The Way Forward
Our journey as a congregation has been steady. We have not been a product of the failure of other congregations. Our growth has been steady since 1981 when worship attendance was about 60. Hard work. Prayer. Strategy. We have learned a lot about strategy over the years.
The science of church growth was popularized during the 1980's. In its beginnings, both those for and against had strong opinions about its virtues. The science of church growth was either timely and valued, or it was secular and evil.
Both sides moderated as research indicated that strategic plans and leadership training are essential to any organization. The Creator God was very systematic in seven days of creation. Jethro advised General Moses that failure to be strategic and train leaders would be disastrous to the entire congregation of Israel. The people of Israel came up out of Egypt in an orderly fashion of an army marching. Nehemiah facilitated rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem with excellent leadership skills. Jesus spent the bulk of His time in ministry training twelve disciples. Paul, with great intent, took the Gospel to strategic cities that were centers of travel for dispersing the Gospel to the known world.
In 1989, Covenant led the first strategic planning effort among 180 churches in Virginia. Covenant hosted seminars to assist other pastors. Covenant was a participant in the first concentrated leadership training of the Church of God in Virginia.
Elder Wayne Roberts led us in crafting a strategic plan. We have updated our strategic plan several times and intend to renew it in 2017. We cannot maximize if we do not maximize strategy and leadership.
We move with carefulness and determination believing that this is our time. The harvest is ripe. Our world needs a clarion message that Jesus saves. We are called. We are commissioned. We are ordained. We will go and tell and send that all may hear the glorious news of salvation!
We believe that the building of a congregation must be willful, determined, sacrificial, prayerful and graceful. We believe that Holy Spirit power is greater than all the forces of hell. We believe that the foundation we have laid is the solid rock, Christ Jesus.
We believe that 2017 is our time... our year to do great exploits for Our God.
Join with me in prayer as we venture into the New Year. Think of precious people who do not know Jesus today but will soon be in fellowship with us because of our efforts together. Think of people in jails, hospitals and care facilities who will be encouraged. Think of missionaries who will go because of our common labors together as a congregation.
If Jesus tarries until 2018 we look forward to celebrating great victories of 2017. Sound the trumpet! Let us march forward in love and unity.
Much Love, Pastor Bare Matthew 16:18-19; Acts 1 & 2; Ephesians 5
P.S. A praise for last Sunday's two morning services with excellent attendance. Children who came to the stage for part of the Pastor's sermon were each given a $2 bill. Several of the children gave their $2 in the voluntary missions offering that followed!