average
How much would the satellite cost? How would it be funded?
Estimated upfront satellite costs are $300,000, which was approved by the B&F Committee to be taken from cash reserves. Thankfully, God has already provided for this effort. This investment is comparable to other faith ventures we’ve taken in the last decade, such as planting churches in Phoenix and Austin and launching 6 Stones Mission Network. After multiple meetings and hours of vetting, the B&F Committee approved these costs, which include: turnkey equipment, audio/video/lighting enhancements, promotion, guest services technology, computers, storage trailer, internal signage, etc. Also, there are no needs at this time for leasehold improvements and no lease termination or other lease penalty exposures (more about leasing below).
Estimated 2019 satellite net operating costs are $300,000 ($400,000 of costs, less $100,000 of incremental receipts). These costs and receipts, as for all First Euless ministries, would be part of our 2019 budget, as confirmed by the B&F Committee. Based on requests for details, here are examples of key business plan assumptions:
- Primary costs: Personnel & Rent, along with Promotions, Ministry/Connection support, Worship, Hospitality, Technical support, Administration (insurance, etc.), and 10% of receipts for SBC cooperative program.
- No additional costs
for:Utilities, Janitorial, Triple net (common area maintenance, tax, property insurance), or other facilities costs.
- Receipts: Assume 100 incremental
attenderswith 2.5 people per family and $2,500 given annually per family. As is common with most churches/organizations, however, the majority of money and time comes from a much smaller group. Thus, we expect a fewer number of new attendersto give larger amounts and others to give much less. These amounts are conservative compared to our historical donations history.
- Expected break-even: 3 years, similar to other churches and industry experts’ input. (This is prospective, not cumulative. We would consider initial net operating losses as an investment, not require a payback plan.)
The B&F Committee works with our staff team to determine the total 2019 budget, which would likely include numerous cost savings and adjustments in order to mitigate some of these incremental net operating costs.
What would the satellite be named? Would it affect the name of First Euless?
The name of the satellite would be determined after an affirming vote.
How would projects be financed?
First Euless is in a strong financial condition. It maintains cash reserves. Over the last decade, we’ve been debt-free and had no major capital campaign (and limited facilities updates). Final funding recommendations would come from a Funding Team that would be formed, as needed. Funding would come from different sources. First, funding for smaller facilities improvements (e.g., moving Pre-k and Kindergarten to the Preschool building) comes from cash reserves, as would upfront satellite costs. Second, ongoing operating costs would be included in modified operating budgets. Third, major Euless campus refurbishments would likely come from various sources such as cash reserves, possible Campus West sale, capital campaign, short-term debt, and one-time donations.
Would we do a fundraiser for the satellite?
No. God has already provided more than sufficient cash reserves to launch the proposed satellite, as approved by
Would we do a fundraiser for Euless campus refurbishments? Would we take on debt?
The scope and costs (not yet determined) may warrant a capital campaign, and possibly debt (hopefully short-term). Any specifics can’t be known at this early stage. It would depend on projected costs, as well as cash reserves on hand, member funding commitments, the potential sale of Campus West, and other funding sources. If there was a need for debt, it would be considered AFTER a thorough, prayerful process—e.g., deliberations by the Euless Campus Team, Budget and Finance Committee, member inputs, and an affirmative church vote. Far too early to know.
What criteria would cause us to shut down the satellite?
A satellite launch would involve due diligence and plans – assumptions, expectations, and best practices. But there is a balance. It’s not a business with a financial payback, IRR (Internal rate of return), NPV (net present value), or minimum customer counts. Accordingly, we would not pre-determine financial/attendance threshold, but we would apply prudent financial and operational practices with ongoing oversight by the Admin Pastor (a CFO/Controller/Auditor for 25 years), the Budget and Finance Committee, and Trustees. If the satellite does not grow over time, we would reassess its continuation, as we do with any ministry.
How would giving be affected by a satellite?
We can’t yet know how a satellite would affect giving. But we plan for incremental giving for two reasons: 1) our goal is to reach new people for Christ, not just relocate members and 2) we believe there will be renewed excitement and momentum by many people involved directly in the satellite and by members excited that we’re reaching a new part of this region for Christ.
Do we risk losing the satellite venue (Byron Nelson High School) once we’re there?
Yes, that risk exists with any rented facility. Schools can pose special challenges, especially due to political pressures, but the NWISD staff
Would the satellite set up and tear down work every week?
Yes, a team of volunteers and staff would set up and tear down each Sunday. We have visited with churches and vendors who do this effectively and efficiently. Students did this during the 2018 student mission trip, and came away more excited to make
Have members expressed an interest in going to the satellite?
Yes, dozens of people are interested in serving
Have we talked with people who have successfully launched/operated a satellite?
Yes, teams and staff have talked with churches and consultants who have successfully launched satellites. They have provided priceless advice, pitfalls to avoid, and best practices.
Would Kent’s being a Campus Pastor affect the future of Campus West or Student Ministry?
No. Kent would help us transition a new Student Pastor for our Student Ministry.
Do we have to sell Campus West to do the satellite?
No. The future of Campus West is unrelated to launching a satellite.
Do we plan to sell Campus West? If so, why?
There is a possibility of selling Campus West, primarily for ministry purposes, as well as financial reasons. We’ve become increasingly aware of the physical and emotional difficulties for parents to drop off their kids across a busy street or to let put their kids on a bus and drive away. Co-locating families in one location with close proximity and line of sight could help attract and retain families of this generation. Also, we spend $200,000+ annually to maintain Campus West’s 80,000 square feet (plus renovations/repairs for sewer, parking lot, restroom renovations, etc.).
The Euless Campus Team is considering such matters. Pros/cons. Collaboration. Due diligence. What our ministries could/should look like in 5-10 years and beyond. Facilities to maximize our God-given opportunity. This is a slow process without pre-determined answers. The team is not being asked to rubber-stamp a solution; rather, they are helping determine a solution. We’re doing this deliberately and wisely.
We are also asking God to direct our steps on this possibility. Campus West, which was bought at a discount about two decades ago, has housed primarily Student Ministry and 6 Stones. As faithful stewards, we believe we must reassess how ALL facilities best reach people. But it would require the right buyer, right price, and right time. And while it would be very difficult to get back Campus West (if so desired), we also are considering how to best utilize the 10 acres and 300,000 sq. ft. of facilities on the Euless side.
What is currently happening with Campus West?
No viable offers are pending. If we so choose, the buildings and land of Campus West could be sold combined or separately. We have not aggressively shopped it, but we got a confidential valuation assessment by an independent national real estate appraisal firm. If a viable offer is received, the Euless Campus Team would work with committees, staff, and members/experts to recommend next steps.
What would happen to 6 Stones? What about all their volunteers?
Initially, City of Bedford officials asked if First Euless would consider selling Campus West. Through it all, First Euless has had ongoing conversations with 6 Stones leadership. Its board has begun discussing relocations implications. 6 Stones
Why would we launch a satellite when attendance has declined over the years?
Pastor John has challenged us to join him in looking beyond today & into the future, to ask God to use First Euless like never before, and to get a glimpse of God’s dream for us 5-10 years from now... as a church and individuals. Those prayers and countless conversations with lay leaders and staff birthed the above three priorities: strengthen/grow here, improve Euless facilities, and reach new people at a satellite where many of current/prior members live.
These priorities, along with improving leadership and processes, led us to proactively address historical attendance trends. Yes, our neighborhoods have changed significantly, but we will not allow demographics or society to dictate our future. We will not shrink back or revert to what’s comfortable and safe. We will hit our challenges head-on with proactive solutions. But we’ll also not run ahead without praying, aligning, and planning around common vision and strategies.
Pastor John spoke repeatedly at the town hall about growing at Euless. As noted above, examples
Why would we do these initiatives when we don’t have a permanent Worship Pastor or Executive/Ministries Pastor?
First, these key roles are not vacant. Qualified, motivated people, Brad Riley and Scotty Sanders, are serving well in these roles while we search for great permanent replacements. We are confident we can make substantive progress on planning and executing needed actions through our current staff, lay leaders, and growing volunteer base. Second, our process of vetting new staff now is as thorough as virtually any corporation because this church deserves great leadership. We are diligently vetting the 140+ résumés received for both of these positions and interviewing the best candidates. Third, our processes of establishing goals, executing to those goals, and evaluating our staff team are increasingly becoming best practices. And fourth, we’ve made some excellent hires recently that lay the groundwork to take new ground, rather than just play defense. These steps and others will better position us to take proactive steps, knowing that a permanent Worship Pastor and Executive/Ministries Pastor are key to long-term progress.
What would we do to fill the vacancies caused by volunteers going to the satellite?
As noted above, the #1 (of 3) priorities is to strengthen and grow right here, including improving the number and training/encouraging of volunteers. We are hitting this long-term issue head-on, not hoping it happens or requiring a minimum number of volunteers before we ask God to take ground. We’ve seen some positive signs already. Preschool volunteer positions are closer to being completely filled than any time in recent history, and we’re praying for even more great volunteers for our beloved preschoolers. Pastor John is completing a series on generosity with many connection groups working through the same series. The new serve ministry has an initial team to invest in our people (not just expect something from them). “Replicate” will be a focus to target and grow leaders/volunteers that
Is this a done deal?
We are committed to refocusing on growing here. But the major Euless refurbishment and satellite projects would proceed only after affirmative church vote. We are in Phase 2—planning. Phase 1 was feasibility. Phase 3, execution, would occur after church vote.
Would we have adequate parking here if we sell Campus West?
Parking, like many details,
Who are the people on the teams and how were they selected?
Growth Team: Len Bussey and Pastor John (co-leads), along with Melissa Embry, Allen Beghtel, and Matt Tyson (members). Note: Scotty Sanders, Tim Alba, and Josh Merriott (staff) serve on all these teams.
Euless Campus Team: Gary Stowe and Tim Alba (co-leads), along with First Euless members Ashlee Garcia, Allen Beghtel, Eric Bartel, Don O’Neal, Wallace Rogan, and Tommie Turner (members), along with Chris Burton and Cathy Jones (staff). A seat is currently open after a member relocated this summer.
Satellite Campus Team: Jason Spivey and Kent Wells (co-leads), along with First Euless members Lori Ann Phelps, Scott Bays, Kevin Crenshaw, Melissa Embry, Greg Miller, Mark Skinner, and Enoch Timothy, along with Bryan Cox and Brad Riley (staff).
The growth team was selected by inviting the chairpersons of the Personnel Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, and the deacons to work with the senior staff team. Len Bussey, who had coordinated efforts for the Long-Range Vision team, was also asked to join.
What can I do now?
We all have a role. First, we all can pray. Pray for God’s anointing & direction, for these teams, for wisdom, and for God to increasingly bless His church and prepare it to reach and disciple more people than ever before. Second, we all can engage. Engage in the town hall meetings, connection class interactions, and small group communication sessions that will occur. Third, we all can be generous. Live generously with time, talents, and treasures that flow from generous hearts. And fourth, we all can encourage. Encourage each other to unify and align with what God will show us to do, whatever that may be. Which takes us back to prayer...