Nov10FriA personal word of encouragement from pastor Andrew Manwarren November 10, 2017
Dear Church Family,
Lots of pastors’ (and church members!) dread member’s meetings. And who can blame them! I recently read an article titled, “Ten Really Strange Things That Happened At Church Business Meetings.” And they are strange. Some of the things included: a dead body in a dumpster, a two-hour meeting about donuts, lawnmower blades, and a vote to close the doors of a church but because of lack of interest the meeting failed – no quorum (seriously!). And if you want even more horror stories just google the article and read the comments. Yikes!
Reading the list impacted me in a few different ways. First, it made me laugh. Second, it also made me want to cry. How, oh, how does God put up with us? But third, it made me thankful for our member’s meetings here at FBC. Our meetings are almost always filled with joy, prayer, gentleness, and unity. This past Sunday was no exception. Our new strategic plan for 2018-20 proposes some rather significant changes such as eliminating Sunday school, changing our morning worship service time, and implementing a new church government model of elder-led, congregational rule. Wow! Talk about potential for contention, right? And yet the plan passed, and our meeting was full of joy and laughter and love and prayer. God is good!
Allow me to take a moment and highlight two core-principles of this plan that if not understood and put into action will make this plan fall on its face.
I feel like a broken record because I have been saying all of this so much lately but hopefully that clarifies a few things for you. It also leads me to how we plan on doing this. Remember that our mission statement as a church body is “We exist to lead all people into a transformed relationship with Jesus Christ.” That is our driving focus and ambition as a church. But how do we do that? Here is the transformational process of FBC:
To summarize: we expect every member of First Baptist church to make their personal relationship with a God a priority through practicing the spiritual disciplines, to commit to worship on Sunday morning where you will be strengthened in the Lord, to be actively involved in a growth group where you will be challenged to learn and live the gospel on a deeper level, and to serve God and others actively throughout the week so they can know God’s love also. This is the transformational process at FBC – personal pursuit of God, gathered worship of God, tight-knit community, and loving service of God and others.
Lastly, I just want to encourage you whether you love the changes, hate the changes, or are somewhere in between to be humble, gentle, patient, and loving toward one another that we might “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3) so that with one heart and one mouth we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.
With Much Love and A Co-Laborer in God’s Field,
Pastor Andrew Manwarren