A Vision for FBCTLH


First Focus

A Vision for FBCTLH

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and participation in our vision process. As I shared with you in January, the church appointed an 18-member strategic planning team. Over 250 people have offered their feedback during the congregational listening and vision sessions, from college students to senior adults. We have received survey results from our SMBS, deacons, staff, committee, and Life Group leaders. We have received great feedback from community leaders, nonprofits, and Baptist agencies. We continue to receive great suggestions and feedback along the way, but I’m grateful that we’ve heard from every demographic, stage, and age of life. Our committee has now met three times and has had one day-long planning retreat to review the data we’ve collected and discern where we are as a church.

This Sunday, you’ll have a chance to hear from Dr. James Furr. He’s the President of Houston Graduate School of Theology and the consultant for our process. He’s the author of Leading Congregational Change and an expert on how churches like ours discern God’s call for the next 3-5 years. He’ll be preaching on another eyewitness: the man Jesus healed at the pool of Bethesda in John 5. You don’t want to miss it.

I am so inspired by your ideas and suggestions. We have received so many great responses from all corners of our church. You love First Baptist, and you love Tallahassee. Your feedback energizes me and gives me great hope for God’s work here. At this point, we have narrowed the focus of our work to a 3-5 year vision. Instead of looking 20 years down the road, we felt it best to address measurable goals and strategies to help us proclaim the gospel sooner rather than later. This means, of course, our report will not be to capture everything you’ve suggested. Some things will have to wait because, as you know, we can’t do it all right now. The good news is that we will be able to address the most vital things at the heart of our mission in this season. We’ll be meeting with deacons and staff in the month of April to share what we’ve discovered thus far. I’ll be reporting to the church in the April 29 business meeting.

How can you help? Like the church in Corinth in Acts 18, I encourage you to pray. The Lord appeared to Paul in a vision and said, “Don’t be afraid. I have many people in that city.” You are those people. Pray for the Aquila, Priscilla, Paul, Barnabas, Saul, and Timothy figures on this committee. We have many suggestions and are now processing this information. A narrow vision, however, does not mean an easy one. Pray for us to be challenged to do God’s work in this place to glorify Christ. Continue to take notes in your Kairos journal where God is interrupting you. Reflect on the work Christ is doing in your life throughout this season of Lent. Prepare your heart for God’s vision for our church. When God called people to be the church, each person took part in the vision. They saw the work of Christ as an eyewitness and carried that vision of Jesus’ work into their world. Pay attention to Jesus this season, and follow Him.