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A New Day…

Another week almost in the books, and another whirlwind!  Lots of meetings, lots of phone calls, lots of late nights.  Lots of fun, honestly.  I love what I do, and it is a privilege to do it with all of you.  By now, most of you know that last night, we rolled out a strategic vision for moving us forward.  Casting and implementing a strategy is a lot of hard work, but it is necessary to move forward together and do what the Lord has called us all to do.  For the benefit of those who didn’t hear it, allow me to share it again.

As of today, we have a new mission statement.  What is it, you ask?  Well, I’m glad you did.  Our new mission statement comes from Matthew 28:19 and is simply “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  What was wrong with our former mission statement, and why is this our new one?  Again, good questions.  The answer is that nothing was wrong with our former mission statement.  It was Biblically based and theologically sound, but the challenge as I see it is that if we have a mission statement, we should memorize it word for word and be prepared to live it out as a church family.  This new mission statement allows us all to memorize it and encompasses all of the principles of the previous one, plus it seems to me that this should be our mission statement simply because Jesus Himself said that was our mission.  We don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  We just have to make sure it rolls.

Notice the imperatives in the statement.  “Go and make”.  This is not optional; it is a command.  This naturally begs the questions: Well, how do we do this? How do we “go and make”?  We’ve identified four key areas in which to focus on that will allow us to make disciples.

The first is worship.  When we meet for corporate worship, it is going to be dynamic, interactive, exciting, and fun!  After all, is there anything better than ascribing worth to the One that is so worthy of it?  Is there anything better than doing that with your church family?  I doubt it.  From now on, our morning services are mirror services, incorporating a variety of musical styles designed to prompt people to worship the risen King.  We will include lots of different elements in our services, from Scripture reading to dialoguing about ministry opportunities, all designed to prompt people to worship Christ both in word and deed.

The second area is education.  Part of being a disciple of Christ is looking more like Him and growing in His character.  .  In order to do this, we are going to greatly expand our educational opportunities.  We are rolling out new small group Bible study curriculum in June.  This will challenge us to dig deeper into Scriptures as a unified church family. We are also revamping our Wednesday night programs into something called Mid-Week Momentum.  This is what that basically looks like.  We will meet on Wednesday evenings for a fellowship dinner at a minimal cost, offered free to Nicholls State students.  Afterwards, we will break out into 3-4 classes that will be offered on a wide range of topics.  You pick the study that you want to attend!  This program will roll out in September.  Work is already underway on transforming our courtyard area to a prayer garden at the front of the property that will be a wonderful place for our church family to commune with the Lord! 

I will also be leading us in some corporate teachings on a variety of topics, from comparative religions to what we as Baptists believe to Jewish life to a virtual tour of the Holy Land.  All of these things will help us to grow in the knowledge and character of Jesus Christ.

The third area is fellowship.  One of the ways to make disciples is to grow in our love for one another as well as others in our community.  To that end, we will be having lots of opportunities for fellowship, from a family cookout on July 4th to community summer movie nights to a picnic with our church family and Mother’s Day Out families to something that we’re calling “just because” dinners.  That is exactly what that sounds like.  Dinners for no other reason than to hang out and fellowship.  That’s reason enough!  We will also have community outreach events, like our booth at Thibodauxville, expanding our Thanksgiving harvest meal, our Super Bowl extravaganza, our Mardi Gras outreach, and others.  Remember that people don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care, so we are going to show folks how much we care.

The fourth and final area is missions.  We are going to be intentional in engaging our community, state, country, and world with the Gospel.  To that end, I am proposing the formation of a team called the Acts 1:8 team.  It will be composed of five people whose function will be to research missions opportunities and engage the church in said opportunities on the local, state, national, and international levels. 

As you can see, this is a pretty ambitious strategy.  It will take time.  Some of this is being rolled out now, some months from now.  It will also take willingness and commitment from all of us.  Gone are the days where 20% of the people do 80% of the work.  If we are going to make a true difference in the world around us, then it starts now, and is starts with every one of us.  It’s a new day, and we need all hands on deck.

Are you in?  If so, let’s rock and roll!!!

 

Pastor JP