What a year 2019 was! It was incredible! I wish I could share with you all that happened over the last year. Things like the fact that our church not only met but exceeded our missions goals. I wish I could make a list of every little thing we did, like send teams of people to bring the good news to Haiti, Europe, and the Middle East. Our work, though, has not just been to the ends of the earth. We also jam packed kids into our Wednesday night programs, hosted more kids than ever at VBS, and saw a record number of families come through our Fall Festival. Our teenagers have been discipled, our Sunday night small group ministry is growing, and we celebrated 75 years as a church! What a year it has been. We baptized, and we remained steadfast in worship and the preaching of the word of God. Our Sunday School ministry remains the center of life and discipleship in our church. What a year it has been! It is good for us to celebrate the faithfulness of God in preserving and advancing our church… but we must also look forward.
My heart for 2020 is that FBC Vidalia would make strides to become a church for our community. I want to focus on our church ministering and loving those outside of our building. There are three distinct areas of focus for this coming year.
1. We need to embrace a culture of excellence within the church. I shared with my staff this week how we needed to double down on details so that everything we do, starting with custodial and moving to the worship and preaching of the word of God, might be done in the excellence God deserves. My hope is that we raise the bar across the church to expect that every event, publication, song, sermon, everything might be done in excellence for the glory of God.
By the way, excellence is far more than a staff pursuit. We are all partners in ministry. Excellence happens when we all join to serve together. God deserves our best as a church. Join me.
2. We need to become a church for our community. There are so many needs within our community. There are so many ways we can be the body of Christ. I think the old method of being a church in our city and expecting folks to visit us has come to an end. If we desire to reach our community for Jesus, we need to get into our community. I’m not asking y’all to do anything I won’t. What I am learning as I serve is that our community is hungry for relationships. Let us be the church which goes beyond our building to serve our city.
3. We need to grow more diverse. My heart is that our church would mirror heaven. Church strategy today says that the best way to grow a church is to find a single enthnic, economic, and even hobby group of people and target the church to reach that single group. My vision is the opposite. Scripture teaches that the church should be both rich and poor. It calls multiple races to sacrifice their preferences to accommodate one another. It expresses that the church should be a place where the young learn from the older and vice versa. That is my vision for the church.
2020 is here!!!! I am thankful for 2019. I will miss my friends who moved to their heavenly dwelling. I pray that God will do something at our church so great, so glorious, that there is no way we can take credit for it.