Vision Moving Forward
When Jesus saw his first disciples, he said, “Come follow me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” Little did they know it would take three short years of apprenticeship before they fully understood the vision he had for their lives. He invited them, and then he showed them what reaching others really felt like. When Peter tried to walk on water, Jesus had to grab the impetuous disciple to keep him from drowning in the Sea of Galilee. The disciples endured because they were in the boat together and listened to Jesus’ direction.
We’ve taken the next step at First Baptist together to follow Jesus’ call for this season of ministry. We’ve committed together to reach people for him. Just as Jesus grabbed Peter from the water, so we’ve decided to reach inwardly, upwardly, and outwardly as we share Christ’s love with Tallahassee and each other. Last Wednesday evening, our church approved the Vision, Goals, and Objectives for our church through 2020 and the strategies for 2015-2016. Thank you for a tremendous evening of dialogue, discernment, and being Baptist. We showed each other what civil conversation under the leadership of the Holy Spirit truly is. A complete copy of the documents can be found online, and printed copies will be available in the Connect Center. I invite you to learn this statement:
“To reach people for Jesus, we will be a church of faithful disciples, connected members, and servant leaders that strengthens homes and impacts our city.”
Now the work of communication and enlistment continue. Even though many people have been involved in the process thus far, we will have work to do as we share the vision, form goal committees, and enlist and empower ministry groups to accomplish the strategies. If you or your existing ministry group, SMBS class, or Life Group would like to be involved on a team to work on one of these strategies, please be sure to let one of our Pastoral Staff, Hannah Watt, or Dave Westberry know.
At the Deacons’ meeting and Church business meeting in November, I’ll be sharing the results of the “FBC Snapshot Survey” that we took in September. Over 400 people, ages 12 and above, participated in this online and written survey of the spiritual life of our congregation. Jenny Wilhelm, Gale Neal, and Josh Hall administered the survey and have compiled the results. I think you’ll find the information to be fascinating and inspiring. They will help provide some written data to support many of the upcoming initiatives. It will give you a sense of “where we are” today as a church in our discipleship with Jesus.
On November 15, I’ll be teaching the Pastor’s Class for our new members; but anyone is welcome to participate in this class as we share our vision with new members and encourage them to get involved. Our Pastoral Staff set up a “ministry fair” style display in the Fellowship Hall for new members to get to know our church. Please be sure to contact Hannah Watt if you would like to display your ministry in Fellowship Hall. Deadline for registration is Sunday, November 8.
Pick up a copy of the strategic plan, and study the scripture passages that accompany each goal. Pray about your role in the process going forward. The most powerful way of sharing the vision is to ask yourself and those around you, “Where do I see myself in this vision?” “How can God use me to accomplish these strategies for His glory?” Give to our Thanksgiving Offering on November 15, and share generously. Together, we can cast the nets even more broadly as we share the work of the Strategic Planning Committee and involve even more people to reach others for Jesus.