Dear Church Family,

On Sunday, February 5, at 11 am, we will gather for our annual Winter Congregational Meeting. We are thankful to the classes and small groups that have changed their Sunday morning plans to accommodate the meeting. The Winter Meeting is a time to look forward and discuss a vision for where God is leading our church. This year, we have a strong sense that God is leading us into a new season together in a multitude of ways.

Pastor Mathew will be sharing his vision for Lake Avenue Church. After this, we will pause to lead the congregation through prayers that our Ministry Council and Division leadership have been praying. We want to embrace these prayers as an entire church, working to release and relinquish control, seeking His wisdom over our own, putting our trust in His plan, and allowing Him to transform each of us for the Kingdom. We will also be welcoming new members and reviewing the Annual Report for the last fiscal year.

We will vote on the proposed Congregational Leadership Covenant that, if approved by 75% of the members who vote, will replace our current Bylaws with an updated set of governing documents. The Covenant, which was unanimously approved by the Ministry Council this month after about eighteen months of consideration and revision, will restructure the current Bylaws into three pieces: the Covenant (which lays down values and rules as the foundation for our governance), a document defining our Ministry Oversight Structure as determined from time to time by the Elder Council, and a set of operating policies. Our overarching goal is to become more nimble as a church, emphasizing ministry over operations and allowing our structure to continue to adjust as God leads. This restructure also transforms the current one-year Nominating Committee into a longer-term Leadership Development Team, intentionally seeking to identify, mentor, and raise future leaders for the church. And the Covenant will allow us to appoint lay leaders into roles as Deacons across the church in a more dynamic manner, shepherding alongside the Pastors and staff.

Hundreds across the congregation have contributed over the past few years to this proposed restructure. We received excellent wisdom and direction most recently from our Bylaws Guiding Team which was brought together in August, including some of the prior Bylaws team, a few Ministry Council members, and three insightful critics of the earlier drafts. This led to significant improvement in the Covenant, associated documents, and governance structure. Now that the initial draft of the Congregational Leadership Covenant has been refined to reflect a year of extremely helpful contributions from many members of our church family, it is time to move forward.

Having had such broad and extensive discussion, consideration, and revision of the Covenant over many months, and in consideration for the individuals and families who are pausing their Sunday plans for our meeting, we will move forward in an efficient way toward our vote. If you have questions that have not been answered or comments that have not yet been considered, please submit them in writing by Friday, February 3, using the link at; we will seek to address those questions and comments effectively and efficiently at the Congregational Meeting. Comments and questions from the floor will be limited to one minute and will continue only until the congregation is ready to vote—not more than thirty minutes. Because the Bylaws require that the text of any amendment be provided for review before the meeting, no changes from the floor will be accepted; the Covenant will allow changes to be proposed by either the leaders or the members, and we expect to make many improvements as God leads in the coming years.

Active members will be able to vote on the Covenant in person at the February 5 meeting or until 5 pm on Tuesday, February 7, online or by e-mail, or by calling the church office. Voting instructions can be found at upon the start of the meeting.

Because the vote on the Congregational Leadership Covenant will determine whether we will elect a Nominating Committee or a Leadership Development Team, we will not take that step at this Winter Congregational Meeting but instead will have that election at a brief congregational meeting in the near future.

We hope you will join us to hear more about what God is doing at Lake Avenue Church and to be part of His movement.

In Christ,

MathewJohn 250x250 PMJ_sign   Crichton Dan 250x250 Dan Crichton
Mathew P. John Dan Crichton
Senior Pastor Church Chair