I think our church is a work in progress right now. We are in a process of discovery, learning how and what kind of church God is making us into. The process is far from over. I think we will know much more by the fall of 2018. Until then, I ask for patience, courage, and commitment from all our members. Please join me in seeking the Lord concerning the answers to the following questions. I have included my thoughts as of right now, but nothing is final or written in stone.
Here are the seven questions I think are facing us as we enter 2018:
1. How will we be connected to one another?
2. What will our worship and weekly schedule look like over the course of a year?
3. How will we reach out to and serve our community?
4. How will new people be connected to our church and what will that mean for our space usage?
5. What kind of volunteer base and financial resources will be available to us as we plan for ministries, outreach, mission endeavors, personnel needs, and developing our physical space?
6. What kind of organization and expressions of church government allow us to best fulfill our mission?
7. How will we keep people safe and secure will on our church property?
In previous posts I shared by thoughts on the answers to the first five questions. Today I share my thoughts questions six and seven. All of my answers will be available in my report to the church at the First Family Meeting in February.
6. What kind of organization and expressions of church government will allow us to best fulfill our mission?
According to the First Family Meeting on July 30, 2017, I was given the authority to appoint an ad hoc committee to meet with me and Jeff to study and recommend any needed changes to the church’s model of governance and organization. Our first meeting was scheduled the weekend that Hurricane Harvey hit us. We will now meet for the first time on January 28.
The members of this committee are Kathryn Albin, KC Kimbrough, Linda Bradley, Matt Brewington, Ray Presley, Monty Brecheen, and Dorian Ragnow.
Our church needs adequate organization and governance to keep things running practically and legally. Our governance and organization will need to have the confidence and participation of our membership. While our governance and organization may adapt and change as needed, it should also reflect the fact that we are Baptists and honor our church’s unique heritage and history.
Having said all that, it is important to me that our members do not have to invest an inordinate amount of time governing the church. My preference would be that our members would invest their time and energy in accomplishing the mission of the church, not governing the church. Governing the church does not necessarily lead to accomplishing the mission.
Here are the guiding questions I will ask the ad hoc committee to work through with me and Jeff. Once we have answered these questions we will be able to make recommendations to the church.
1. How do churches change? How does transformation/adaptation occur within a congregation?
2. What is church polity? What are the forms of governance, or polity, that congregations utilize?
3. What are the biblical, theological, and historical foundations for the practice of congregational polity by Baptists?
4. How is FBC Rockport currently organized to accomplish its mission within a congregational form of church government? How has FBC Rockport changed over the years in this regard?
5. What are the problems and/or challenges with the way FBC Rockport is currently organized to accomplish its mission and necessary administrative/organizational tasks?
6. What changes can be made to help the church better accomplish its mission and the necessary administrative/organizational tasks? What changes will need to be made to the church’s organizational and governing documents?
7. What specific recommendations will we make to the church and how will these be made?
7. How will we keep people safe and secure while on our church property?
In the wake of the shootings in Sutherland Springs I formed an Emergency Operations Team to meet with me and Jeff to make recommendations to the church regarding our emergency operations, including security issues.
This groups includes Barney Reed, Tim Jayroe, Patty Albin, Dianne Nielsen, Bobby Albin, and Dave McCoy. We have met once and are preparing some recommendations for the church regarding the purchase of some surveillance equipment and some things will make our parking lot safer. We will also establish some emergency and security procedures to submit to the church for approval. Following these procedures will require more ushers and greeters for Sundays and Wednesdays, and will require annual training for these volunteers as well as other volunteers in the church who work with youth and children.
Please join with me in seeking the Lord concerning our church organization, governance, and security.