The budget committee recently returned to our ambitious annual budget in light of the ongoing recession pressures on our church.It was a very productive meeting, albeit one that forced us to make hard decisions. On the one hand, there is no reason to believe that God will not provide for our needs and His work. On the other hand, we must honestly assess what is required to meet the needs awaiting us in 2012. Here are a few areas of change we discussed.
The Hispanic congregation will enter a three-year declining support plan. As you know, we pay Francisco's salary and insurance and have since his arrival on the field. There are no changes in support this year, but the 2013-2014 budgets will reduce support by one-third each year. Be in prayer for Pastor Francisco, for this affects his home most of all. We will meet with him, his church, the association, and other entities and have a concrete plan by June 30 to help them in the transition.
Full-time staff will embrace a share of the cost of health insurance in The 2013 budget. Beyond this, staff encouraged a few other changes in their 2O12 compensation and support to tighten the belt.
Slight missions reductions and 10% cut in operating costs in the budget will also trim the bottom line. We're asking everyone to carry the load this year. We do not foresee any real loss in ministry by this move; we just have to be more creative.
Early 2012 will see meetings to explore how we strengthen our church's future through faithful giving, estate planning, and leadership development. I will lead the charge by having the church added to my will in the next few weeks for a future generation's needs.
Are we failing? I think not. We are a congregation with big dreams. We serve through Sunday worship, youth outreach, mission commitments, children's ministry, a preschool, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Cub Scouts host site, Hispanic congregation, and small groups for growth. God has done and will continue to do much through us. There is reason for greater giving, but there is also reason to lean in and enjoy the unique work and time of this congregation in God's kingdom.
To encourage our work in the Great Commission of Christ for all nations to hear the gospel, we are making available the Life Book, a nifty packaging of the Gospel of John. You are encouraged to take one from the sanctuary and share them with a friend.
Supper Clubs offer you a new way to make friends in the church. Were scheduling our first one on Friday, January 27. Well post 3-4 different outings led by key persons. The options may include a family Wii nite in the youth room, a movie and coffee in Madison, board games, and a swim in the Ohio River. (Ha!) Please keep an eye on the bulletin in the weeks to come.
January holds an open meeting for parents and interested adults to discuss an expansion of work with our children and youth. We want to be certain that all of our children have the richest possible life within this congregation. Parents can expect a letter soon for this.
Keep an eye on our website! Matt Brown is maintaining our site, and you will like what you see. You can find us @ www.first-baptist-church-carrollton-ky.com. Were so grateful for the handful of folks who have made this project possible (the Browns and Marcie States). Please let us know how we can improve this new ministry effort.
Transformational Church Teams meet again in January to lead us in ministry. These teams serve the church by planning for missions, prayer, friendship, worship, small groups, and leadership. Well next meet Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7 PM.
When it comes to spiritual growth, there is no replacement for the I/We combo. First, there must be a way that I am seeking Christ. This means we take the responsibility to personally seek God through Bible study, prayer, giving, and service.
There is the We element as well. Christians have long known that we must gather to fully experience God. We do this at First Baptist through worship services each Sunday, Sunday School classes, Wednesday eve Bible Study, and other small groups that gather consistently.
It is the case that some choose one and only one of these approaches, but it is just not enough. Follow Him fully and find that He is waiting and unfolding an important story through you.
Practically speaking, this means that the men of the church cook breakfast for everyone! Join us at 9:30 AM for the annual feast of eggs, biscuits/gravy, and meats. No dishes, ladies!