First Focus


Following the resurrection, Jesus gathered with his disciples. Whether behind locked doors in the Gospel of John, on the road to Emmaus to share a meal, or after a long day of work on the beach of the Sea of Galilee, the Easter season means fellowship. This past week, I’ve had a chance to meet with, plan, and cast vision with our church leaders.

Last weekend, our deacons met in Florida A & M University’s Grand Ballroom for our annual retreat. The facilities were outstanding, and the staff offered us great hospitality. Our deacons heard the first public report of the strategic planning vision sessions and survey results and reviewed five landmarks of God’s call for FBCTLH over the next 3-5 years. We received great feedback and conversation about the process and the outcomes we’re hoping to see. I’ll report the progress we’ve made thus far to our congregation during the April 29 business meeting.

This week, I’ve spent two days on a Pastoral Staff retreat praying, dreaming, and bonding as a staff. We’ve discussed the same information our deacons received and discerned together how we can be a part of the vision for our church. Our Pastoral Staff works so hard throughout the week, and I’m grateful we have a chance to get away and rest for a couple of days. Thank you to John Rice and Amy Parks for handling the logistics for these groups.

As you know, fellowship is more than an event or a ministry group. It’s a powerful sign of the resurrection love that Jesus Christ has shown to us. Fellowship shows in our intentionality to be with people whom we don’t know as well so that we might grow in our relationship with Christ and his church. Another word for that is friendship. We need events to create opportunities for fellowship that can lead to a friendship. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

Vacation Bible School is June 15-19. We’re expanding this year and offering more opportunities for children to come to know Jesus. Churchwide Family Night is June 19 at 6:00PM. We need your help. If you can take vacation or take time away from your volunteer opportunities, sign up in Rhonda Smith’s office.

First Love is Saturday, October 24. Our annual day of service to Love Tallahassee promises to be a fantastic fall outreach.

Connections Weekend 2016 is February 5-7. Dr. Chap Clark will be with us to talk about the issues facing adolescents and college students today. More significantly, he’ll be equipping individuals, parents, and grandparents how to be the church to hurting families.

I’ll be hosting a pilgrimage of Paul’s and the apostle John’s travels in Greece, Patmos, and Ephesus April 18-30, 2016. Information is available through Amy Parks in my office, and we’re already receiving deposits. Because of the amount of interest expressed, we now have 30 spaces available for this trip. It promises to be a powerful two weeks of on-site Bible study.

By showing up, you present the life of the risen Christ to another person. Pray for us in these days as we seek God’s will for our church in the months to come.