As with all organisms, the church goes through times of growth and times of decline. It is always encouraging to see signs of life and growth. We are thankful for those who have gone before us who have served through difficulties times, even in the recent past, who now see fruit for their efforts.
How exciting it is to see a new generation of leaders emerging amongst us and to have a well-attended Sunday program for our children. It is also a delight to have such a great diversity across age groups, ethnic backgrounds and styles of worship among us. Yet, despite all these and other encouraging signs, there is still much that needs to be done.
Last year we were led through a strategic planning process by Dr David Jones of Baptist Rural Support Services. Through the process we prayed, explored, discussed and finally wrote a plan for some key initiatives we want to take as a church. This plan was ratified at our recent church meeting. At its heart is a desire to see the ministry of the church continue to grow, and that we are able communicate the love of God as expressed in Jesus Christ to more people.
We have begun rolling out our plan and while there are significant signs of health amongst us, one of the key gaps is finding the right person to help coordinate key missional aspects of the plan. This is not a reason to despair, but to pray as Jesus said that the Lord will provide the workers (Luke 10:2).
It is exciting to see God at work amongst us and we should be encouraged. He will provide. I look forward to the day when once again the building will struggle to fit everyone in. It will not be the same as it was in the past, but it will be alive and full of life.
May God continue to inspire and encourage us in our prayers for the church. May our expectations and sights be raised as we pray that God will enable us to be more effective and fruitful for Christ’s and for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
May God also grant you the will and the strength to do whatever it takes for your local Church to be everything he desires it to be.
Stephen L Baxter