Last night we held our annual Vision Night at Laurel Baptist Church. This special evening is dedicated to focusing on the new year of ministry and the areas in which the Lord is leading us. We spend time going over the main events of the church calendar and everyone in attendance receives an early Christmas gift from the church (this year it was toboggan/beanie with our logo on it).
In case you missed our service last night I wanted to take moment to share with you the ten goals we have for the new year. These ten goals were shared with our church staff in September during our annual planning retreat, and shared with our church family last night. They’re not promises, but goals. We feel these are the areas in which the Lord is leading us to focus in 2016, but their success is dependent on the will of God and the commitment of our church family.
1. Launch a strategic plan for new building construction.
We have gone through various building programs/expansions over the past 8 years, but it’s time in our ministry to begin the preparation for a new building. Pastor Jared will be leading the way in planning and organizing the steps we need to take. It’s very exciting, but it will take much prayer, energy, and sacrificial giving from our church to see this happen. Our prayer is that in the new year we will see the master planning and timelines for construction laid out.
2. Evaluate and consider a home school group for church members.
We would love to be able to provide a homeschool group for the numerous members of our church who homeschool their children. This group would serve as a place for extracurricular activities, chapel services, graduations, additional educational classes, etc.
3. Launch new Life Group Bible study fellowships.
These Life Groups will be held during three distinct sessions during the year for a period of 6-8 weeks. Life Groups will be held during the week and are an additional opportunity for Bible study and fellowship outside of our regular Sunday worship and mid-week prayer service. Read more about Life Groups by clicking here.
4. Four big day evangelistic emphasis Sundays.
Now, every week is an evangelistic Sunday, but we are setting aside four major weekends for each quarter of the year for the sole purpose of doing all we can to emphasis the lost coming to Christ. These four weekends consist of Easter weekend (April), Anniversary Sunday (June), Tailgate Sunday (October), and Christmas weekend (December). We are encouraging our church family to do everything you can to mark your calendars as “busy” for the church and the Lord and help us on these major weekends. Try not to go to Hawaii that weekend if you can help it! 🙂
5. Remodel the kitchen, update bathroom needs, and enhance the teen area.
We have several building improvements we’d like to do as listed above. I’m excited for Pastor Josh, our new youth pastor, who is working on plans right now to revitalize our weekly teen service. The kitchen and bathroom needs are long overdue.
6. Provide an earlier start time for our mid-week service.
We have received a great deal of feedback regarding the 7pm start time to our Wednesday service, especially with those families who have young children needing to get them home at an earlier time. After much prayer and evaluation we have decided that both our Prayer Service and Awana Clubs will start at a new time beginning Wednesday, January 6th. The new time will be 6:30pm with plans to be dismissed by 7:45pm. We hope this will help families with children to both get them involved in Awana Clubs, as well as in the bed at a decent hour on a school night.
7. Greater UNCC outreach & Bible studies.
The Lord has really burdened my heart for several years to do more for the students who attend The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. We are less than 6 miles from the campus and there is so much more we need to do. God has laid it on my heart in the new year that we focus on doing more outreach and starting Bible studies for the campus ministry.
8. More evangelism training and strategies.
It is God who builds the church and gives the increase of souls, but we – the church- need to be busy planting and watering. I’m simply praying that we will exert greater energies in the new year that will allow God to give us more salvations, baptisms, memberships, and discipleships. I’ll be doing extra teaching/training to stir our hearts for more personal outreach.
9. Improve our Sunday ministry processes and effectiveness.
There are several ministry areas we want to improve and do better. We are in the process of overhauling our first time guest processes, information center, usher ministry objectives, etc. It is our goal to make sure every ministry is being executed with excellence and effectiveness.
10. More ministry volunteers and less overlapping workers for Sunday ministries.
This is a great need. There is a great deal of ministry needs at the moment, much of them behind the scenes. We simply need more volunteers. There are several who are overlapping as they serve in multiple ministries, and it is our goal to train enough volunteers where those who serve do not get overwhelmed running from ministry to ministry on Sundays. I’m asking the Lord to give us more ministry volunteers in the new year.
Will you pray for us? Ask the Lord to help us reach our goals for His glory in our city. If you are not yet a member of Laurel Baptist Church, will you commit to joining our fellowship and becoming a vital part of our new year of ministry? If you are already a member will you commit to play an important part in helping us reach these goals? I’m excited and believe God is going to give us a great year. Let’s continue to remember our purpose and make it our priority. All of these goals are aligned for the intent purpose of carrying out our passion as a church: teaching truth, praying together, and reaching others.