I have had some who were not able to make one of the information meetings ask for the information. I will give an overview here in case you missed it. I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday.
In 1949, the Bel Air Community was in the outskirts of town. First Baptist Church of Albuquerque saw the need for a mission in the area. Thanks to a generous donation left in the will of a church member, the lot was bought and the first building was built at the corner of Bel Air Drive and Claremont Avenue. In 1951 Bel Air Baptist Church was constituted as a church. The church grew quickly and soon found itself land locked without adequate parking. The church explored other options and found our current location. On December 17, 1967, the church dedicated the new building and moved to its new location, changing its name to Del Norte Baptist Church.
Today, we are a church build upon the strong foundation of the generations before us. However, we find ourselves with no clear direction. We do not have a clear vision and our mission statement is not known and had very little church buy-in. We do not have a strategy to move forward. With no clear purpose, vision or plan we are not making significant progress. We have an aging population where we are seeing many volunteers age out every year. Where could we possibly be in the next ten years? We will soon not be able to coast on the currents of the past.
We do not only have a vision problem, but we also have a structure problem. Our current structure we are using is not the structure we have in writing. Our committee structure is worthless. We put names on a page, but they are not used. Our current decision structure is not what is in our formal documents. We are also organized to pay for people to do ministry which is not the biblical model.
Ephesians 4:11-13 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,”
I believe in the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Therefore, I believe that the direction and structure of the churchneeds to come from the pew up. God speaks to his church, not just a select few individuals. I believe the pastor’s job is to lead, not dictate. When church members do not want to serve within the church it is usually a sign that they are not invested in the church.
The good news is that our current issues are fixable. That is why I am calling on all of us to help build a foundation that will propel us to the future. People will participate in things that are significant. We can accomplish more together than we can alone. Let us develop a significant vision and structure that will propel us into the future.
We have great church members. We have an amazing facility. Let us harness these great resources to make a real difference in our community.
I want to lead in this endeavor because I have seen it work in my previous two churches. When I became the pastor of my home church of FBC Wewoka, OK in 2004 it was a church that had gone through several years of struggle. The church was running less than a hundred people in worship. The church had 19 committees and it took 96 people to fill them. The older generation felt like it was time for someone else to lead and the younger generation did not care to be involved in a system that had not worked in years. After going through a re-visioning process, we adopted a new visio nstatement, values, and goals. However,the same excitement that was gained through the process did not find its way into the broken committee structure.
When it came time for me to do my doctorate project it was obvious that the biggest need of the church was to reorganize the church around the new vision. Through this process we chose to develop a team structure that would help us better function as a church with purpose.
Del Norte finds itself with a similar broken committee structure, but we must first know where we are going before we organize to get there. Organizing without a goal means that we organize to go nowhere. To have goals without an organization to accomplish those goals means that the goals remain on a document that can never be fulfilled. Over this year I want us to accomplish both direction and organization.
When I became the pastor of Eastern Heights in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 2010 I found acompletely different situation. It was achurch with great committees and committed believers using the system to stay on mission. However, after around eighteen months the major employer in town offered early retirement and we found that most of our leaders retired and moved out of town. We were left with huge holes and the younger generation in the church were followers and had no real desire to fill a position on a committee. People wanted to work but didn’t see serving on a committee as significant.
We spent several months going through a restructuring process similar to what I had done at Wewoka. We built a team structure thatwas efficient, effective and with accountability. Those three criteria served us well in developing a system that worked.
In eight of my previous twelve years of pastoring I led through a team structure that was built to accomplish the mission of the church. There are six lessons I learned serving in a team structure:
1. Teams accomplish goals that are significant to the vision.
2. Teams empower people to use their spiritual gifts.
3. Teams exist around a shared purpose or common agenda.
4. Teams produce synergy.
a. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
b. Matthew 18:19-20
5. Teams increase fellowship through intimacy as people serve together in ministry.
6. Teams provide accountability as each person on the team is important and needed. While committees need quorums, teams need everyone.
I believe it is time for Del Norte to dream together so we know where we are going and then take the steps necessary to replace the committee structure with a team structure. I am not coming to force my agenda on the church, however. I am ready to live with whatever decision the church decides as we attempt to accomplish our mission. I will lead and plea, but the future of Del Norte Baptist Church is in your hands. We cannot keep doing the same thing we have been doing the last few years and expect different results. We are working hard enough. We need direction. Let us give Del Norte a reason to exist. It begins with you. We can do this together.
January through May we will be meeting for the purpose of developing a new mission statement, vision,and goals. The Sunday evening classes will be times of training and discussion. There are three summits which are the most important part for participation. During these three summits we will learn who we have been, who we are, and who we are called to be. In the Fall we will have a Restructuring Team elected which will meet to work on the new structure.
Russel Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, said this while speaking to his team. “Why not? Why not me? Why not you? Why not us? Why not now? Why not again? Why not try?”
There are thousands in this city in need of a Savior. Who is going to take them the gospel? Why not us?
There are millions in our nation in need of a Savior. Who is going to take them the gospel? Why not us?
There are billions in our world in need of a Savior. Who is going to take them the gospel? Why not us?