In the last 18 months, the landscape of church has changed across our country, and more people than ever identify as not being affiliated with religion of any kid. In light of that, one thing that has become abundantly clear: if we're going to make Jesus relevant for everyone in greater Austin, we have to go where they are. As a result, we've been making great strides in two strategic areas:
Marketplace Initiatives - Our hope is to be so integrated into our community that we'd be missed if we were gone, regardless of what people believe spiritually. We dream of a day when our facility is used the 6 1/2 days of the week when we aren't holding church services. We currently host a private school, a TaeKwonDo dojo, a Mommy and Me program, two kids' theater groups, and other community events. In 2022, we'd like to improve our infrastructure for marketplace activities, including purchasing furniture for a co-working space and audio/visual and sound equipment for event rentals. All of these activities will in turn be revenue-generating for Northpoint.
Digital Initiatives - The average American spends 11 hours a day on personal technology, and we want to figure out how we can get 5 minutes a day in everyone's pocket. We've already heard so many stories of individuals who began attending Northpoint online long before they visited in person. We now want to reach an entirely new population of people that just isn't interested in attending a church building at all. Infusions in this area will help us with content production, purchasing media equipment, and with advertising, marketing, and distribution of content.
We believe that if Jesus is ever going to be relevant for everyone in greater Austin, it will be the next generation that's going to do it. From the start, we've set out to plant the anchor of faith so deep in the heart of our kids and students that nothing will ever pull it away. That if we're going to call them significant, we have to give them something significant to do. But as all parents know, kids and teenagers eat a lot, they destroy a lot, and maintaining the level of excellence we desire in our family ministry environments requires a lot of intentionality. In 2022, our goal is to replace worn out furniture in multiple environments, provide scholarships to students for Camp 75, and create a "wow" factor that brings family ministry events from great to amazing.
Every year, we have unique opportunities to do for one what we wish we could do for everyone. This includes helping with counseling, rent payments, medical bills, and basic necessities like food and utilities, and even educational expenses for people in need. Requests for assistance have increased over the last 18 months, and filling this fund allows us to respond when needs arise.
To be good stewards of what God has entrusted us with and to maintain financial health as a church, we keep one month of operating expenses as a reserve for rainy day funds and emergencies. In 2020, we saw giving drop 20%, and our emergency fund provided us with resources to operate our ministries, to love and serve people during the pandemic. We aren't afraid of the future, but since we don't know what the future holds, we believe it is wise and responsible to be prepared by rebuilding our emergency fund.
Waumba Land is our small group ministry environment for preschool children from six weeks to pre-K. Each week preschoolers experience a Bible story, sing together, and do hands-on activities. Waumba Land Online features a weekly video, a Bible story, and ideas for activities and other fun ways to talk about what they learn all week long.
Waumba Land meets in-person during both the 9:30 and 11:00 am services.
UpStreet is our environment for children in Kindergarten through Fifth grade. In UpStreet we prioritize fun as kids are introduced to the weekly Big Idea in our Large Group environment. In Small Group, kids spend time engaging with a consistent, caring leader and a small group of peers as they explore the Big Idea and help each other take their next steps spiritually.
UpStreet Online features a weekly video (including everyone's favorite, the So-and-So Show), resources for parents, and information about Zoom small groups
UpStreet meets in-person during both the 9:30 and 11:00 am services.
Transit is our Sunday morning environment for students in 6th through 8th grade. Each week, students experience fun games, an engaging speaker, and a small group where they can connect and grow together. Not ready to meet in-person yet? A new episode of Transit Wired goes live each Sunday morning at 9:30 am.
Transit meets in-person during both the 9:30 and 11:00 am services.
InsideOut is our environment for high school students. Each week students experience a mixture of fun games, a challenging talk and small group time. For those not able to be here in-person, a new episode of InsideOut Reset drops each Sunday at 4:00 pm.
InsideOut meets in-person on Sundays at 4:30 pm in the auditorium.