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2019-2020 MINISTRY REPORT

In the EPC, contributions are put to work achieving our shared mission and vision. This 2019-2020 Ministry Report explains how these contributions from churches and individuals will help the EPC function “Better Together” through Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which runs July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

Use these quick links to navigate to a specific section:

EPC Overview
Collaborative Ministries
Connectional Support
Custodial Operations
Conclusion

Click here to download this Report in printable, pdf format.

Our Mission

The EPC exists to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus as a denomination of Presbyterian, Reformed, Evangelical, and Missional congregations.

Our Vision

To the glory of God, the EPC family aspires to embody and proclaim Jesus’ love as a global movement of congregations engaged together in God’s mission through transformation, multiplication, and effective biblical leadership.

Our Motto

In Essentials: Unity.
In Non-Essentials: Liberty.
In All Things: Charity.

EPC OVERVIEW

Your contributions are dedicated to advance the EPC mission and vision “Better Together” through Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations. The EPC fiscal year is July 1–June 30.

FY20 BUDGET: $2,650,000

Collaborative Ministries: $1,030,000 (39%)
Connectional Support: $730,000 (27%)
Custodial Operations: $890,000 (34%)

625 churches in 14 presbyteries, including 42 church plants ($2.6M national budget).
70 World Outreach global workers in 30 countries ($5M annual cash flow in addition to 20% of PMA income).
60 chaplains ministering in many opportune venues.
14 permanent and 3 special committees/ministry teams.
1,200 participants at annual 4-day General Assembly (GA) gathering.
$20M employee benefit plans and $125M retirement plan through EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.
20 devoted staff in the Office of the General Assembly (OGA).

We advance our mission and vision better together than alone, which means we pool our resources for greatest leverage and impact. Funding is via “Per Member Asking” (PMA) contributions from EPC churches giving 79% of the asked amount of $23 per member.

EPC OVERVIEW—NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM (NLT)

SUMMARY OF 2018–2019 MINISTRY YEAR

1. Strategic Priorities
Continued to oversee the EPC mission and our vision which entails four strategic priorities: 1) Transformation (church revitalization), 2) Multiplication (church planting), 3) Effective Biblical Leadership, and 4) Global Movement (World Outreach and fraternal relations). The NLT recommends amending Rules for Assembly that would update the functions of the NLT with more clarity about its role in discerning and advancing the EPC vision. To better focus on specific strategic priorities, the NLT recommended that the Church Planting and Revitalization Committee standing committee be divided into two committees: 1) Church Planting and 2) Church Revitalization.

2. Executive Transition
Continued work on management succession plan for the Office of the General Assembly. Began process of replacing Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah, whose fifth three-year term concludes in June of 2021, by recommending a Search Committee to recommend a successor to be elected at the 2020 Assembly. Oversaw the retirement of COO Phil VanValkenburg and suitable succession plan. Launched review and evaluation of World Outreach in anticipation of the expected departure of Director Phil Linton in 2021.

3. Financial Development
Continued to monitor giving to EPC Per Member Asking (PMA), with concern that past PMA growth has stopped and is declining in the current fiscal year. After repeatedly wrestling with how to promote giving to the national level of our denomination, the NLT proposed creation of an ad interim committee to address long-term funding of the EPC. Presented a fiscal year 2019-2020 operating budget of about $2.65 million including spending for strategic priorities.

4. Governance
Evaluated and recommended the expansion of the NLT to the 39th General Assembly. Brought forward Rules for Assembly amendments, including proposed expansion of the NLT by three members to improve presbytery representation. Recommended amendment to the Book of Government to explicitly clarify that the position of “Co-Pastor” does not exist in the EPC, as has been our understood stance since 1985.

Click here for a complete report of the work of the National Leadership Team during the 2018–2019 ministry year.

Click here for the independent auditor’s report of the EPC FY2018 Combined Financial Statements.

COLLABORATIVE MINISTRIES

Collaborative Ministries serve and support local church and presbytery initiatives to achieve our shared mission and vision Better Together than separately.

FY20 BUDGET: $1,030,000

Global Movement: $550,000 (53%)
Multiplication (Church Planting): $260,000 (25%)
Transformation (Church Revitalization): $70,000 (7%)
Effective Biblical Leadership: $150,000 (15%)

Global Movement
Lead and administer World Outreach ministry to unreached peoples, especially Muslims.
Fraternal relations with like-minded evangelical missional organizations.
Explore how and where God may expand EPC ministry and influence outside the U.S.

Multiplication (Church Planting)
42 active plants in 19 states, including 8 in under-resourced areas.
Church-planting community and encouragement.
Church planter pipeline and development.
Church-planting leadership team support.
Strategic investments in under-reached and under-served areas.

Transformation (Church Revitalization)
Leverage the resources and impact of expert resources, including the GO Center.
Provide matching funds to aid qualified churches.

Effective Biblical Leadership
Provide Leadership Institute at the annual General Assembly event.
Facilitate 10 national ministry teams/peer gatherings.
Recruit, endorse, and provide pastoral care for 60 chaplains.
Aid demographic ministries: Next Generation, campus, and Women.
Facilitate the work of the Revelation 7:9 Task Force.

We facilitate and promote our EPC vision and strategic priorities, putting funds to work locally and globally.

COLLABORATIVE MINISTRIES—PERMANENT AND INTERIM COMMITTEES

SUMMARY OF 2018–2019 MINISTRY YEAR

Church Planting Team
Overview: 42 active church plants (a healthy 7% of EPC churches), yet the EPC has hit a ceiling unless a different structure and more substantial staffing is funded.
Retreat: Led training/renewal retreat for 50 EPC church planters and spouses, plus members of the Church Planting Team and presbytery leaders.
Cohorts: Continued initial cohort with four first- or second-year church planters meeting monthly with experienced church planter for training, support, and prayer. Preparing to launch a second cohort with six more church planters.
Obtained and utilizing a church planting “Road Map” that provides a checklist of important organizational, financial, and legal requirements needed to jump-start internal operations and protect against future problems.
Utilizing Leadership Diagnostic for church planters and potential launch teams.
Supported seven EPC church planting networks; encouraged further development.
Celebrated seven church plants in the U.S. that achieved local church status.

Church Revitalization Task Force
Developed and released “Roadmap to Missional Vitality” with expert input from PROSCI, a global leader in organizational change management.
Mentored presbytery Revitalization Coaches. 12 of 14 EPC presbyteries have identified Coordinators, a significant number of leaders have completed coach training, and many are serving on the field as coaches. These leaders meet annually for equipping, encouragement, and networking.
Providing training in transitional ministry throughout the year and at the General Assembly Leadership Institute.
Connecting church leaders to on-site and online training for millennial ministry.
Introducing ways to empower and engage ministry by Christians in the workplace.

Next Generation Ministries Council
Facilitated Children and Family Ministry networking events in three presbyteries.
Began updates on Next Generation Ministries Council pages on EPC website to more accurately reflect work of the Council, as well as needs of those who use the website.
Utilizing an online email service to compile contact information and communicate more effectively with EPC children, youth, and college ministry leaders.
Added three CCO campus ministry partnerships: First Presbyterian Church (Orlando, Florida); Covenant EPC (Monroe, Louisiana); Covenant EPC (Jackson, Mississippi).
Resourced EPC youth workers and college students with scholarships for training, conferences, and networking in partnership with RYM and CCO.
Collaborated with World Outreach to promote EPC mission opportunities among youth and college students and provided Urbana scholarships.

Women’s Resource Council
Increased social media participation by EPC women to 500 (Facebook and Blog).
Produced five videos, available on Facebook, the EPC website, and The Well blog.
Vetted resources for women in the local church, available at www.epc.org/thewell.
Sent information to EPC clerks of sessions to introduce the WRC to local churches, to solicit donations, and improve traffic on website, blog, and Facebook.

World Outreach Committee
Launched monthly email newsletter, The Reach, replacing the printed The Globe.
Started work on three summer missions opportunities.
Hosted a weeklong ENGAGE event, resulting in the appointment of 10 new EPC World Outreach global workers.
Oversaw redeployment into several areas, both geographic and tactical, including India and operating community-assisting businesses as ministries.
Made significant progress in building strong, well-coordinated, working partnerships between all our various sub-groups (Co-op and WO Direct workers, Engage 2025, ITEN, IBAM, Mobilization, Member Care).

Fraternal Relations Committee
Pursued the 2018 GA instruction to work to develop fraternal relationships with the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Addressed the future composition of the Fraternal Relations Committee.
Received update on work of the EPC document Spanish-translation team.
Continued to engage the Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM); three INPM-ordained ministers are leading EPC church plants in Hispanic neighborhoods.

Revelation 7:9 Task Force
Appointed by the Moderator at the authorization of the 38th General Assembly.
Met four times together as a whole team.
Conducted a denomination-wide survey of senior and solo pastors.
Presented the Task Force’s work and held “listening sessions” at each presbytery.
Met with various EPC groups to listen to their ideas, hopes, and concerns about the EPC becoming a Revelation 7:9 denomination.
Compiled the data from all of the listening teams and created an Interim Report with summary findings.
Began to meet with experts in cross-cultural ministry to determine organizational best practices.

Click here for complete reports of the work of these committees during the 2018–2019 ministry year.

CONNECTIONAL SUPPORT

Connectional Support Ministries ensure that EPC constitutional mandates unite and align churches, sessions,  presbyteries, and committees with the General Assembly—Better Together than separately.

FY20 BUDGET: $730,000

Relational Commitments: $300,000 (41%)
General Assembly Event Management: $80,000 (11%)
Communications and Development: $175,000 (24%)
Committee Meetings and Support: $175,000 (24%)

Relational Commitments
Provide fabric and force to connect the EPC: annual GA business sessions and records; ministry, judicial, and special committees; advice and counsel.
Liaison and resource to presbytery Stated Clerks.
Prepare for executive leadership transitions.

General Assembly Event Management
Plan and coordinate all arrangements with host church.
Provide venue for EPC business, worship, equipping, and bonding.

Communications and Development
Inform and inspire all in the EPC to uphold our ethos and better achieve our mission and vision.
Provide EPC materials for churches to make and build Christ-followers and develop leaders.
Promote missional and financial alignment and commitment throughout the EPC.
Website, EPConnection, public and media relations, crisis communications support, directed email, Jeremiah Journal video blog, social media, and other digital communications.

Committee Meetings
Travel and meet to plan and achieve more of our vision and mission together than if done separately.

We plan and support activities and actions that protect and bind us together to carry out our mission Better Together as a connectional system.

CONNECTIONAL SUPPORT—PERMANENT AND INTERIM COMMITTEES

SUMMARY OF 2018–2019 MINISTRY YEAR

Chaplains Work and Care Committee
Provided five ecclesiastical endorsements for both civilian and military chaplaincy, increasing the total number of chaplains to 60, with 30 each in military and civilian venues. This growth from 36 in 2012, with 6 more in the pipeline, caused much increased work for the Endorser.
Due to growth, recommended that the CWCC increase from six to nine members.
The CWCC and Endorser revised multiple forms for Endorsement Application, improving the process into a much clearer format; results have been notable.
Accomplished a very effective 2018 Chaplain’s Workshop with 38 chaplains in attendance plus 70 other GA attendees for part of the event.
Approved proposal that new, married applicants for Civilian Chaplaincy Endorsement be required to take Prepare/Enrich as is currently required for military applicants.
Endorser completed 19 personal visits since the 38th General Assembly, essentially meeting the expectation that he visit chaplains in person at least once every three years.
Committee members maintained personal pastoral contact with a group of chaplains.
Endorser represented the EPC, CWCC, and chaplains in associations with which the denomination has affiliation as well as at six professional conferences.

Ministerial Vocation Committee
Ministerial Committees: Worked with the gathered Chairs of presbytery Ministerial and Candidates Committees at two, two-day meetings.
Church well-being: With presbytery leaders, assisted with the immediate needs of several EPC pastors and EPC churches. This included offering intervention, guidance, counseling, coaching, or monetary help in crisis situations.
Denominational resources: Created working teams to review or update our EPC resources. Scope includes Position Papers, language translation, Procedure Manual, theology and Bible exams, Leadership Training Guide, and standardization of IT and resource platforms.
Teaching Elder candidates: Oversaw and managed the grading of the ordination exams for 47 presbytery TE candidates. Interviewed six CEEP applicants (Candidates Educational Equivalency Program) for ordination and made recommendations to their local presbyteries.
Church transitions: With presbyteries, reviewed and managed several transitional pastor situations and resources. Worked on role clarification and communications with several pastoral search firms that work with the EPC.

Nominating Committee
Nominated the Moderator and Moderator-Elect for 2019.
Reviewed vacancies and needs of various committees.
Proposed slate of nominees for various permanent committees for approval by the 2019 General Assembly.

Permanent Judicial Commission
Considered issue in Presbytery of the East and made a recommendation. Considered the jurisdictional issue presented in this situation.
Reviewed overtures from two presbyteries to amend Book of Government.
Reviewed overture from the National Leadership Team (NLT) to amend Book of Government expressly affirming that the office of “co-pastor” is not a constitutionally recognized calling in a local church.

Presbytery Review Committee
Provided structure, order, and continuity in reviewing the minutes of the presbyteries.
Two readers reviewed minutes of all 13 presbyteries and the whole committee reviewed those findings.
Finalized report for presentation at the 2019 General Assembly.

Click here for complete reports of the work of these committees during the 2018–2019 ministry year.

CUSTODIAL OPERATIONS

Custodial Operations ensure prudent stewardship, protection, and management of EPC assets, integrity, finances, information, and employees.

FY20 BUDGET: $890,000

Office Operations and Management: $360,000 (40%)
Finance and Administration: $270,000 (30%)
Technology Infrastructure: $200,000 (23%)
Risk Management: $60,000 (7%)

Office Operations and Management
Support all EPC functions, entities, employees, systems, and churches effectively and efficiently.
Provide office space, equipment, supplies, transaction fees.

Finance and Administration
Protect financial and personnel integrity of the Office of the General Assembly.
Steward contributions to best serve the EPC as commissioned by the GA and designated by donors.
Provide services for World Outreach and EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.
Administer the $800,000 Church Loan Fund.

Technology Infrastructure
Provide data, voice, and audio/video tools and systems to boost productivity and effectiveness of committees and Office of the General Assembly staff.
Manage information to serve churches and fulfill our mission.
Oversee effective and secure use of 100% cloud-based systems, network, and hardware.

Risk Management
Maintain proper audits and insurance coverage.
Utilize legal expertise when needed to protect EPC assets, people, interests, and operational freedom.
Oversee four connected (but separate) legal entities to mitigate liabilities.

We supply essential support functions that protect the integrity and boost efficiency of our global operations.

CUSTODIAL OPERATIONS—PERMANENT AND INTERIM COMMITTEES

SUMMARY OF 2018–2019 MINISTRY YEAR

Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI) Board of Directors
Health and Wellness:
—Covered 3,589 lives in the $20 million EPC Medical Plan, including 313 pastors and 1,000 church staff (and their 2,276 dependents).
—Prudently managed Medical Plan use of some our $5-6 million reserve funds.
—Implemented new Medical Plan Bronze level and adjusted benefits at all levels.
—Installed new Wellness Plan incentives available to all EPC TEs.
—Adopted new Prescription Drug cost management, to save $150,000-$200,000.
—Negotiated new Stop-Loss coverage with projected savings of up to $300,000.
—Transitioned to new HSA administrators.
—Negotiated better pharmacy network discounts, rebates, administration fees.
—Negotiated 30+% reduction Highmark BCBS administrative fees.
Retirement Security
—Provided 403(b)(9) Plan to 2,126 participants with assets totaling $125 million.
—Reduced administrative fees on smaller accounts to ease cost for new savers.
—Replaced one under-performing fund and added the 2065 target date fund.
Administration and Communications
—Initiated “For your Benefit,” a recurring member communications channel.
—Built/improved comprehensive database to effectively connect with participants, benefit administrators, and non-participating churches.
—For benefit administrators, updated Administrator Handbook, added website resources, created EPC Benefit welcome package for new churches..

Generosity Resources Committee
Rebranded the EPC Foundation to Generosity Resources to help unlock non-cash giving.
Created and disseminated a video to present the new Generosity Resources name, mission, and value to EPC churches.
Sharpened focus on helping churches fund their mission and vision by simplifying access to more complex, non-traditional funding sources.
Introduced legacy planning resources via three recommended partner ministries.
Presented to presbyteries to evaluate the message and audience receptivity.
Recruiting volunteers within each presbytery to represent Generosity Resources and promote ways to help churches fund their mission, vision, and operations.

Click here for complete reports of the work of these committees during the 2018–2019 ministry year.

CONCLUSION

Contributions to the EPC of $23 per member are pooled to help us accomplish ministry that can be done “Better Together” than could be realized separately. This reminds us of an African proverb: “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together.”

The Bible provides witness to this truth in both the Old and New Testaments of how Christ’s followers and churches are Better Together:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).

 “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5).

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:12,14).

Thank you for your generous support of the ministries of the EPC as we serve “Better Together.”

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Click to download this 2019-2020 Ministry Report in printable, pdf format.

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