This past week I had a conversation with several people about their decision to leave our church. I walked away from that conversation very encouraged. I’ve been praying that this day would come. I can’t wait for these families to leave our church. This day couldn’t have come sooner!
Do I have your attention? Did you just reread that previous paragraph? Hahaha! I bet you did! How on earth could I be happy about these families leaving our church?
The reason I can be happy about it is because their leaving our church helps us take yet one more step forward in our 2020 Vision.
These families aren’t leaving because they’re mad or discouraged with how things are going. In fact, the right word to use isn’t the word “leave” but the word “sent.”
These families are being sent from our church to help revitalize another church in our city. They’ve caught the vision. They put their “yes” on the table. And now God is calling them out.
Part of our 2020 Vision was to plant or revitalize 5 churches in North America. Another part of our 2020 Vision was to bless our city. This effort to send people from our congregation to help revitalize another church here in town does both. It’s a bold move. I couldn’t be more excited.
I have to confess, when I first envisioned what it might look like for us to do a church revitalization I didn’t think it would happen this way. When the Lord moved Roger and Brian off of the staff team I thought for sure something like this wouldn’t be able to come about. I was wrong. As usual, God’s plans are always better than our own and his timing is never wrong.
Here are the details so that you can pray accordingly. The revitalization effort that these two families will be joining is at Elmcrest Baptist Church (517 N Pioneer). Jerry Vincent (my old pastor from FBC Roby) serves as the church’s lead pastor. The individuals who are joining this revitalization effort thus far are Burtis and Linda Williams and George and Angie Lane. They are all members of the Salt and Light small group that meets on Sunday mornings at 11:00.
So many of our small groups have done a good job of embodying the spirit of our 2020 Vision. But I really commend this group for making such a deep sacrifice for the good of the Kingdom. Be praying for this group, for these families, for the work going on at Elmcrest, and for the continued health and growth of Broadview Baptist Church.
It’s going to hurt seeing these families go. Both Burtis and Angie served as personal discipleship coaches. Burtis serves as a small group leader and previously served as our North American Missions director. It reminds me of when the Antioch church sent out Paul and Barnabas. They sent some of their very best. It wasn’t easy for them and it won’t be easy for us.
But, we can’t truly be a sending church unless we’re willing to send out our people. If we really envision God creating a disciple-making culture of multiplication then we’ve got to be willing to send our best leaders so that others can step up and take their place.
If we really want to bless our city, plant/revitalize churches, and send long-term missionaries then we’ve got to be an open handed people. We cannot be close-fisted. Otherwise, we’re just talking the talk without walking the walk. As one of my mentors loves to say, “The proof is in the pudding.” I believe God will bless our church and these families for this step of obedience.
So join me in giving thanks to the Lord for taking us one step closer in the vision He has given to our church. While you’re at it, here is one more thing for which you can give thanks.
Pastor Vernon will receive the “Pastor of the Year Award” for the Abilene Callahan Baptist Association. To say this reward is well-deserved is an understatement! There are so many things I’d like to say on this but I’m saving it for my next weekly update. Today, let me just encourage you to mark your calendars for November 7th at 6:30pm at FBC Clyde, TX.
Also, be praying for our staff as we will be leaving Monday for our staff retreat. We will spend some time being refreshed in the Lord, growing in our relationships with one another and strategy planning for the 2017 calendar year. If there’s anything I can pray for you about, just reply to this email.