Pursuing Joy in 2016
At our members meeting last week, Dick Mills introduced the 2016 budget the elders will be recommending the congregation approve on December 13. I wanted to provide a little more info about what we are thinking for 2016 and how that is expressed in the budget.
The total figure we are recommending for the budget is approximately $850,000. This is more than what our treasurer had termed a “numbers-based” total figure. We’re pursuing the higher figure because we, as a church, must continue to act out of faith in God and not just out of what we perceive we can accomplish. This budget, however, is not so high that it is utterly foolish or presumptuous. It is one, as in prior years, the elders feel balances wisdom and faith in God.
So as you review the budget and are praying for Five Points and all that God has for us in 2016, be praying that God would indeed provide more than what we are even thinking or imagining he can provide for us. And to aid your prayers, here are a few things we are aiming for in 2016.
In 2016, we want to continue to cultivate multi-faceted discipleship with an intrinsic focus on mission. That is an intentionally worded sentence. We want our discipleship efforts to be multi-faceted in that they are not just focused on our corporate gatherings or more classroom style teaching. Rather, we want our discipleship efforts to grow in our small group engagement, mid-size groups like our monthly men and women’s gatherings, and our personal relationships.
And when I say “discipleship,” I have in view a more mature follower of Jesus directly, personally, and relationally helping another person grow in Christlikeness with a purpose and a plan. That plan will address the disciple’s “head, heart, and hands”—the way think, feel, and carry out the Christian faith.
Last, we want our discipleship efforts to be increasingly focused on mission because we cannot become in grown. God and his Church have always been on the move, advancing and seeking the redemption of image bearers. We have to be focused on our mission to make disciples of our neighbors and the nations.
Developing Personal Ministry
A second area we want to give particular attention to in 2016 is continuing to develop our personal ministry as a church. Our Shepherd Groups this fall have been reading through Ed Welch’s Side By Side, and we want to continue fostering that relational dynamic. So we currently have two seminars planned for early in the year to help advance this cause (the first being “Is Change Possible?” on January 9). We’ll be welcoming Jonathan Holmes, pastor for counseling at Parkside Church, to lead those seminars. He will also be talking with our elders about how we can be equipping you in this ministry of caring for others in intentional relationships and conversations.
Planning for Growth
Last, we are planning for growth in 2016. We are expecting the Lord to continue to use Five Points to draw people to himself. We are eagerly desirous of more people worshiping Christ with us now and forever because God saved them through our ministry. That is why our 2016 budget includes funding for a third pastor to start in July, so we can pursue and accommodate that growth as a church. And that is why we are continuing to pursue the Planting Joy vision and building project. More information on both of those significant endeavors will be coming in the months ahead, but in the meantime, pray with us that God would make all grace abound to us, so that have all sufficiency in all things at all times, we may abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
I am excited about what the Lord is doing in and through Five Points. And I am looking forward to what he has for us in 2016. May he exceed our wildest hopes and expectations.