APRIL 26, 2015 Minute Message
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Most of us can appreciate a good set of “before and after” pictures. It gives us a chance to see what can be accomplished when effort is applied to a specific goal. It is also important to remember a lot of change and transformation happens in a continuous manner, where “before” and “after” are often difficult to define.
We are taking an opportunity now in the life of our church to begin a process of moving into the future, to “begin” a next chapter before we even flip through the last few pages of the current one. We are looking to the future while we are planning an opportunity to celebrate a decade-and-a-half of ministry at Bel Air United Methodist Church.
GO. Focus. Vision. Direction. This is how we are referring to the process of defining the way our church is at work to move into the future that God intends for us. Bel Air United Methodist Church is a large active church that is involved in a lot of ministry here in our local community and beyond. It has been a decade or more since we really took an assessment that focused on understanding where we are while also defining where God is calling us to move in the future.
As Rev. Derby said on Sunday, April 26th in worship, GO really is a process of discernment, an opportunity to understand where God is at work and where God is calling us as a unified body to join that work. Then we will be able to offer our gifts and resources to God, aligning them as the Holy Spirit directs us so that we are fruitful as we carry on God’s work in the world.
During the GO process, the teams will review the values, vision and mission of the church. They will review current ministries of the congregation to assess their vitality and relevance for the future. The needs of the community will be assessed to determine if there are unmet needs that BAUMC has the gifts and ability to meet. The teams will even review our physical structures in order to identify short and long-term building and equipment issues and possible needs for renovation or expansion.
Each of us has a part to play in this effort. The first, and perhaps most significant way, will be to pray for the effort and support those who are on teams charged with the work of assessment. The second, and most interactive way, is to participate in the congregation-wide survey that begins May 11th. You will be invited to participate in the survey, adding your voice to the assessment of the spiritual vitality of the congregation while identifying areas of strengths as well as opportunities for development.
We are at our best as people of faith when we pray and move according to God’s will. We are at our best as a congregation when we move as a unified Body of Christ, seeking to understand where God is at work and move with God, joining Him in that work.
We are attempting to keep you informed about GO. We have a bulletin board in the lobby area by the parlor. We have an email address to receive your questions and concerns ( GO@baumc.com). We will be posting on our website, our Facebook page and sending updates in the e-Spire and SPIRE. Engage in the process. Add your voice. Ask questions. Pray.
Whatever we do, let it be done in the context of the Great Commission expressed to us in Matthew 28, verses 18b-20, where Jesus says: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”