As we anticipate the birth of our Lord, we also look to the work ahead for us as a Transition Team. We are grateful for the responses that you as a congregation provided to us over the last few months and we hope to continue the positive steps towards our goal of clarifying who we are as a church. We will continue to seek your feedback into the new year.
After collecting your responses to numerous questions, we have discovered distinct and emerging themes that are helping us to build a list of priorities that this church says it has.
We could easily transcribe these themes into neat and tidy phrases as to what we value as a church, frame it, hang it up on our walls, say “That’s us,” and call it a day. But the reality is that we need to take some time to figure out whether our aspirational view is indeed a match to what we carry out in the day-to-day life of our church. In other words, are we who we say we are?
We have the pews, and soon the added classrooms, to bring many more through our doors to begin fellowship with us. And we say that we are committed to our closest neighbors. But do we look beyond our walls and actively seek new relationships with the maturing communities around us and the diversity of backgrounds they bring? We say that missions are integral to our purpose. But is that for everyone, or just a few of our members?
We are confident that our future success requires strong youth, college, and young adult relationship building. How are we doing there? Are we prepared to communicate with these groups in a way (and in the places) that we can actually forge strong and lasting relationships?
These are healthy questions to ask, and with your help, we will continue to seek answers in the new year. For it is in these answers that we will find what we really value, not just what we say we do.
We are trying to grow our church in trying times for Christians. And as any other mature church, we are learning that it is doubly difficult to adapt our successful past in a way that speaks to the needs of today’s seekers, without losing either our identity, or worse, our Christ, in the process.
The strength of our past notwithstanding, many of the questions we face are questions that needed asking, whether or not we are preparing to search for a new pastor. And one of the real blessings of this required transition for our church is that we are asking ourselves questions that may have gone unasked for far too long.
We are positioned to do great work in the months ahead as we move from Heritage and Mission and Values, to Community and Leadership. We thank you for your continued support. Many of you will participate in focus groups in the months ahead as we further refine areas of emphasis. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful involvement.
We ask for your continued prayers for the Transition Team, the families of this church, those current and yet to come, and for the future of our little slice of the world we call Huguenot Road Baptist Church.