For 166 years, our church has been a lighthouse on the hill for our community and the world. This Sunday, I want to share a vision to reach people for Jesus over the next 5 years. Our Strategic Planning Committee has been working hard to compile the suggestions from our church, assess our current opportunities, and focus our attention through the year 2020. We’ve received input from over 400 people from youth to senior adults, and I’m excited to share this message with you. We have prayed, planned, prepared, and worked together on a document that I think will challenge us and equip us to carry out God’s work. It will only be possible to accomplish these goals with God’s help, direction, and resources.
Our vision proposal is based off the experiences that Paul had in Corinth when he arrived in Acts 18. He discovered a city much different from any other he had ever been a part of. A Roman colony, primarily regarded for prestigious athletics and high-achieving citizens, Corinth desperately needed a gospel of grace and hope. While struggling to gain a foothold in the city, Paul assembled a team of men and women, religious leaders and converts, house churches and tentmakers to work, disciple, connect, and lead to strengthen their home and impact their city. Things were not easy for the Corinthians. As you know, Paul wrote multiple letters back to these people encouraging them and strengthening them. But he was motivated by a vision: “Don’t be afraid, but speak, and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people” (Acts 18:10).
I would like to invite you to hear the full proposal during our business meeting on Wednesday, August 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. We’ll discuss and vote on this document in the business meeting on Wednesday, September 30. We’re also hosting “coffee and conversations” with me in the month of September to discuss the vision. If you’d like to host or participate in these receptions, please contact John Rice.
Would you also pray now for people to take part in the goals and objectives to accomplish the vision? We will need everyone’s help– personally, spiritually, financially– to get involved in implementing the vision. One immediate opportunity will happen this fall. Beginning September 13, our church will study what it means to be faithful disciples: to “Think, Act, and Be Like Jesus.” Our SMBS teachers and I will be teaching through our core beliefs, practices, and fruit of the Christian life. This 10-week series will be one of our objectives as we seek to accomplish the goal of faithful discipleship.
It’s a great season to be a part of First Baptist Church. I am blessed to be your pastor and to share this ministry with you. Pray for this process as we see God’s work in our midst.