Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Vision (1/13/11): Looking Forward with Anticipation
In our first annual CRBC membership meeting on Wednesday evening (1/12/11), I offered a “state of the church” report to the congregation. Here are some notes from what I shared:
First, we look back with thankfulness for what God has already been pleased to do in raising up this congregation over the past year. We can say with the Israelites of old “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12 NKJV). We can review the past year, see our growth and development, and give all the praise and glory to God. As James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above….”
Next, we look forward with anticipation to what the Lord might be pleased do in the year ahead. We can take to heart the words that Joshua spoke to Israel when they were on the verge of entering the promised land in conquest “Be strong and of good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them” (Joshua 1:6). The land is before us! We are not to be timid or fearful, but bold and courageous in this work to which the Lord has called us.
We should recall that when Jesus saw the multitudes of his day, “he was moved with compassion on them” (Matthew 9:36). He then turned to his disciples and said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (vv. 37-38).
Here are four practical goals for the year ahead:
1. We should continue to seek faithfulness in doctrine, worship, and practice above all. Our success cannot be measured in numbers but in fidelity to the Word of God.
2. We should continue to grow in love for one another, thus obeying the New Commandment given us by our Lord (see John 13:34-35).
3. With thankfulness for those who have offered generous support from outside our body, we hope to achieve complete self-sufficiency. By achieving this goal, we hope to be a blessing in the future to other church plants in the days ahead.
4. We hope to expand and grow our membership in the year ahead, as the Lord allows, both by conversion growth as we preach the gospel and see hearts and lives changed by Christ and by assimilation growth as we welcome those who are already believers into our fellowship and encourage them in their growth as disciples.
Let’s see what the Lord will be pleased to do through this body in 2011!
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle