Who doesn’t get excited about conferences? We always enjoy the food, look forward to learning and, of course, the fellowship is wonderful. The staffs’ time at Ross Point, on October 1st and 2nd, was no different!
For me, I really enjoy conferences like this because it allows me to refocus on the basics; things like “less is more” and “if you aim for nothing you’ll hit it every time” become more true in my mind. I often find myself so intensely focused on the lists of things I need to accomplish and get done every week that the over-all, big picture can get lost. Opportunities like going to Ross Point remove us from the frenzy and give us some fresh perspective on our ministries.
We talked a lot about the pastor’s role in turning a church around, as well as dealt extensively with mission and vision, but the thing I found most interesting, that our speaker Dr. Aubrey Malphurs shared with us, was a really practical method for evaluating the ministries of the church. If our values, as a church, match that which the Bible has told us are important (worship, fellowship, biblical instruction, evangelism, and service), then our ministries will be a clear reflection those values. He had us make a chart with those items across the top and then a list of our ministries along the side. We, then, checked off which values each ministry reflected. For example, a Sunday morning worship service would have “worship” and “biblical instruction” checked off and a bible study might have “fellowship” and “biblical instruction” checked off. Well, as you can guess, the whole group had an overwhelming absence of ministries that displayed “evangelism” and “service”. Unfortunately, this reflection of our values doesn’t really jive with what we know the Bible says, because we are told, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,” (the places that are “unclean” or we don’t really want to go), “...and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Many other passages also charge us with sharing the message and hope and joy of Jesus Christ!
I am so excited about the growth in our church and look forward to “aiming” with you as our church comes up with a clear mission and vision statement, evaluating and adjusting our ministries. Most of all, I’m enthusiastic about serving alongside you, as we share Christ with a lost and dying world!
Thank you so much for your support and the opportunity to attend this conference with the church staff! It was an incredible blessing, and I am certain that the church has sown well and will see good harvest from their investment!
WIth much joy and anticipation,
- Lynn Crawford