Saturday, May 18, 2013
Who Are We As a Church?
Thursday, April 19, 2012 Comments (0)
Nancy and I moved to Tallahassee and joined FBC in 1975. We moved away in 1980 and returned in 1982. We know much about FBC. Yet we have benefited from the series of congregational listening sessions planned and conducted by our Pastor Search Committee, with the expert help of Bill Wilson from the Center for Congregational Health. At Monday night’s Deacon Meeting, I heard comments from our deacons, who function as “servant-leaders” in our faith tradition.
Choir member, Jeff Crew, said he has been impressed with the “enthusiasm and strong positive concern” expressed by FBC members. Jeff described the sessions as “a conversation, not a presentation.”
“The listening sessions help me to understand the past, present, and the future of our church,” says Dr. Matthew Jenije, who works at TMH, serves on our WorkFaith team, and adds: “It all brings praises to Our Lord.”
Jeff Butts, a deacon who works in the Florida Legislature and is in the Adult Three teaching rotation, likes the way the listening sessions are a “continuation” of the already strong “fellowship” at FBC.
Retired airline pilot and Deacon Chair-elect for 2013, Dennis Jorgensen said: We have seen “participation by a large group of people with excellent comments.” (132 the first session, 126 the second, according to Pastor Search Chair, Darrell Thompson.)
Choir member and children’s dentist, Dr. Stan Sheppard, observed: “A valuable tool that gives one depth into the gut feelings and purposes of our church.”
Al Eppinger, a Georgia Tech engineer, one of our volunteer FBC reps as construction liaison with the contractor for our recently completed project, a member who has given more hours to our Sunday Morning Bible Study ministry since 1985 than any other single individual, called the sessions “excellent and well orchestrated.”
Al observed, correctly, I believe: “We are a body of individual believers with our own gifts and relationships to Jesus. We have been formed and we have evolved into this First Baptist Church by Him,” Al observes.
You know how strong we Baptists are on “the priesthood of the believer,” Al concludes. “The listening sessions allow us to describe FBC to a potential pastor, but, much more importantly, they allow us the opportunity to define how this FBC best incorporates each of us – and our individual ‘Priesthoods’ – into our church. At the end of the process,” Al suggests, “we will have a much better appreciation for how we worship and serve together! Get involved!”
As you can see, FBC Deacons and our Pastor Search Committee are on the same page.
That’s a major impression Nancy and I had back in 1975, again in 1982, and also in 2012: FBC is a church where people make an effort to be on the same page and reach people for Christ as we worship and serve together. Hope to see you April 29 for Session Three.
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