Dear Flock,

It is with great enthusiasm that I present to you our “Vision Frame” for the church (see below.)  This is the product of many months of work with an excellent team of people.  The team was established with the intention of pulling in people who could represent the wide spectrum of our church.

Long established members: Kristy Huff & Chris Cummings

Mid-term members: Stacie Cummings, Rhys Crawford, Tim Hughes

New members: Brad Tesreau

Key contributors: Wayne Roedell and Christie Smith

Throughout the process our elder board was kept apprised and, in fact, initiated the whole process by sending Chris Cummings and myself to receive training on how to complete this work.

We should also make note of the generous contribution of the American Baptist Church of the Northwest who greatly subsidized the cost of the training.  The typical rate to participate in the co-lab for Church Unique Training is $2,500.  Because of the Region’s support the cost to the church reduced to just $500.  This represents and 80% savings!  It’s good to be a Baptist, and particularly an American Baptist within the Northwest region.

As you look over the document I encourage you to take the time to look up the passages that are referenced and to take to heart the thrust of the document.  What we hope you find is this:

1. That the mission of the church is in keeping with the Great Commission given to all churches through all time.  Furthermore, that the mission statement is memorable.  Truly, I hope that if, six months from now, someone were to ask you, “What is the mission of First Baptist Church?” you could reply it is “leading people in an ever changing culture to the hope of Jesus”.

2. The values are those elements within the church that we will not violate to achieve our mission.  We certainly have more values than the seven listed, but we believe these are a core seven that represent well what we hold to be essential to the fulfillment of our mission.  In short, we can’t achieve our mission if we violate our values.

3. The strategy is the way we believe or church will achieve her mission.  By enacting these five key components of worship, connect, serve, invite, and grow we will lead people in an ever changing culture to the hope of Jesus.

4. The measures are how we, individually are doing in the support of our church mission.  An illustration given in the book is of a paint manufacturing company.  The company first has a strategy for making the paint, with the hope being that it would have a certain color, and texture, etc.  But after the strategy is followed there is also a quality control where the paint itself is evaluated.  And that, effectively, is what our measures are intended to be, a sort of ‘self-evaluation’ asking helpful questions.  Our church is striving to make disciples as we are ‘leading people in an ever changing culture to the hope of Jesus’.  And the measures are what discipleship looks like within the context of the First Baptist Church.

Finally, all of these components – the mission, values, strategy, and measures come together as the four parts of a picture frame, and what they frame is our vision.  A vision that we believe was bestowed upon our church when He planted us here some 125 years ago, a vision which has not changed.  We believe that like the church of old, which once had so many children filling its hallways and classrooms that we needed to demolish half of our facility so that we could build up the education wing, God desires to fill this church with children once again.  Indeed – He has already begun.

Peace & Blessings,  Pastor Tim